June 14, 2012

Celebrate With Us the 237th Army Birthday ~ Thank you US Army!

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry sends a birthday message to the Army for the 2012 Army Birthday....

" Happy Birthday Army, Rangers lead the way."


I would like you to meet Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry

A compilation of interviews and accounts about Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry, awardee of the Medal of Honor by President Obama on July 12, 2011 for conspicuous gallantry for his courageous actions against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008.


Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago, our Nation's leaders established the Continental Army, beginning a rich heritage of successfully defending this great country and her citizens. Today, we celebrate the continued honor, loyalty and bravery of our Soldiers in this noble calling. Our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a deep commitment to our core values and beliefs. This 237th birthday commemorates America's Army -- Soldiers, families and civilians -- who are achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong. We also celebrate our local communities for their steadfast support of our Soldiers and families. We are "America's Army: The Strength of the Nation."


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

With all my heart I thank our Army and all those that have served and are serving now.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (2)

April 01, 2012

USA Cares provides veterans with financial assistance

USA Cares provides veterans with financial assistance

Bill Nelson explains USA Cares' role in helping veterans.

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

Anytime there is help given to our Veterans I am all for it.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (4)

March 15, 2012

Allen West: If There's No Will to Win, Leave Afghanistan Now (Video)

Allen West: If There's No Will to Win, Leave Afghanistan Now (Video)

Newsmax to Allen West: Some say this is a no-win situation, and we should just get out. What do you say? West says we have to have a will to win otherwise we should just get out.

President Barack Obama must stop apologizing for every misstep in the Afghanistan war — it makes the United States look weak in the eyes of the enemy, Republican Rep. Allen West told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

And if there is no political will to deal with Taliban safe havens in Pakistan, the U.S. might as well remove all troops from the country, he added.

“If you are not going to contend with the sanctuaries that are across the border in Pakistan, then you should depart from Afghanistan because you are not going to have a secure situation until you deal with what the ISI in Pakistan is allowing to happen,” he said referring to that country’s intelligence service.

“We need to go back to the table and look at our operational goals and objectives in Afghanistan,” said the Florida congressman, who served in Kuwait and Iraq during his 22 years in the Army.

West was speaking three days after an unidentified army staff sergeant allegedly went on a rampage in Kandahar Province, killing 16 locals. That incident and last month’s inadvertent burning of Qurans by soldiers have heightened tensions in the country.

On Wednesday, the Afghan driver of a stolen pickup truck burst into flames near the runway of a British base in Afghanistan at about the time U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s plane arrived today. An investigation is still under way to determine if the incident may have been a failed attack on Panetta. West declined to comment on that matter until more facts are known.
West, who served as a civilian adviser in Afghanistan, said the Taliban has seized the two issues and is using them as “an opportunity to ramp up the rhetoric.”

“What happened with this staff sergeant in Afghanistan is a horrible event. It cannot be condoned,” said West, who left the army with the rank of lieutenant colonel. “You have to condemn it in each and every way, but this should not overshadow the 10-plus years that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have been there and the impeccable sacrifices and service that they have given to the Afghan people.

“We need to put this in perspective and not allow President Karzai and the Taliban to get any type of high ground,” he added.

When asked how the U.S. can best prevent Taliban threats to behead soldiers in retaliation, the congressman was succinct. “We kill them first,” he said.
West attacked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for suggesting the soldier, who was flown out of Afghanistan on Wednesday, might face the death penalty at his court martial.

“I will tell Leon Panetta…stop overreacting and stop appeasing these radicals, offering up our own service men and women,” West said, pointing out that neither Sgt. Hasan Akbar, who was convicted of killing two officers when he threw a hand grenade into a tent in Kuwait in 2003, nor Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who faces charges of killing 13 servicemen during a rampage at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009, have been executed.

“Let’s make sure we are playing this straight,” he said.

West said reports that the staff sergeant in the Kandahar case had suffered a traumatic brain injury during an earlier tour of duty in Iraq pointed to the need to take better care of our wounded military. He called such injuries “the hidden sickness” of war.

“What we must understand is that here is a gentleman who has served this country bravely for three, now going on four combat tours. We can’t just cast him aside and treat him like some sort of refuse.

“He was a hero to his children and we need to make sure as best as we possibly can that we can protect the way that his children see him.” But he said the sergeant has to pay for the killings if he is found guilty by the court martial.

West pointed out that the Qurans that were burned had been defaced by captured Taliban fighters who had allegedly used them to pass messages.

“If you understood Islamic culture, as soon as those Jihadists and terrorists wrote in the Qurans, by their own cultural standards, they should have been killed,” he said. “It was not about burning Qurans. We were disposing of contraband.”

Six U.S. servicemen have been killed in violence spurred by the burning, but West said it is important that we do not retaliate. “We’re better than that,” he said. “We don’t react irrationally like some of these barbaric radical Islamists do by burning crosses and [saying] Death to the United States of America.

“They would not have the freedoms and the liberties that they currently have if it were not for the men and women who have lost their limbs and lost their lives in Afghanistan in trying to give them and their children a brighter future.
West said unless safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan have to be dealt with, the military should leave “because you are not going to have a secure situation.”

“You have got to deny sanctuary wherever it is. You have to cordon off this enemy. You have to interdict their free flow of men, materiel and weapons support.

“When you’ve got [the Taliban’s former Afghan head of state] Mullah Omar sitting over in Quetta; when you have got the Haqqani network sitting over there in the Tribal Areas in Pakistan launching their attacks coming in against our troops, then we have got to step this up.”


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

I will never forget when Obama said he was not seeking Victory in Afghanistan. I think it was in the fall of last year or maybe last summer. But to hear a President say such a thing is shocking, for Obama it is typical but I will never forget it as long as I live.

God bless LTC Rep. Allen West.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (3)

March 14, 2012

The Gary Sinise Foundation & Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation Team Up to Build Homes for America’s Bravest

The Gary Sinise Foundation & Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation Team Up to Build Homes for America’s Bravest

Actor Gary Sinise is joining with the families of 9/11 victims to build ‘Smart Homes’ for our most seriously wounded U.S. service members. The project, called Building for America’s Bravest, is a joint effort between the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation.

Gary Sinise and Frank Siller joined Megyn Kelly to talk about the importance of the project and how it came about. Sinise said that after our troops were deployed following 9/11, he got “very, very actively involved with supporting military charities and doing what I could to try to help people.”

Frank Siller, whose brother died on 9/11 trying to help save others, said, “We know we’re at war because of what happened, not only to Stephen, but to 3,000 people that day … Our men and women have picked up the torch since then, and have made tremendous sacrifices for us.”

Siller continued, saying, “The ones that are coming home that are severely injured, I think it is our responsibility as civilians here to make sure that we take care of them the proper way. And, this is the least that we can do.”

Sinise described the work of the program saying that through specially designed homes, they work to make the lives of quadruple amputees better.

Sinise in the green room — See what he had to say:

What made you want to start this foundation and help veterans with building Smart Homes?

Sinise: Multiple things made me want to do this for our troops. First, I have veterans in my family, both my wife’s side and my side of the family. Secondly, I got involved with Vietnam veterans groups in the early 80s in Chicago, and I played one in the movie ‘Forest Gump.’ Since I played a disabled veteran in the movie, I got involved with the Disabled American Veterans organization (DAV).

When 9/11 happened, I just wanted to do something. I didn’t want our warriors to come home and be treated like our Vietnam veterans were, so I just jumped in and tried to do as much as I could to help entertain them and support them in various ways. One of those ways is building specially designed homes for these very, very severely wounded warriors.

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

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (3)

March 03, 2012


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

God bless and protect each one of our awesome troops.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 AM | Comments (3)

January 23, 2012

Seabees Team Makes History in Afghanistan

This team of eight women completed construction of four barracks buildings in the mountains of Afghanistan in November. (Department of the Navy

Seabees team makes history in Afghanistan

It was an unusual job even for the Seabees, the U.S. Navy's construction forces trained to hold a hammer in one hand and a Beretta M9 in the other.

First, the team selected to build barracks high in the mountains of Afghanistan consisted of eight women, who are all stationed at Naval Base Ventura County. And second, the women completed the job far ahead of schedule.

Beating deadline made up for long days and freezing nights in tents without plumbing, building four 20-by-30-foot structures, said Gafayat Moradeyo, the mission commander. But when the women returned to Bagram air field, their Afghanistan base, they learned that they had nailed another achievement: a place in naval history.

Military officials say they are the first all-female construction team to take on a construction job from start to finish in the Seabees' 70-year history. And they did it in record time in the barren rocky mountains of Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold and the focus of recent combat efforts.

At first, the women had their doubts about the achievement. But after checking with military historians and naval museums, they confirmed their status, said Shelby Lutrey, 29, one of the builders.

"It's definitely something to be proud of," she said. "There is nothing wrong with hard work and good results."

The Seabees were created during World War II to fill a critical demand for construction workers who could also fight. Today, there are nine battalions operating out of two U.S. bases, deploying overseas to build airstrips, bridges, roads, living quarters, just about anything needed in a military operation.

Women first joined the Seabees in 1972 and, 22 years later, earned the right to serve alongside their male counterparts in combat zones, said Russell Stewart, a spokesman with the U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four.

The team members have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for years — some are on their third overseas tours. In mid-November, when the call went out for a team of Seabees to build barracks huts, the women put up their hands, Stewart said.

There weren't a lot of male Seabees available at the time, and Moradeyo, from the Chicago area, saw it as an opportunity for the women to prove themselves. At Bagram air base, the mission commander gathered her team, laid out what needed to be done, assembled the building materials and packed a pallet of construction tools for the trip to Helmand province.

Moradeyo and Lutrey, who are still in Afghanistan and were interviewed by phone, demurred when asked if they got any ribbing from their male counterparts. But Stewart, the Seabee spokesman, said that, initially, there was plenty of skepticism.

"Unlike most times Seabees show up to a new location, this team was welcomed with rolling eyes and comments on the order of, 'Really, a group of girls?'" Stewart said.

The builders reportedly changed minds in short order. Working 12-hour days, they agreed on site to double the size of their task, adding an operations center and a gym to the barracks already planned.

Mornings were so cold that ice coated the piles of wood, soaking their gloves as they began throwing up the buildings. They took showers using freezing water pulled by bucket from a well. They ate rice and beans. They disposed of solid waste in a bag and then burned it in a pit, Lutrey said.

"When you join the military, that's what you expect," said the native of Scottsdale, Ariz. "It might not be the most comfortable, but it's necessary."

The women worked so well together that they finished the job, including installing electricity and utilities, in two weeks. It normally takes about three weeks to complete such a project, Seabees officials said.

Lutrey chalked it up to a strong team spirit. They knew the post's soldiers had been living out of tents and mud huts, she said, and they wanted to prove the team's efficiency by quickly providing more comfortable shelter.

"It was probably one of the smoothest builds I've done while in Afghanistan," said Lutrey, who's in her third year of service. "We had a lot of camaraderie. We pushed each other to get the job done."

Besides Moradeyo and Lutrey, the work was completed by Kadisha Lee, Carla Diazcastillo, Amber Mann, Kacie Dunlavey, Jessica Vera and Shayla Miles.

Will the team stay together? Not likely, Moradeyo said. Seabees, each with differing areas of expertise, rotate in and out of construction teams. Moradeyo, for instance, was on another assignment in an undisclosed location last week with a different group of builders — one that included men.

Though immune to the deprivations of working under austere conditions, she said stray thoughts of home enter her mind sometimes as she looks down at her cracked hands and dirt-rimmed nails.

"I think, 'Oh my god, I need to get a manicure,'" she said. "And then I keep going."


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

This was interesting to me, I actually never thought of women being Seabees before.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 AM | Comments (4)

November 10, 2011

Happy 236th Birthday US Marines - 10 Nov 2011

Happy 236th Birthday US Marines - 10 Nov 2011

Thank you Marines for all you do and the sacrifices you make and have made for all of us and for America.

Wild Thing

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2010

US Military Tribute - Far Away - Nickleback

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

Our country has been so very blessed for the men and women that have served in our military and those today.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (4)

May 07, 2010

Navy Seal Matthew McCabe Was Found Not Guilty

Praise God! U.S. Navy SEAL, Petty Officer 2nd Cl Matthew McCabe has been acquitted of charges he assaulted an Iraqi prisoner! Two other SEALs were acquitted of similar charges earlier.

Here is video of Fox News' Bret Baier announcing the acquittal, and then interviewing McCabe about the verdict! It took a military jury about 1 1/2 hours to come to the decision.

"I'm ridiculously happy right now," McCabe told Baier. McCabe and the other two SEALs had refused to accept a "reprimand," and instead were willing to face Court Martial in the interests of the truth.

God bless them each one for their service, and for the incredible integrity and honor they have displayed. They never should have had to face this, but they have revealed the highest character in how they have handled it!


Navy Seal Matthew McCabe was found not guilty


A Virginia military jury found a Navy SEAL not guilty Thursday on all charges he punched an Iraqi suspected in the 2004 killings of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah.

“I’m really happy right now,” Matthew McCabe, the Navy SEAL, told Fox News shortly after hearing the outcome of the court martial. “It’s an amazing feeling. I’m on cloud nine right now.”

McCabe, a special operations petty officer second class, called the proceedings “troubling at times,” adding “having your career on the line is not an easy thing to handle.

McCabe was the third and final Navy SEAL to be prosecuted in the case. He had faced charges of assault, making a false official statement and dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee. McCabe was accused of punching last year is Ahmed Hashim Abed, the suspected mastermind of the grisly killings six years ago.

After the court martial, the 24-year-old from Perrysburg, Ohio, thanked the public for its continued support.


Rep. Dan Burton Statement On Navy SEAL Matt McCabe Being Found Not Guilty

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN-05) issued the following statement after Navy SEAL Matt McCabe was found not guilty of all charges related to the alleged abuse of an al-Qaeda terrorist detainee:

"My heartfelt congratulations go to Petty Officer McCabe and his family. I know they have endured many stressful months in anticipation of this trial. With all three Navy SEALs now cleared of all charges in this case, I believe this sends a very positive signal to the men and women in uniform who are fighting for America around the world today.

"I join the many thousands of Americans who cheer for SEALs McCabe, Keefe, and Huertas tonight, and on behalf of the 35,000 who signed my petition for these three heroes, I thank them for their honorable service, and welcome them back to duty."


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

Thank God!

They should never! have been charged!!!!!!!!!!!! The whole dang case was a travesty from the gitgo.

....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 05:55 AM | Comments (5)

May 06, 2010

Obama Did This Last Year Now NATO Commanders Are Pushing For a New “Courageous Restraint” Award

NATO Commanders are pushing for a new “courageous restraint” award to recognize and celebrate the troops who exhibit extraordinary courage and self-control by not using their weapons even when their lives are at risk.


NATO commanders are weighing a new way to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan: recognizing soldiers for “courageous restraint” if they avoid using force that could endanger innocent lives.

The concept comes as the coalition continues to struggle with the problem of civilian casualties despite repeated warnings from the top NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, that the war effort hinges on the ability to protect the population and win support away from the Taliban.

Those who back the idea hope it will provide soldiers with another incentive to think twice before calling in an airstrike or firing at an approaching vehicle if civilians could be at risk.

Most military awards in the past have been given for things like soldiers taking out a machine gun nest or saving their buddies in a firefight, said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, the senior NATO enlisted man in Afghanistan.
“We are now considering how we look at awards differently,” he said.

British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, the NATO commander of troops in southern Afghanistan, proposed the idea of awarding soldiers for “courageous restraint” during a visit by Hall to Kandahar Airfield in mid April. McChrystal is now reviewing the proposal to determine how it could be implemented, Hall said.

…”There should be an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the troops who exhibit extraordinary courage and self-control by not using their weapons, but instead taking personal risk to de-escalate tense and potentially disastrous situations,” the statement said.

NATO commanders are not planning to create a new medal or military decoration for "courageous restraint," but instead are looking at ways of using existing awards to recognize soldiers who go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, Hall said.

But some U.S. Army soldiers here at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in Kandahar province are skeptical that the chance of winning an award is going to change the way troops make decisions on the battlefield.

"Not a single one of these guys does it for the medals," said Capt. Edward Graham, referring to the soldiers in his company.

Graham, whose company is part of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, said soldiers are constantly forced to weigh the duty they have to protect their colleagues against the goal of avoiding civilian casualties.


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

I cannot handle this crap. This is just another liberal way of saying “we hope your troops die” while claiming to be about peace. THIS IS WAR YOU MORONS. Getting along is for PEACE TIME. OMG where did America go? I want her back!! GOD please bless our soldiers and protect them.

Actually this has been in place foe our troops since last spring ...FROM Obama! Along with if they capture a terrorist, they have to read them their Miranda Rights.

Obama's R.O.E. 's have resulted in a doubling, per month, of losses for our troops.

Here's a grim example: Even when they were pinned down and being killed - and assured command there were no civilians (and what if there had been, if the shooters were in the midst of them - I don't know what's happened to the original video with the actual voice of the radio man desperately trying to get air cover - that was refused - and 4 died - there’a video here - but not the original one - more of the administrating demanding a scrub “for security reason” - but the story is here - and it it NOT the only one! Our troops hands are tied and they are little bu Judas goats now.

Story is at this LINK.. CLICK HERE

I HATE Obama to the core!!!!!!! And I HATE NATO!

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

RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company

13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (4)

Prosecution Rests in Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe’s Court Martial

Prosecution Rests in Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe’s Court Martial

FOX News


The prosecution has rested its case in the military trial of 24 year old Matthew McCabe, the Navy SEAL accused of assaulting a suspected terrorist he had helped capture last September in Iraq. Ahmed Hashim Abed, accused of killing four American contractors in Fallujah six years ago, claims he was beaten while in the custody of McCabe and two other Navy SEALs.

Earlier, as prosecutors called their witnesses, Navy Petty Officer Third Class Kevin Demartino, who is not a SEAL, testified that he saw McCabe deliver a "right punch to the chest" of his detainee.

Demartino was in charge of the detention facility where the disputed incident occurred, and was responsible for the prisoner's safety. He testified that after he witnessed the assault, three Navy SEALs left the detainee's cell. Demartino says Abed had fallen from his chair to the floor and there was blood coming from under the prisoner's hood.

A Navy commander who was in charge of all American forces in Fallujah at the time, also testified today. He says he noticed Abed's bloodied mouth the next morning and asked Demartino what had happened, but didn't get an answer.

Asked on cross examination why he said nothing at first about the alleged assault, Demartino told the court "I had a choice of being in good graces with the Navy SEALs or being in good graces with God." Demartino admits he's guilty of dereliction of duty for not immediately reporting what he saw.

Abed is the alleged mastermind of the grisly attack on four Blackwater contractors who were ambushed and killed in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Their bodies were burned and dragged through the streets as crowds cheered. Two of the bodies were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

This is the second day of testimony in the case of McCabe, the Navy SEAL from Perrysberg, Ohio. A seven member jury is hearing the case, presided over by a Judge Advocate General, Captain Moira Modelewski. Two other SEALs faced trial in Baghdad and were found not guilty last month. Demartino gave the same testimony in those earlier trials.

Abed's taped testimony was heard in open court Tuesday. He said he was handcuffed and blindfolded and placed on a chair in the holding cell. He claims he was hit on the back and shoulders and knocked to the floor. He says he was kicked in the stomach and sworn at while he was down. But he says he could only see one person's feet and legs from under his hood and cannot identify his assailant.

The defense claims Al Qaeda detainees are trained to claim abuse and that Abed caused his own lip to bleed.

Abed testified in person during the previous two trials, but the defense in this case declined the opportunity to confront the accuser in court. If McCabe's lawyers had wanted Abed to testify in person, the trial would have been held in Iraq, where Abed remains a prisoner of the Iraqi government.

In his testimony Wednesday, Petty Officer Demartino said two of the Navy SEALs in the holding cell at the time of the alleged assault basically told him not to worry about any injuries to Abed. On the witness stand, Demartino says he was told by Pettty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe, "Don't feel bad for this guy." And, according to Demartino, Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas said, "He's killed Americans." Keefe and Huertas are the two SEALs earlier acquitted in this case.


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

I hope that Navy Petty Officer Third Class Kevin Demartino, who is not a Navy Seal, enjoys the wrath and scorn of his peers everyday for the rest of his career in the Navy. The PO is an informer and a Judas. Maybe he will leave the service and be on leftist TV and other groups I bet, because they would be the only ones to accept him, unless he becomes a high official in the Obama administration.

....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 05:48 AM | Comments (4)

May 01, 2010

Troops in Afghanistan Perform 'Telephone'

This video remake of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video was reportedly filmed at a FOB in Farah Province, Afghanistan by Army troops assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. According to The Smoking Gun, the video was choreographed by Aaron Melcher, a 24-year-old married soldier from North Carolina.

LOL this was a lot of work they put into this. They should force the Taliban to watch this. Remember how the terrorists complained when they had to listen to Barney the children's show etc. over and over again. hahaha

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:45 AM

April 30, 2010

More From ANTI-American Mikey Weinstein 's (Military Religious Freedom Foundation) Says Army Symbol Is Religious, Should Be Changed ~ WTF!


A religious watchdog group says a cross and motto on the emblem of an Army hospital in Colorado violate the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state and should be removed.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation asked the Army this week to change the emblem of Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, outside Colorado Springs.

The emblem says "Pro deo et humanitate" or "For God and humanity."

Fort Carson commanders will review the complaint, Lt. Col. Steve Wollman said.
He said the emblem had been approved by the Army Institute of Heraldry and has been in use since 1969.
Wollman said references to doctors serving God and humanity date to the time of Hippocrates, a pre-Christianity Greek physician.
Wollman said the cross, which has a pointed base, is both an emblem of mercy and a symbol dating to the Middle Ages, when pilgrims carried a cross with a spiked base to mark the site of a camp.
Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said that's a reference to the Crusades and could embolden U.S. enemies who want to portray the war on terror as a Christian war on Islam.
"This continues to add more fodder to the argument that we are Crusaders," Weinstein said. "It's exactly what fundamentalist Muslims want."

Weinstein's foundation, based in Albuquerque, N.M., last week persuaded the Army to withdraw an invitation to evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at the Pentagon on May 6, the National Day of Prayer.

Military Religious Freedom Foundation


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

What a total POS this Mikey Weinstein is. What's wrong Mikey and what the F kind of name is that for a grown man....oops sorry guess that was a strectch huh Mikey to call you a MAN! Mikey Weinstein.... muzzy sympathizer!

God will judge America and it won’t be pretty. I truly fear for the future of our beloved America.

These people on the left are tripping our country from our heritage - one piece at a time!

The motto of Fort Carson’s 10th Combat Support Hospital is “IN CRUCE VINCAM” which translates to “I Shall Conquer By The Cross”. And the CSH’s distinctive unit insignia has two *gasp!* crosses on it (one maroon and one white). That would really make their heads explode!

"...constitutional requirement for separation of church and state..."

There is no separation of "church and state" in the Constitution. It does forbid the creation of a state religion (such as the Church of England). The language of the First Amendment says that Congress will not pass any laws regarding the establishment of a religion. That means that the Federal government (and now the states) may not create an established religion. An established religion is one that is favored above others through financial and other support that is not available to other religions. For example, the Church of England is the established religion of Great Britain. It receives financial support from the State. The 26 most senior Bishops (including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York) sit in the House of Lords and vote on legislation as a right of their position in the Church. That is an established religion. We do not have an established religion in the U.S. Putting up a cross on public land to commemorate war dead or “In God We Trust” on our money isn’t creating an established religion either.

Mikey Weinstein can go take a flying leap!

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (11)

April 18, 2010

Global Shield Interval Take Off (MITO) launch of B-52’s and K-135’s

This is how we did the MITO back in the day, BEFORE the colapse of the Soviet Union. These are B-52G's and KC-135A's from the 416 BMW, at the former Griffiss AFB, NY. The Buff with the old "lizzard" paint scheme is piloted by Capt. John Hannen. The loud voices you hear are the maint specialists that stayed up all night getting the air[lanes ready.

From BobF:

"Video of a Global Shield Minimum Interval Take Off (MITO) launch of B-52’s and K-135’s back in 1987. This was back in the glory days of the Strategic Air Command under President Ronald Reagan. What you’re seeing in the video is taking place, simultaneously, at every SAC base in the United States. Every B-52 in the video was eventually sent to the boneyard by HW Bush to be chopped up according to STAT Treaty. We went from a fleet of 300 of these monsters to under 70 today.
You’ll notice the KC-135’s are flying heavy by the amount of runway they’re taking and they’re also trying to fly under the jet wash of the BUFF’s. The turbulence really bounces them around. "

From a comment at YouTube::

"I'm counting 12-17 seconds in between each plane. Absolutely stunning"

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

LOVE it! I wish we still had all of these. I hate it so much how there have been cut backs in our military.
I want it all for our troops and more.

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

1973 - 1999

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:48 AM | Comments (6)

February 24, 2010

Around Afghanistan by Michael Yon

Flight Medics prepare the aircraft to receive patients.

Around Afghanistan
22 February 2010

from Michael Yon

“Johnny Boy” Captain John Holland was walking out to the aircraft just as I arrived at the flight line.

Captain Holland asked, “Are you ready?”

“Yes Sir.”

The Marjah offensive—billed as the biggest US/NATO/Afghan assault on the Taliban ever—had begun. With it, the attention of nearly all the reporters covering Afghanistan is focused on Marjah. Yet fighting continues across the country, in provinces with names unfamiliar to most people. Men and women are wounded. Some die. Some are saved by dedicated medical crews, and by the pilots who fly into combat to ferry wounded to some of the best trauma facilities in the world, right here in Afghanistan.


Specialists of various sorts were loading all kinds of gear, most of which was so foreign to me that it might as well have been space gear. TSGT Matt Blonde said the gear weighs about 800 pounds and has the capabilities of a hospital intensive care unit.

An ambulatory patient strapped on his seatbelt and a sedated Canadian soldier was loaded.After detailed preparations, checks and rechecks, they were ready to receive a critical care patient. Medical staff explained that this Canadian soldier had been wounded during training by a Claymore mine. In total, four Canadians were wounded when another Canadian soldier, Corporal Joshua Caleb Bake, was killed near Kandahar.


Doctor Chris Ryan works with the wounded Canadian soldier. During flight from Kandahar to Bastion to Bagram, the team was at his side constantly checking this or that.The CCATT (Critical Care Air Transport Team) consisted of Tech Sergeant Matt Blonde (respiratory therapist); Major Debbie Lehker (nurse); and Lieutenant Colonel Chris Ryan (doctor). I asked Doctor Ryan what precautions troops should take to reduce the wounds he is seeing. Some of the advice was obvious. NCOs push soldiers to wear their ballistic glasses, for instance. Burns were a constant, serious problem in Iraq, but less so in Afghanistan, due to the nature of the bombs.

Dr. Ryan mentioned that Special Operations folks often take the worst injuries because their body armor offers less coverage, and so they often take from 1-3 amputations. He gave considerable credit to special operations medics. “They are studs,” he said. High praise indeed, coming from someone with his experience.

Strykers are great vehicles, but none of our vehicles is ideally suited for combat here. Stryker vehicles typically have about three soldiers standing up in hatches, sometimes on MRE boxes. Dr. Ryan said that when the bombs detonate under the vehicles, soldiers often suffer 5-7 fractures in each leg. Other fractures include feet, pelvis, back, ribs, arms, and neck.

Doctor Ryan stressed repeatedly the value of wearing seatbelts. The bombs smash you into the vehicle. Dr. Ryan served with Dustoffs during the worst times in Iraq. He’s seen many more wounds than most soldiers will ever see. So I listened to him. But often when soldiers see me putting on a seatbelt in a Stryker, they warn me to take it off. “Wear it if you like,” they say, but they warn that if we get launched and are upside down, I’ll be stuck in a possibly burning vehicle. This has happened plenty of times. So we all carry seatbelt cutters that can also be used to strip off boots and uniforms of wounded soldiers. But the soldiers are adamant that wearing seatbelts worsens your odds. I do not know who is correct. You get thrown hard without them, and stuck with them.

So, I asked Command Sergeant Major Jeff Mellinger, who served almost three straight years in Iraq. We drove thousands of miles around the country, visiting units everywhere. CSM Mellinger also visited Combat Support Hospitals twice per week. He read every single casualty report—thousands—and was the CSM for General Casey then General Petraeus. In short, CSM Mellinger knows the combat side, and the statistical side. Today he is the CSM for AMC—Army Materiel Command—with responsibility for every bean, bullet, bandage, helicopter, tank and seatbelt in the Army inventory. He talks bluntly and I take his word as the final statement.


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

Michael Yon's website has a whole page of photos and his write up . It is well worth going over to it and reading his page and seeing the photos he has posted there.


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

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:47 AM

February 09, 2010

Obama Forces Military Hospitals to Stock Morning After Pill

Obama Administration Forces Military Hospitals to Stock Morning After Pill


Obama administration issued a new order for the U.S. military requiring all military hospitals and health centers to stock the morning after pill. The Department of Defense will soon begin having military medical facilities stock the Plan B drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

The Obama administration's decision came after the Pentagon's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, an advisory panel, made the recommendation to stock the drug.

The PPTC suggested stocking both Plan B and the Next Choice generic of the morning after pill.

The decision is the latest to have President Barack Obama overturning pro-life policies during the Bush administration and follows him forcing Americans to pay for abortions and embryonic stem cell research with their tax dollars.

Obama's decision is not going over well with Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America.

"The military needs to focus on its prime mission, yet leftists view it as a means to promote their agenda," she told LifeNews.com. "The morning-after pill is highly ineffective in preventing pregnancies and completely useless in preventing sexually-transmitted diseases. But it's a political tool for abortion advocates."

Wright worries the decision is the first step to pushing abortions at military hospitals.

"By making this drug required, the next step will making drugs like RU-486, the abortion pill, mandatory," she said. "And doctors or pharmacists who have objections will be purged from the ranks."

"The military needs to focus on discipline and proper behavior - because lives depend on it - not promoting risky behavior," Wright continued.

Nancy Keenan of NARAL, a national pro-abortion group, lobbied the Obama administration to overturn the policy and applauded the decision to do so.

"It's a tragedy that women in uniform have been denied such basic health care," she said in a statement. "We applaud the medical experts for standing up for military women."

Keenan said the more than 350,000 women in the military would be benefited by the decision.

But Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, told the Washington Post she also disagreed with the decision.

"It can prevent the embryo from implanting and therefore destroy a human life," she said.

"Women serving in the military deserve to know the truth about their medications. Because this can be the difference between preventing and destroying life, a requirement to carry this drug could violate the conscience rights of military personnel who have moral objections," Monahan continued.

Wright also worries the military will eventually promote Ellaone, a new drug that is billed as a morning after pill that works up to 5 days after sex, but, in reality, is an abortion drug.

"A new drug similar to RU-486 can reportedly be used as a 'morning-after pill'. So designating the morning-after pill as required to stock, and easy to obtain, may open the door for an abortion pill - which undisputedly kills an unborn child and can be extremely dangerous to the mother - to fit in that category," she concludes.


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

And yet the VA can not provide Diabetics but two test strips per week At least that is what I have been told by seveeral Veterans.

....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 05:49 AM | Comments (3)

February 06, 2010

Honoring Four Chaplains Day....The Four Chaplains

The Four Chaplains were four United States Army chaplains who gave their lives to save other soldiers during the sinking of the troop ship USAT Dorchester during World War II. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.

The Four Chaplains:

Rabbi Alexander Goode
Rev. George L. Fox
Rev. Clark V. Poling
Father John P. Washington


The U.S.A.T. Dorchester was an aging, luxury coastal liner that was no longer luxurious. In the nearly four years from December 7, 1941 to September 2, 1945 more than 16 million American men and women were called upon to defend human dignity and freedom on two fronts, in Europe and the Pacific. Moving so large a force to the battlefields was a monumental effort, and every available ship was being pressed into service. Some of these were converted into vessels of war, others to carrying critical supplies to the men and women in the field. The Dorchester was designated to be a transport ship. All non-critical amenities were removed and cots were crammed into every available space.

The intent was to get as many young fighting men as possible on each voyage. When the soldiers boarded in New York on January 23, 1943 the Dorchester certainly was filled to capacity. In addition to the Merchant Marine crew and a few civilians, young soldiers filled every available space. There were 902 lives about to be cast to the mercy of the frigid North Atlantic.

As the Dorchester left New York for an Army base in Greenland, many dangers lay ahead. The sea itself was always dangerous, especially in this area known for ice flows, raging waters, and gale force winds. The greatest danger, however, was the ever present threat of German submarines, which had recently been sinking Allied ships at the rate of 100 every month. The Dorchester would be sailing through an area that had become infamous as "Torpedo Junction".

The crossing was filled with long hours of boredom and misery. Outside, the chilly Arctic winds and cold ocean spray coated the Dorchester's deck with ice. Below deck the soldiers' quarters were hot from too many bodies, crammed into too small a place, for too many days in a row. Finally, on February 2nd, the Dorchester was within 150 miles of Greenland. It would have generated a great sense of relief among the young soldiers crowded in the ship's berths, had not the welcomed news been tempered by other news of grave concern. One of the Dorchester's three Coast Guard escorts had received sonar readings during the day, indicating the presence of an enemy submarine in "Torpedo Junction".

Hans Danielson, the Dorchester's captain, listened to the news with great concern. His cargo of human lives had been at sea for ten days, and was finally nearing its destination. If he could make it through the night, air cover would arrive with daylight to safely guide his ship home. The problem would be surviving the night. Aware of the potential for disaster, he instructed the soldiers to sleep in their clothes and life jackets....just in case. Below deck however, it was hot and sweaty as too many bodies lay down, closely packed in the cramped quarters. Many of the men, confident that tomorrow would dawn without incident, elected to sleep in their underwear. The life jackets were also hot and bulky, so many men set them aside as an unnecessary inconvenience.

Quiet moments passed as silent death reached out for the men of the Dorchester, then the early morning was shattered by the flash of a blinding explosion and the roar of massive destruction. The "hit" had been dead on, tossing men from their cots with the force of its explosion. A second torpedo followed the first, instantly killing 100 men in the hull of the ship. Power was knocked out by the explosion in the engine room, and darkness engulfed the frightened men below deck as water rushed through gaping wounds in the Dorchester's hull. The ship tilted at an unnatural angle as it began to sink rapidly, and piles of clothing and life jackets were tossed about in the darkness where no one would ever find them.

Slowly soldiers began to find their way to the deck of the ship, many still in their underwear, where they were confronted by the cold winds blowing down from the arctic. Petty Officer John J. Mahoney, reeling from the cold, headed back towards his cabin. "Where are you going?" a voice of calm in the sea of distressed asked?

To get my gloves," Mahoney replied.

"Here, take these," said Rabbi Goode as he handed a pair of gloves to the young officer who would never have survived the trip to his cabin and then back to safety.

"I can't take those gloves," Mahoney replied.

"Never mind," the Rabbi responded. "I have two pairs." Mahoney slipped the gloves over his hands and returned to the frigid deck, never stopping to ponder until later when he had reached safety, that there was no way Rabbi Goode would have been carrying a spare set of gloves. As that thought finally dawned on him he came to a new understanding of what was transpiring in the mind of the fearless Chaplain. Somehow, Rabbi Goode suspected that he would himself, never leave the Dorchester alive.

In the chaos around them, life boats floated away before men could board them. Others capsized as panic continued to shadow reason and soldiers loaded the small craft beyond limit. The strength, calm, and organization of the Chaplains had been so critical in the dark hull. Now, on deck, they found that their mission had not been fully accomplished. They organized the effort, directed men to safety, and left them with parting words of encouragement. In little more than twenty minutes, the Dorchester was almost gone. Icy waves broke over the railing, tossing men into the sea, many of them without life jackets. In the last moments of the transport's existence, the Chaplains were too occupied opening lockers to pass out life jackets to note the threat to their own lives.

In less than half an hour, water was beginning to flow across the deck of the sinking Dorchester. Working against time the Chaplains continued to pass out the life vests from the lockers as the soldiers pressed forward in a ragged line. And then....the lockers were all empty...the life jackets gone. Those still pressing in line began to realize they were doomed, there was no hope. And then something amazing happened, something those who were there would never forget. All Four Chaplains began taking their own life jackets off....and putting them on the men around them. Together they sacrificed their last shred of hope for survival, to insure the survival of other men.... most of them total strangers. Then time ran out. The Chaplains had done all they could for those who would survive, and nothing more could be done for the remaining...including themselves.

Those who had been fortunate enough to reach lifeboats struggled to distance themselves from the sinking ship, lest they be pulled beneath the ocean swells by the chasm created as the transport slipped into a watery grave. Then, amid the screams of pain and horror that permeated the cold dark night, they heard the strong voices of the Chaplains. "Shma Yisroel Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echod." "Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done."

Looking back they saw the slanting deck of the Dorchester, its demise almost complete. Braced against the railings were the Four Chaplains...praying...singing, giving strength to others by their final valiant declaration of faith. Their arms were linked together as they braced against the railing and leaned into each other for support, Reverend Fox, Rabbi Goode, Reverend Poling, and Father Washington. Said one of the survivors, "It was the finest thing I have ever seen this side of heaven."

And then, only 27 minutes after the first torpedo struck, the last vestige of the U.S.A.T. Dorchester disappeared beneath the cold North Atlantic waters. In it's death throes it reached out to claim any survivors nearby, taking with it to its grave the four ministers of different faiths who learned to find strength in their diversity by focusing on the Father they shared.


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

I had never heard about this story before. Thank you RAC for this video. Michele Bachman does a wonderful reading of what happened. I wish more of our politicians would care about our history and what our Veterans have done.

Their willing, knowing and loving ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to God and country so "that others may live"....what heroes our country has had and has today.

Here is video of singer Wintley Phipps singing their story in the song, "Four Chaplains on the Sea of Glory":


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

RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company

13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (5)

January 28, 2010

A Stirring Tribute by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North USMC (Ret)

This video tribute on the front lines is the story of true patriots, told by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North at the NRA Annual Meetings in 2009. It's a stirring profile of the spirited, courageous guardians of our precious freedoms. America's best .


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

This is soooo awesome! It gave me goosebumps! Thank you Oliver North. And a HUGE thank you to all of our troops and Veterans.


....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 03:45 AM | Comments (3)

January 24, 2010

U.S. Marine Corps Ends Role in Iraq

Harry Reid back in 2007 saying war is lost in Iraq

The US Marine Corps finished their work in Iraq on Saturday

U.S. Marine Corps Ends Role in Iraq

FOX News

The U.S. Marine Corps wrapped nearly seven years in Iraq on Saturday, handing over duties to the Army and signaling the beginning of an accelerated withdrawal of American troops as the U.S. turns its focus away from the waning Iraqi war to a growing one in Afghanistan.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden held talks with Iraqi leaders amid growing tensions over plans to ban election candidates because of suspected links to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The White House worries the bans could raise questions over the fairness of the March 7 parliamentary elections, which are seen as an important step in the American pullout timetable and breaking political stalemates over key issues such as dividing Iraq’s oil revenue.

The Marines formally handed over control of Sunni-dominated Anbar, Iraq’s largest province, to the Army during a ceremony at a base in Ramadi — where some of the fiercest fighting of the war took place.

If all goes as planned, the last remaining Marines will be followed out by tens of thousands of soldiers in the coming months. President Obama has ordered all but 50,000 troops out of the country by Aug. 31, 2010, with most to depart after the March 7 parliamentary election.

The remaining troops will leave by the end of 2011 under a U.S.-Iraqi security pact.

As many as 25,000 Marines were in Iraq at the peak, mostly in Anbar province. The few thousand who remain — except for U.S. Embassy guards and advisers in Baghdad — are expected to ship out in a matter of weeks.


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

Hello Harry Reid , I thought you told us we lost in Iraq. Thank You George Bush for providing the leadership to get the job done. Thank you, Lord, for these brave men and women.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (5)

Lockheed's HULC Super-Soldier Exoskeleton Gets More Juice

Lockheed's HULC Super-Soldier Exoskeleton Gets More Juice

Popular Science

Even the finest super-soldier suit can end up as expensive deadweight if the batteries run out of juice. Lockheed Martin wants to avoid that fate for its robotic exoskeleton by turning to fuel cells that can power the suit for days, The Register reports.

Lockheed's Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) is a mechanized frame that allows soldiers to march or even run easily with loads of 200 pounds, as well as squat or kneel without trouble. But the current li-ion batteries supporting the suit typically run down after just a few hours of walking, not to mention running.

That could all change with fuel cells that could sustain 72-hour missions on a single charge, and provide power sockets to spare for military accessories that require their own batteries. Lockheed announced its choice of the Protonex Technology Corporation to develop such fuel cells on Wednesday.

We here at PopSci love our Iron Man suits, and so we're happy to see longer-lasting versions in the works. After all, it'd be a shame for our robotic warfighters to run down when the Energizer Bunny keeps going on its dinky batteries.

The HULC is a completely un-tethered, hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton that provides users with the ability to carry loads of up to 200 lbs for extended periods of time and over all terrains.


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

More improved equipment for our troops. Amazing stuff!

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

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (6)

January 23, 2010

Lt. Andrew Kinard, and Trace Adkins, and the West Point Cadet Glee Club

Lt. Andrew Kinard, Trace Adkins, the West Point Cadet Glee Club at the Academy of Country Music Awards

Las Vegas, 5 April 2009. Trace Adkins sings ...."Till the Last Shot's Fired"....with the West Point Cadet Glee Club

"Somebody from the ACM asked if I'd perform that song" he says. "They'd heard the performance on the new record and they were looking for a way to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and they called and asked if I'd do it."
He said yes, of course, and recently spent a few hours one afternoon at West Point practicing with the glee club. "It was a thrill," Adkins said of visiting the military academy.
"It's the least I can do," said Trace, who has performed on some USO tours and visited injured soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center


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

I posted this before, and it is so very special it is a real honor to post it again.

Lt. Andrew Kinard a warrior and an American hero. He was on the stage with Trace Atkins and introduced the song. Thank you Lt. Andrew Kinard, words cannot be enough for my gratitude that you loved America too and served our country. To say thank you to our wounded troops seems so small for all they have sacrificed and for all our Veterans and our troops active today. But it is a start, that first acknowledgment that America has been great and free because of each one of them. Never will we forget one single warrior, one single Veteran or service member..... Never.

Marine Lieutenant Andrew Kinard was on patrol in Iraq and was hit by an IED (three other Marines were hit, too). Apparently, before shock set in, Kinard established security and asked about his men, then passed out. The damage to his body was extremely severe. I don't know who the hospital corpsman was who assisted Lt. Kinard, but I know that Kinard went into cardiac arrest twice and lost most of his blood - whoever that corpsman is, he is a miracle worker. Andrew was flown to Al Asad (by that time had used 67 units of blood), then Germany and now Bethesda. He has lost his right leg above the knee, the left leg at his pelvis, and he has lots of internal damage to his intestines, kidneys, etc. He's on a ventalator. He is fighting infections. He's been awake only a few times since his injury...

Marine 2nd Lt. Andrew Kinard of Spartanburg received a hero's welcome at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Wounded Marine to meet fellow warriors


from April of 2007

"Welcome home, Lieutenant."

There was something victorious about the way Marine 2nd Lt. Andrew Kinard exited the beige minivan that brought him here from Ellis Airport Sunday.

It wasn't arrogance. Andrew often said he felt "honored" by the support he'd received. He regularly took the attention off himself, turning instead to his fellow Marines who kept fighting in Iraq when he was unable to.

"I just represent one person, out of all these Marines that really were willing to give their all," Andrew said. "I want to make sure to emphasize those who couldn't make it, the Marines who paid the ultimate price."

The nonprofit Hope for the Warriors foundation made possible the trip from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and gave Andrew a $22,000 all-terrain wheelchair that can easily plow through snow and accommodate any hunting he might like to do.

He will spend most of this week at the Warrior House I, an on-base home fitted with a handicapped-accessible ramp and amenities. He'll have dinner with a general, and maybe get to play X-Box on a big-screen television with his buddies.

But the highlight of the week comes today, when Alpha Company -- Andrew's company -- gets home from a seven-month deployment.

In all, about 270 Marines and sailors from various arms of the 2nd Marine Division's 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion will roll into

Camp Lejeune today.

It's a moment Andrew has been waiting for since fully waking up in a hospital a month after the blast.

And, it's a moment that almost didn't happen.

Andrew had emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage just two weeks ago, a surgery his family wasn't sure he'd recover from in time to make it here.

But for months, the young Marine has been saying that "even if they had to push him down in a hospital bed, he was going to be here," his father, Dr. Harry Kinard said.

"This homecoming helped him get where he is today," said Cpl. Patrick Elswick, who has been with Andrew throughout his recovery.
"All the little details, and the struggles he had, this was his main focus. Even when he had setbacks, he'd work extra hard to get here."

....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 04:50 AM | Comments (4)

January 18, 2010

U.S. Army Maj. Jim Gant The Green Beret



Jim Gant, the Green Beret who could win the war in Afghanistan

The Wshington Post

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It was the spring of 2003, and Capt. Jim Gant and his Special Forces team had just fought their way out of an insurgent ambush in Afghanistan's Konar province when they heard there was trouble in the nearby village of Mangwel. There, Gant had a conversation with a tribal chief -- a chance encounter that would redefine his mission in Afghanistan and that, more than six years later, could help salvage the faltering U.S. war effort.

Malik Noorafzhal, an 80-year-old tribal leader, told Gant that he had never spoken to an American before and asked why U.S. troops were in his country. Gant, whose only orders upon arriving in Afghanistan days earlier had been to "kill and capture anti-coalition members," responded by pulling out his laptop and showing Noorafzhal a video of the World Trade Center towers crumbling.

That sparked hours of conversation between the intense 35-year-old Green Beret and the elder in a tribe of 10,000. "I spent a lot of time just listening," Gant said. "I spoke only when I thought I understood what had been said."

In an unusual and unauthorized pact, Gant and his men were soon fighting alongside tribesmen in local disputes and against insurgents, at the same time learning ancient tribal codes of honor, loyalty and revenge -- codes that often conflicted with the sharia law that the insurgents sought to impose. But the U.S. military had no plans to leverage the Pashtun tribal networks against the insurgents, so Gant kept his alliances quiet.

No longer. In recent months, Gant, now a major, has won praise at the highest levels for his effort to radically deepen the U.S. military's involvement with Afghan tribes -- and is being sent back to Afghanistan to do just that. His 45-page paper, "One Tribe at a Time," published online last fall and circulating widely within the U.S. military, the Pentagon and Congress, lays out a strategy focused on empowering Afghanistan's ancient tribal system. Gant believes that with the central government still weak and corrupt, the tribes are the only enduring source of local authority and security in the country.

"We will be totally unable to protect the 'civilians' in the rural areas of Afghanistan until we partner with the tribes for the long haul," Gant wrote.

A decorated war veteran and Pashto speaker with multiple tours in Afghanistan, Gant had been assigned by the Army to deploy to Iraq in November. But with senior military and civilian leaders -- including Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates; Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan; and Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command -- expressing support for Gant's views, he was ordered instead to return to Afghanistan later this year to work on tribal issues.

"Maj. Jim Gant's paper is very impressive -- so impressive, in fact, that I shared it widely," Petraeus said, while McChrystal distributed it to all commanders in Afghanistan. One senior military official went so far as to call Gant "Lawrence of Afghanistan."
The abrupt about-face surprised the blunt-spoken major. "I couldn't believe it," Gant said in a recent interview, recalling how his orders were canceled just days before he was set to deploy to Iraq. "How do I know they are serious? They contacted me. I am not a very nice guy. I lead men in combat. I am not a Harvard guy. You don't want me on your think tank."
Gant, who sports tattoos on his right arm featuring Achilles and the Chinese characters for "fear no man," is clearly comfortable with the raw violence that is part of his job. An aggressive officer, he is known to carry triple the ammunition required for his missions. (One fellow soldier referred to this habit as a "Gantism.") But he is equally at ease playing for hours with Afghan children or walking hand-in-hand with tribesmen, as is their custom.

As a teenager in Las Cruces, N.M., Gant was headed to college on a basketball scholarship and had no plans to join the military until he read Robin Moore's 1965 fictionalized account of Special Forces actions in Vietnam. Captivated by the unique type of soldier who waged war with indigenous fighters, Gant decided to become a Green Beret and scheduled an appointment with his father, a middle school principal, to break the news.

Enlisting in the Army soon after his high school graduation, Gant became a Special Forces communications sergeant and fought in the Persian Gulf War. Later, as a captain, he served combat tours in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, and one in Iraq during the height of the violence there in 2006 and 2007.

Intellectually, Gant is driven by a belief that Special Forces soldiers should immerse themselves in the culture of foreign fighters, as British officer T.E. Lawrence did during the 1916-1918 Arab revolt. In Iraq as well as in Afghanistan, Gant relied on his Special Forces training to build close bonds with local fighters, often trusting them with his life.

In Iraq in December 2006, a roadside bomb flipped over Gant's Humvee twice and left it engulfed in flames, with him pinned inside. Members of the Iraqi National Police battalion that Gant was advising pulled him out. Soon afterward, Gant led those same police in fighting their way out of a complex insurgent ambush near the city of Balad, saving the lives of two policemen and an Iraqi girl while under heavy fire, and deliberately driving his Humvee over two roadside bombs to protect the police riding in unarmored trucks behind him.

Gant earned a Silver Star for his bravery, but he remembers most the goat sacrifice the police held for him that day. "We had just won a great battle. We had several [police] commandos there, with several goats, and they were putting their hands in the blood, and putting their handprints all over us and on the vehicles," Gant recalled in a 2007 interview. He felt both strange and honored. "It's something I will never forget," he said.

Under Gant's plan, small "tribal engagement teams," each made up of six culturally astute and battle-tested Special Forces soldiers, would essentially go native, moving into villages with rifles, ammunition and money to empower tribal leaders to improve security in their area and fight insurgents. The teams would always operate with the tribes, reducing the risk of roadside bombs and civilian casualties from airstrikes.

The U.S. military would have to grant the teams the leeway to grow beards and wear local garb, and enough autonomy in the chain of command to make rapid decisions. Most important, to build relationships, the military would have to commit one or two teams to working with the same tribe for three to five years, Gant said.

Such a strategy, he argues, would bolster McChrystal's counterinsurgency campaign by tapping thousands of tribal fighters to secure rural populations, allowing international troops and official Afghan forces to focus on large towns and cities. Building strong partnerships with the tribes, whose domains straddle Afghanistan's border with Pakistan, could also prove critical to defeating insurgents entrenched in Pakistan's western tribal areas, he contends.

Adm. Eric Olson, who leads the 57,000-strong Special Operations Command, said in the latest issue of Joint Force Quarterly that Gant's proposal is "innovative and bold" and likely to have "strategic effects." And in recent congressional testimony, Gates agreed that the U.S. military should step up cooperation with Afghan tribes, saying many security responsibilities are likely to fall on them rather than the Afghan army or police force.
Thorough intelligence analysis should drive the selection of the tribes, Gant said, noting that the U.S. military has already gathered much of the intelligence. "There are 500-page documents breaking these tribes down. You would be shocked how much we know about who is who," he said.

Gant's proposals go well beyond the more cautious tribal-outreach efforts underway in Afghanistan, where the U.S. military is experimenting with neighborhood-watch-type programs such as the Community Defense Initiative, in which Special Forces teams partner with tribes selected by an Afghan minister. With time running out, Gant believes tribal engagement must be bolder. "We are trying not to lose, not trying to win," he said. (Gant's experiences helped shape the CDI effort, and he is currently preparing to return to Afghanistan to implement his vision, according to a senior military official.)

Still, Gant acknowledges that his strategy has risks. The teams would depend on the tribes for their safety. "American soldiers would die. Some of them alone, with no support. Some may simply disappear," he wrote in his paper on the strategy. Another possibility is that intertribal conflict would break out between two or more U.S.-backed tribes. "Could it happen? Yes. Could it cause mission failure? Yes. Could we have to pick sides for our own safety? Yes," Gant said. But he believes that if American advisers forge strong ties with the tribes, the chances of such conflicts can be minimized.

Gant's greatest fear is that the United States will lack the fortitude to back the tribes for the long haul, eventually abandoning them. He, for one, plans to stick with his tribe in Afghanistan, at least to fulfill a personal promise to return to Konar province to see elder Malik Noorafzhal, now 86.

"I am not here to imply that I think I could win the war in Afghanistan if put in charge," Gant wrote in his paper. ". . . I just know what I have done and what I could do again, if given the chance."


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

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (5)

January 06, 2010

U.S. Judge Drops Charges Against Blackwater Guards ~ Happy New Year Blackwater!!!

U.S. judge drops charges against Blackwater guards

USA Today

A federal judge dismissed all charges Thursday against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in a crowded Baghdad intersection in 2007.

Citing repeated government missteps, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed a case that had been steeped in international politics. The shooting in busy Nisoor Square left 17 Iraqis dead and inflamed anti-American sentiment abroad. The Iraqi government wanted the guards to face trial in Iraq and officials there said they would closely watch how the U.S. judicial system handled the case.

Urbina said the prosecutors ignored the advice of senior Justice Department officials and improperly built their case on sworn statements that had been given under a promise of immunity. Urbina said the government's explanations were "contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility."

"We're obviously disappointed by the decision," Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said. "We're still in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options."

Prosecutors can appeal the ruling.

Blackwater contractors had been hired to guard U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The guards said insurgents ambushed them in a traffic circle. Prosecutors said the men unleashed an unprovoked attack on civilians using machine guns and grenades.

The shooting led to the unraveling of the North Carolina-based company, which since has replaced its management and changed its name to Xe Services.

The five guards are former Marines Donald Ball, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty, former Army sergeant Nick Slatten and Paul Slough, an Army veteran.

Defense attorneys said the guards were thrilled by the ruling after more than two years of scrutiny.

"It's tremendously gratifying to see the court allow us to celebrate the new year the way it has," said attorney Bill Coffield, who represents Liberty. "It really invigorates your belief in our court system."
"It's indescribable," said Ball's attorney, Steven McCool. "It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. Here's a guy that's a decorated war hero who we maintain should never have been charged in the first place."

The five guards had been charged with manslaughter and weapons violations. The charges carried mandatory 30-year prison terms.

Urbina's ruling does not resolve whether the shooting was proper. Rather, the 90-page opinion underscores some of the conflicting evidence in the case. Some Blackwater guards told prosecutors they were concerned about the shooting and offered to cooperate. Others said the convoy had been attacked. By the time the FBI began investigating, Nisoor Square had been picked clean of bullets that might have proven whether there had been a firefight or a massacre.

The case fell apart because, after the shooting, the State Department ordered the guards to explain what happened. In exchange for those statements, the State Department promised the statements would not be used in a criminal case. Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing to cooperate.

The five guards told investigators they fired their weapons, an admission that was crucial because forensic evidence could not determine who had fired.

Because of the immunity deal, prosecutors had to build their case without those statements, a high legal hurdle that Urbina said the Justice Department failed to clear. Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them to question witnesses and get search warrants, Urbina said. Key witnesses also reviewed the statements and the grand jury heard evidence that had been tainted by those statements, the judge said.

The Justice Department set up a process to avoid those problems, but Urbina said lead prosecutor Ken Kohl and others "purposefully flouted the advice" of senior Justice Department officials telling them not to use the statements.

It was unclear what the ruling means for a sixth Blackwater guard, Jeremy Ridgeway, who turned on his former colleagues and pleaded guilty to killing one Iraqi and wounding another. Had he gone to trial, the case against him would likely have fallen apart, but it's unclear whether Urbina will let him out of his plea deal.


McCain Hopes Blackwater Charges Reinstated

McCain: "Our sympathy goes out to the families of those killed and injured in this very unfortunate and unnecessary incident"

Senator John McCain told Iraqis that he 'hopes and believes' that criminal charges against five Blackwater security guards accused of killing Iraqi civilians will be reinstated. (Jan. 5) (The Associated Press)

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

The unhinged lefty kooks will go psychotic over this one. Obama and Erick Holder must be really ticked off.

Then there is the anti-POW family John McCain and his total RINO statement. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

This is great news. Thank GOD for this ruling.

Now- if we can only get this for our Navy SEALs.

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

United States Army
Army Combat Engineers
Quang Tri & Chu Lai '68 -'69

Jack's blog is Conservative Insurgent

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:48 AM | Comments (7)

Michael Yon Handcuffed At Seattle Airport For Refusing to Say How Much He Earned

"Michael Yon ........There is some confusion about who arrested me. TSA was not involved. The Customs people (CBP) were the actors who handcuffed me."

Milblogger and author Michael Yon was handcuffed today at the Seattle airport for not telling the Customs people his net income.

He posted this on his facebook page:

Got arrested at the Seattle airport for refusing to say how much money I make. (The uniformed ones say I was not “arrested”, but they definitely handcuffed me.) Their videos and audios should show that I was polite, but simply refused questions that had nothing to do with national security. Port authority police eve…ntually came — they were professionals — and rescued me from the border bullies.

And, here’s his follow-up post:

When they handcuffed me, I said that no country has ever treated me so badly. Not China. Not Vietnam. Not Afghanistan. Definitely not Singapore or India or Nepal or Germany, not Brunei, not Indonesia, or Malaysia, or Kuwait or Qatar or United Arab Emirates. No county has treated me with the disrespect can that can be expected from our border bullies.

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

Unless it is a law how much money one can earn, it is none of their business. At this point in time, other that providing i.d. when asked, actually ordered because every thing they direct you to do is an order, you are under no obligation to tell them anything. At least as far as I know.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:40 AM | Comments (8)

January 04, 2010

Merry Christmas From Afghanistan ~ God Bless Our Troops and Keep Them Safe!

Seasons greetings from CAAT 1, WPNS CO, 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines. (filmed on site at Alpha 1)
(As it pans across the platoon halfway through, please excuse them looking like they're watching a crucifixion; by this point they've heard the song several hundred times :) .......Merry Christmas!

"Merry Christmas From Afghanistan"

Merry Christmas from Afghanistan, oh man, it's that time of year,
and the birth of Jesus doesn't seem to please the terrorists down here;
I'd like to take a moment for you folks at home to make it clear;
Merry Christmas from the Eastern Hemisphere.

Merry Christmas from Afghanistan, way back in the USA,
You've got mistletoe and falling snow, we've got sandstorms and grenades
But what the hell, it's just as well we celebrate it anyway,
Merry Christmas from 5,000 miles away.

And I remember many Decembers, sitting 'round that tree,
And now I'm in an outer cordon sitting 'round an IED,
I've traded yams and roasted ham for a chicken noodle MRE,
Merry Christmas from out here in the middle east.

So merry Christmas from Afghanistan, from our AO to yours,
I'll be watching illegal DVDs and defecating out of doors,
Put my pedal to the metal man, I'll settle for that medal of honor when I when the war,
Single-handedly from my armored drivers door.

Yuletide salutations from our vacation in the sand,
from this E-3 Lance Coolie and up the whole chain of command
Between Al Qaeda, Al Jazeera, Mujahadeen, and the Taliban,
It's a very merry Christmas in Afghanistan.

From south Montana, to northwest Indiana, to the shores of North Caroline,
From NYC to LA's beaches and down the Mason-Dixon Line,
It's that season where we're freezing, but all in all, we're doing fine,
So merry Christmas from Afghanistan tonight.
It's that season where we're freezing, but all in all, we're doing fine,
So Merry Christmas down the Final Protection Line!


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

We are so blessed as a country, we have the most awesome people serving in our military. God bless this hero and all of our troops.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (4)

January 01, 2010

Injured Airman Senior Airman Tre Porfirio Has Groundbreaking Surgery

Senior Airman Tre Porfirio needed several surgeries and lost his spleen, pancreas and small intestine.

While serving with an Army unit in Afghanistan, 21-year-old Air Force Senior Airman Tre Porfirio was shot three times in the back by an insurgent Nov. 21. Seventy-two hours and 8,000 miles later, Porfirio was at Walter Reed with injuries so extensive it would require 11 surgeries to reconstruct his abdomen.


Army Col. (Dr.) Craig D. Shriver, chief of general surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., describes groundbreaking pancreas islet cell transplant surgery performed Nov. 26, 2009, to reporters during a Dec. 15, 2009, news conference. Dr. Pascal Goldschmidt, dean of the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, and Dr. Rahul Jindal, transplant surgeon, also were on hand to take reporters’ questions.

Injured airman has groundbreaking surgery

Military Times

By Tom Spoth - Staff writer

Three shots rang out.

Senior Airman Tre Porfirio went down.

To save his life, doctors had to remove his pancreas during one of 11 surgeries to repair the damage caused by an Afghan insurgent.

Without his pancreas, Porfirio would normally face life as a severe diabetic, with daily insulin injections and a higher risk of blindness, kidney failure, amputations and strokes.

But groundbreaking surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., is expected to keep that from happening. Surgeons at Walter Reed, working with a Florida doctor who developed the procedure, took cells from Porfirio’s pancreas and injected them into his liver.

The surgery was the first known successful transplant of insulin-producing cells after severe trauma resulting in the complete loss of the pancreas, according to Walter Reed officials. If all goes as planned, the cells inside Porfirio’s liver will produce insulin that normally would come from his pancreas.

The procedure began the night before Thanksgiving, when doctors at Walter Reed packed Porfirio’s pancreas in ice and shipped it by airplane to Dr. Camillo Ricordi at the University of Miami.

Ricordi’s team spent six hours isolating the “islet cells” that produce insulin, then suspended the cells in a special cold solution and sent them back to Walter Reed. On Thanksgiving Day, Walter Reed doctors performed the transplant.

“Being able to serve a wounded warrior who risked his life to defend us all, I can think of no better way to spend Thanksgiving,” Ricordi said.
Porfirio had been in Afghanistan for about three months when he was shot three times in the back Nov. 21 while inside a combat operations post, said his father, Karl Porfirio.

The 21-year-old communications technician remained conscious until he was being flown back to Bagram Airfield and “remembers holding his guts in his hand,” his father said.

Credit for his son’s survival can be traced all the way back to Afghanistan and the first soldier who picked him up, Karl Porfirio said.

“By all means he should’ve bled to death and he didn’t,” he said. “He’s a lucky man and I’m a lucky dad.”

The surgery is so far viewed as a success.

“The liver is doing the job of the pancreas,” Karl Porfirio said. “They already have evidence that it’s working. They’re hoping he won’t be insulin dependent.”

Tre Porfirio is still recovering at Walter Reed. His father said in late December that Tre had begun eating solid food, and could speak in a whisper and get up for short periods. He made his first trip to the cafeteria on Christmas, and met a special visitor to the hospital — Vice President Joe Biden.

Porfirio also had some visitors of his own, from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he is assigned to the 88th Communications Squadron — squadron commander Lt. Col. Rick Johns and Porfirio’s best friend, Senior Airman Scott Cross.

“It's absolutely a miracle that he's alive and making this rapid progress,” Johns said. He noted that the nonprofit organization Luke’s Wings has helped provide transportation for Karl Porfirio, as well as Tre’s two brothers and his girlfriend, to visit Walter Reed.
Karl Porfirio said Tre will probably be at Walter Reed for at least 30 more days. Once he is released, he hopes to rejoin his squadron at Wright-Patterson, his father said.
“I’m proud of my son — he’s a good guy, he’s a good airman,” Karl Porfirio said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen down the road, but we’re hopeful.”

A little more as well from this other article: LOVE the quotes by the doctor.~ Wild Thing

Doctors Perform Groundbreaking Surgery at Walter Reed


Over the last eight years of war, doctors at Walter Reed have seen only 28 pancreatic injuries, and only one of this devastating nature, officials said. The surgical team called the University of Miami and put together a plan to ship the damaged pancreas to Florida to harvest the cells that produce insulin -- called islet cells -- and immediately ship them back to Walter Reed to be transplanted into Porfirio’s liver.

All of this had to be done overnight, the day before Thanksgiving.

“I knew who the main players were in this case,” said Dr. Rahul Jindal, transplant surgeon. “I picked up the phone and called [Dr. Camillo Ricordi, chief of cellular transplantation, University of Miami] and, without hesitation, he said, ‘For a wounded warrior, I’ll bring my whole team.’”
“Being able to serve a wounded warrior who risked his life to defend us all, I can think of no better way to spend Thanksgiving,” Ricordi said.

Porfirio’s blood tests show his harvested islet cells are functioning well, and he is gaining back his strength every day, doctors said.

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

Blessings on everyone involved. Thank you for caring about our heroes.

Thank you thank you!!!! Heroes all.

Prayers for all our wounded heroes! And God bless those wonderful doctors!


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

United States Army
Army Combat Engineers
Quang Tri & Chu Lai '68 -'69

Jack's blog is Conservative Insurgent

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (6)

December 29, 2009

Amazing Blackhawk Ridge Landing on Mountaintop in Zabul, Afghanistan

A compilation of three clips showing a UH60 Blackhawk landing on a mountaintop in Zabul, Afghanistan, to insert coalition ground forces on Nov. 6th.

ZABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Two Apache helicopters from 2nd Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, were conducting area reconnaissance and surveillance when they received a call for assistance from a ground element of the 1st Battalion. The ground element was under attack by indirect fire from insurgents. The Apaches, on closing in on the ambush site, recognized an Afghan National Army Ranger truck and determined both visually and through communication with the ground force that the trucks were being operated by enemy fighters. Insurgents had mounted anti-aircraft guns in the back of the stolen trucks, and fired on the Apaches.

SOF Special Operations Forces A tribute to all international Special Operations Forces and Police Forces in the war against oppression and terrorism.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:40 AM | Comments (4)

December 26, 2009

A Soldier's Christmas - Call to Action

A father meets a phantom soldier on Christmas Eve. He's reminded of our military history, founding of our country. He's called to defend freedom at home. Six minute featurette based on Michael Marks' poem. Poem was made popular by LCDR Jeff Giles, CS, USN, stationed in Al Taqqadum Iraq.

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

This is so awesome!

....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 02:48 AM | Comments (4)

December 25, 2009

"The Good Lord and the Man" by John Rich

The song is about John Rich's grandfather , a World War II veteran who won six purple hearts, the details Rich injects into the opening lines provide the set-up for a heartfelt homage to his Grandfather Rich: “Well he was one of the millions/Who signed up to defend us, long ago in 1941/When they sucker punched us in Pearl Harbor, he fought under MacArthur/Seventeen with an Army Thompson gun.”

Lyrics to The Good Lord and the Man by John Rich

Well he was one of the millions
who signed up to defend us
long ago in 1941
when they sucker punched us in Pearl Harbor
he fought under Macarthur seventeen with an army Thompson gun

Well he stormed a lot of beaches slept in jungles with the leaches
he saw things young man should never see
and when they shot him in the shoulder
he got back up and he marched over
left a lot of brothers dead in kawagalie

If it wasn’t for the good lord and the man
there wouldn’t be a breath of freedom in this land
and I see people on my T.V. taking shots at uncle Sam
I hope they always remember why they can
cause we’d all be speakin’ German livin’ under the flag of Japan
if it wasn’t for the good lord and the man
if it wasn’t for the good lord and the man

Well I’m the grandson of a soldier and I’d fight the whole world over
if duty called and freedoms on the line
but thanks to the greatest generation and the ones still fighting for our nation
I’ve never had to kill for my way of life

If it wasn’t for the good lord and the man
there wouldn’t be a breath of freedom in this land
and I see people on my T.V. taking shots at uncle Sam
I hope they always remember why they can
cause we’d all be speakin’ German livin’ under flag of Japan
if it wasn’t for the good lord and the man

if it wasn’t for the good lord and the man
there wouldn’t be a breath of freedom in this land
and I see people on my T.V. taking shots at uncle Sam
I hope they always remember why they can
cause we’d all be speakin’ German livin’ under flag of Japan
if it wasn’t for the good lord and the man
if it wasn’t for the good lord and the man

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

Great song! I have never heard this one before. I really like it.

....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 03:47 AM | Comments (3)

December 23, 2009

Thank You Troops!

Our Troops are so awesome!

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:49 AM | Comments (3)

December 21, 2009

US Navy Presidential Ceremonial Honor Guard Drill Team


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

I LOVE it!

......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 03:45 AM | Comments (4)

December 18, 2009

God Bless Our Republic and our Warriors Our Troops and Veterans


To All Who Serve Our Country

The Warrior Song

S. Householder

I’ve got the reach and the teeth of a killin’ machine, ith a need to bleed you when the light goes green, best believe, I’m in a zone to be, from my Yin to my Yang to my Yang Tze.

Put a grin on my chin when you come to me, ‘cuz I’ll win,

I’m a one-of-a-kind and I’ll bring death to the place you’re about to be: another river of blood runnin’ under my feet.

Forged in a fire lit long ago, stand next to me, you’ll never stand alone. I’m last to leave, but the first to go, Lord, make me dead before you make me old.

I feed on the fear of the devil inside of the enemy faces in my sights: aim with the hand, shoot with the mind, kill with a heart like arctic ice

I am a soldier and I’m marching on, I am a warrior and this is my song I bask in the glow of the rising war, lay waste to the ground of an enemy shore, wade through the blood spilled on the floor, and if another one stands I’ll kill some more.

Bullet in the breach and a fire in me, like a cigarette thrown to gasoline, if death don’t bring you fear, I swear, you’ll fear these marchin’ feet.

Come to the nightmare, come to me, deep down in the dark where the devil be, in the maw with the jaws and the razor teeth, where the brimstone burns and the angel weeps.

Call to the gods if I cross your path and my silhouette hangs like a body bag; hope is a moment now long past, the shadow of death is the one I cast.

I am a soldier and I’m marching on, I am a warrior and this is my song
My eyes are steel and my gaze is long, I am a warrior and this is my song

Now I live lean and I mean to inflict the grief, and the least of me's still out of your reach. The killing machine’s gonna do the deed, until the river runs dry and my last breath leaves.

Chin in the air with a head held high, I’ll stand in the path of the enemy line.Feel no fear, know my pride: for God and Country I’ll end your life.

I am a soldier and I’m marching on, I am a warrior and this is my song
My eyes are steel and my gaze is long, I am a warrior and this is my song

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:46 AM | Comments (4)

December 16, 2009

U.S. Army Paratroopers Call In A-10 Gun Run In Korengal Valley

U.S. Army Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, "The Rock", 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, call in an A-10 Warthog to engage Insurgent position with 30mm gatling gun in Korengal valley, Afghanistan.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:48 AM | Comments (4)

December 15, 2009

Anti-Military Obama's New Military Rules Of Engagement More Rules In How To Kill Our Troops

It's not just the enemy killing U.S. soldiers

You won't believe new rules of engagement in Afghanistan


by F. Michael Maloof

New military rules of engagement ostensibly to protect Afghan civilians are putting the lives of U.S. forces in jeopardy, claim Army and Marine sources, as the Taliban learns the game plan based the rules' imposed limits.
The rules of engagement, or ROEs, apply to all coalition forces of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Their enactment is in response to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's complaints over mounting civilian deaths apparently occurring in firefights.

Despite the fact that the newly arrived U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, imposed the more restrictive ROEs to minimize the killing of innocent civilians, however, the Taliban is well aware of them and has its own forces acting in ways to counteract them.

The impact of new restrictions has created increasing frustration and concern among U.S. Army and Marine Corps troops who now are compelled to follow these rules despite the danger of letting the Taliban live to fight again another day.

Critics see the new ROEs being more oriented toward defensive rather than offensive operations, as evidenced by recent charges of murder against two U.S. Army snipers because they had targeted a Taliban commander who reportedly wasn't holding a weapon.

The actual ROEs are said to be classified U.S. and NATO secrets, but based on individual soldier accounts, those restrictions include the following:

* No night or surprise searches

* Villagers are to be warned prior to searches

* Afghan National Army, or ANA, or Afghan National Police, or ANP, must accompany U.S. units on searches

* U.S. soldiers may not fire at insurgents unless they are preparing to fire first

* U.S. forces cannot engage insurgents if civilians are present

* Only women can search women

* Troops can fire on insurgents if they catch them placing an IED but not if insurgents walk away from where the explosives are.

Often, rules of engagement require varying levels of approvals before action can be taken. In one case, villagers had tipped off U.S. forces of the presence of a Taliban commander who was threatening village elders.

To get permission to go after him, U.S. troops had to get 11 separate Afghan, U.S. and international forces' approval to the plan. The approval, however, did not come until well into the next day. By then, the Taliban commander had moved on, to the consternation of the villagers who had provided the tip. Observers have claimed that it can take some 96 hours to acquire all the permissions to act.

In other cases, the use of force against insurgents may be blocked if they lower their guns, only to have those insurgents return later to attack.

Also, ISAF troops cannot engage insurgents if they are leaving an area where an IED has been planted. In one case, insurgents planting an IED had detected the presence of U.S. forces and immediately began leaving the area, tossing evidence of their preparations along the way. U.S. forces could not fire on them.

The ROEs in some cases have gone beyond limiting ISAF troops in their operations. In one case, ROE restrictions were in effect when four U.S. Marines twice pleaded by radio for artillery support in combat action in Kunar Province in Afghanistan – and twice they were refused, before they were killed.

Rules Of Engagement Are A Dilemma For U.S. Troops

Tom Bowman and Renee Montagne

December 11, 2009

As part of the new American counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, soldiers and Marines must work first to protect the Afghan population. Given the choice between killing the enemy or risking civilian lives, they have been willing to let the enemy go. NPR's Tom Bowman was in Afghanistan earlier this year and witnessed troops grappling with the dilemma of whether to shoot.


Next, we have a story that underlines the difficulty of fighting a war amid a civilian population. It's the story of U.S. Marines who had Afghans in their gun sights, Afghans who looked like they might be planting a bomb. The Marines had to decide whether to pull the trigger. Their decision says a lot about the rules of war against insurgents in Afghanistan.

NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman watched the story unfold during a recent visit to the country, and he joins us now to talk about it. Hello.

TOM BOWMAN: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now the rules of engagement have changed lately for troops in Afghanistan.

BOWMAN: That's right. General Stanley McChrystal, the overall commander there, tightened up these rules on when soldiers can fire. And he did this because there was - there were too many civilian casualties in Afghanistan. But this all illustrates the basic dilemma for U.S. troops. They want to kill insurgents who are trying to kill them, but their job is to make sure they only fire when they're very sure of their targets.

MONTAGNE: So, Tom, tell us what it was that you saw?

BOWMAN: Well, Renee, we were in this combat outpost down in southern Afghanistan, in the Helmand River Valley, and we were inside this center, a command center, watching a video screen. They were watching live while these guys were digging a hole for a roadside bomb. And there were other indicators, too, besides digging the hole. There was a guy swimming across a canal with this wire, and the wires are used to detonate the bomb.

Unidentified Man #1: I have two guys on the west side of the cow buoys(ph) running wires across the canal to the west side, where a (unintelligible) an IED the other day. So, they're watching them right now.

BOWMAN: There were a couple of guys keeping watch and stopping traffic. And the Marines were intercepting a radio call from these suspected insurgents while they were doing these other activities.

MONTAGNE: And on the radio, they were saying we're planting a bomb?

BOWMAN: And on the radio they were talking about planting a bomb.

MONTAGNE: So from the Marines perspective, the Afghans really did appear to be insurgents. So what did they do?

BOWMAN: Well, they felt comfortable. They had all the indicators that these guys were insurgents planting a bomb. So they thought about using a machine gun to shoot these guys. There was another combat outpost not too far away. The problem was there was a compound of houses between where the Marines were with their machine gun and the guys planting the bomb.

So then they decided to bring in the helicopters and use the machines guns and the helicopters to shoot these guys. As the helicopters came in, these guys look up in the air and start walking away. One of the guys was carrying a yellow jug - and that's become the icon of the roadside bomb. They mix fertilizer and diesel fuel in this, and that becomes a part of the bomb. And then we saw one of these guys throw this jug into a haystack.

Unidentified Man #2: And hiding the jug into the hay pile right now, and then are walking near the open field, so just wait until...

BOWMAN: And they were gone. It was all over. They could no longer shoot at them.

MONTAGNE: So why didn't they shoot at them?

BOWMAN: Well, they thought that they were still too close to this compound of houses to allow these helicopters to use their machine guns to shoot, so they decided against it.

MONTAGNE: So, in being very, very careful about shooting at what they absolutely believed to be insurgents, they ended up, in effect, losing these guys. How did that make them feel?

BOWMAN: Well, they weren't happy at all. And some of them stormed out of this command center. And we talked with one of them afterwards. This is Lieutenant James Wendy(ph).

Lieutenant JAMES WENDY (U.S. Marines): There's no way that anyone other than the enemy would've been injured.

BOWMAN: So, why weren't you allowed to shoot?

Lt. WENDY: Honestly, I don't know. I'd like to say I wish we could play by the big boy rules, you know, but, you know, it's just the way it is. And if I had known how frustrating it'd be and was able to better prepare myself for that mentally, I think that maybe I would've been better off.

MONTAGNE: What about the military leaders? Is it reaching the top? Are they hearing these complaints about these rules of engagement that are so restrictive?

BOWMAN: You know, they are hearing these complaints. And I had a few minutes this week with their overall commander, General McChrystal, and I told him the same story, Renee, I told you. And I asked him about the rules of engagement. Here's what he had to say:

General STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL (U.S. Commander, Afghanistan): I've been at this a long time now, since 9/11, and there were a tremendous number of times when I've seen activities done, which, on the surface of what was seen, looks exactly one way, looks completely convincing. And then in the aftermath, what you saw was incomplete. In fact, what we find is civilian casualties who are unarmed civilians.

I think when we err on the side of maturity and caution, there is a cost. And I know that we're asking an extraordinary amount from them to operate with such restraint and self-discipline, but I think it's how we win the war.

BOWMAN: So, that being said, there's still a widespread frustration among the troops, of feeling that their hands are tied in going after insurgents.

MONTAGNE: NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Thanks very much.

BOWMAN: You're welcome, Renee.

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

I can’t tell you the level of rage this makes me feel!

"And I know that we’re asking an extraordinary amount from them to operate with such restraint and self-discipline, but I think it’s how we win the war." ~ McChrystal

He actually said this...OMG! And the other things as well.

Obama and McChrystal presented these ROE back in July of this year. IMO I think McChrystal is of the same mind set as Obama, I truly do.. A good Commander would NEVER sacrifice his troops the way McChrystal has and do so willingly. McChrystal has done this willingly. NO RESPECT for the man. He deserves none. not from me, and not from the Troops he is PERSONALLY endangering. And OBAMA does not care about our troops in any way, shape, or form. BUT McChrystal is NOT. He is supposed to care. He is supposed to protect the lives of those under HIS command, even if he must defy obama to do it.

And LOOK at this POS in our military! The Generals are part of the problem. PC Islamic bootlickers.

Look at this one.

US Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond: Islam is a Beautiful Religion - June 26, 2009

Representatives of the Islamic Society of Colorado Springs met Thursday with Fort Carson military leaders at the Army base to discuss ways to improve cultural awareness and an understanding of Islam among deploying soldiers.
Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division, initiated the meeting in hopes of developing a better cultural-awareness program for the thousands of soldiers already at Fort Carson and the hundreds expected to arrive this summer.
We want to talk to (soldiers) about this beautiful religion,” Hammond said at the one-hour meeting, attended by local Islamic leaders Arshad Yousufi, Farouk Abushaban and Dawud Salaam; 4th Infantry Division cultural adviser Al Azim; and four other Army leaders.

OMG, this is so totally insane!

Nothing good will come from Obama's anti- military R.O.E.'s. You can't micromanage a firefight and as the case of the Marines killed in the Kunar province in August demonstrates, micromanaging is deadly to our troops. It is impossible to prevent civilian casualties during a time of war. We will only lose more of our troops attempting to do so and the enemy knows the Achilles heal by which to exploit and use to their advantage. The enemy gets to use their full arsenal and tactics on our troops but our guys have to fight hamstrung by the ROE’s. Utter and complete BS.

“We are pinned down. We are running low on ammo. We have no air. We’ve lost today,” Marine Maj. Kevin Williams, 37, said through his translator to his Afghan counterpart, responding to the latter’s repeated demands for helicopters. ~ RIP Major Williams, 9/09/2009

Here are two more that I have heard of from our troops.

Can’t fire on women carrying ammo to the fighters who are shooting at our troops. Cease fire when the women are passing out the ammo.

Can’t fire at the Taliban with the binoculars, adjusting the mortar fire on our troops. He is not holding a “weapon,” merely binoculars to help improve the aim of the mortar teams killing our troops.

Here are MY own R.O.E.

Consider no target off limits under any circumstances if our troops are being fired on.

No exceptions.

Using the killing R.O.E.'s of Obama, if a soldier has a doubt it can cause a hesitation that could cost them their life and the lives of the rest of our troops.

Fight to win

There is great danger to our troops and other NATO troops as well.

....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 02:55 AM | Comments (16)

December 14, 2009

Stand With Dan Burton! Save Ouor Navy SEALs!

You Can Sign the petition to send a message that you stand with Dan and the 3 Navy SEALs for defending America.


Petition to Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations:

Dear Adm. Roughead:
In a heroic action on the night of September 3, Navy SEALs captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq, Ahmed Hashim Abed. Abed is believed to be the man behind the barbaric attack in Fallujah in 2004 in which four Blackwater security guards were ambushed, their bodies mutilated, and then hung from a bridge.

Now, because Abed complained that someone smacked him in the face after he was captured (he apparently exhibited a bloody lip), three of the SEALs – Matthew McCabe, Jonathan Keefe and Julio Huertas – are facing a January court martial for prisoner abuse (or making false statements to conceal it.)

SEALs are characterized by bravery, skill, and honor. They operate under stressful conditions that we cannot even imagine. And in this war – against a ruthless, implacable and barbaric enemy – we believe that their conduct must be judged in that context.
You, as Chief of Naval Operations, have the ability to prevent these men from facing disciplinary action that would end their careers and – we firmly believe – destroy the morale of all our Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force special operators.
Please take action immediately to dismiss these charges and restore these men to duty with honor.

Wild Thing's comment......

I am signing every one of these petitions for our Navy SEALs. Somehow we have got to get through to the people in charge to stop this insanity!!!

We have got to stand strong on this or they will do this to every one of our troops.

....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 03:47 AM | Comments (4)

December 13, 2009

There Are Two Petitions To Free Our Navy SEALs

Navy SEALs Accused of Abusing Detainee

Sean Hannity interview with Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe’s lawyer.

FOX News

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now two Navy SEALs were arraigned earlier today on charges that they mistreated an Iraqi suspect accused of murdering four American contractors in Fallujah. Now, a third SEAL is set to be arraigned later. Now, one of the SEALs, 24-year-old Matthew McCabe, is accused of punching the detainee after his arrest. Mr. McCabe is receiving growing support from American citizens. In fact, protesters gathered in Norfolk, Virginia, today to protest the government's decision to try the SEALs.

And Mr. McCabe, well, he's speaking out, too. Here's what he told reporters earlier today.

MATTHEW MCCABE, NAVY SEAL: I'm kind of like caught off-guard a little bit, especially when the situation hit the media and definitely by seeing my own picture in the media is kind of — it's not standard protocol.

HANNITY: And joining me is Neil Puckett, who is Matthew McCabe's attorney.

Mr. Puckett, thank you for being with us.


HANNITY: I want to go through the facts of the case as we know them. First of all, the Iraqi detainee himself, that bridge incident where people were — contractors were hung from a bridge, this is the type of terrorists we're talking about in this case, correct?

PUCKETT: That's the exact terrorist we're talking about, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes, all right. So just for the sake of explaining to everybody, one of the things that I found most fascinating about this — and I got to give credit to Jed Babbin and Rowan (ph) Scarborough, who both wrote about this.

Chapter 18, Al Qaeda has a training manual. In this training manual that was released by the U.S. Justice Department, it says, "Members must complain, Al Qaeda members, of torture and mistreatment inflicted on them if they're captured." It's part of their training. Correct?

PUCKETT: That's correct, Sean. And it's to be expected in every situation in which they're captured.

HANNITY: All right. So explain, then, how — because as I understand it, the Navy SEALs actually handed over to the Iraqi authorities this suspect and then was given back, and at one point there was some blood on him. Explain how do we even get ourselves in this situation, then?

PUCKETT: Sean, we get ourselves in this situation by listening to the Iraqi complain, taking his complaints seriously, investigating our own SEALs, American fighting men, and taking a terrorist's word over theirs.

HANNITY: Well, — but I want you to go into more detail here, though. So we handed over this terrorist, this murderer to the Iraqis, he's given back to the Americans.

And he just — all he has to do is accuse Navy SEALs, a terrorist makes an accusation. Explain how we got to the point where the SEALs are now put on trial for doing the very job that they're supposed to do.

PUCKETT: Well, Sean, the SEALs are being put on trial because they're suspected of — my client, Matthew McCabe, is suspected of punching the detainee. So the American command structure felt like it needed to take some action.

And they were going to punish all three of these SEALs with something called Article 15, non-judicial punishment. That was a predetermination of guilt. They all understood that. That was telegraphed to them. They all separately refused that non-judicial punishment, as is their right. And the commander, Major General Cleveland, decided to refer their cases to court-martial based on legal advice he received from his legal adviser.

HANNITY: All right. So let's go to Article 15 under the Uniform Code on military justice and explain it in a little bit more detail.

They were requested to pretty much admit some guilt in this, even though they had none. And some of the other SEALs are being accused of covering up. The one SEAL, quote, "Might have punched him," your client.

So the worst-case scenario is they're being accused of punching a terrorist that had hung contractors from a bridge in Fallujah.

PUCKETT: That's exactly right, Sean. And the point here is that I think small unit leadership failed. In the military, small unit leadership is equipped to deal with allegations or suspicions of misconduct at their own local level.

So even if there were some appearance of impropriety, I think it would have been totally reasonable for the direct supervisors of these SEALs, not knowing who did anything, if they did anything, to simply say, "Look, it looks like this guy had blood on him. If are any of you guys are responsible, knock it off. I don't want to see this happen again," assuming they think the SEALs even did it.

HANNITY: Is there — is there any evidence that we know whatsoever? Because in all my research and reading, I don't see any evidence any place anywhere except that the charge was made by the terrorist. Is there any other evidence that we know of involved in here, any eyewitnesses, anything?

PUCKETT: Well, that's a good question, Sean, because as of today we still don't have the evidence from the investigation released to any of the defense attorneys yet, the military or the civilian attorneys. So we don't know what the evidence is.

HANNITY: And what is your plan now for your client and for the other SEALs? Where do you go from here?

PUCKETT: Well, our plan for payoffs for McCabe is simply to enter a plea of "not guilty" and to be tried by his peers at a court-martial to begin on 19 January, 2010. And I want to thank you for recognizing how serious this case is.

HANNITY: Well, I've got to tell you something. Unless some other evidence emerges here, it seems to me that our military chain of command or, for whatever political reasons or motivations may be involved, they would take the word of a murdering terrorist over our Navy SEALs, which is the best of the best. It just doesn't make any sense to me. So...

PUCKETT: It doesn't make any sense, and it's not too late for them to withdraw and dismiss the charges.

HANNITY: All right. Well, we will watch the case slowly, and we hope that's — that's the case in the end. Thank you, Counselor, for being with us.

PUCKETT: Thank you, Sean.


Here is the LINK for the Petition

I sgned this one and posted it before. Also there is another one that I have also signed.

You can CLICK HERE to sign this one as well. The Human Events petition below goes to SECDEF Gates.

Hon. Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, DC

Dear Secretary Gates:

We, the editors and staff of HUMAN EVENTS, and the many Americans who have attached their signatures to this petition, hereby request your personal intervention to dismiss the charges against Navy SEAL operators SO2 Jonathan Keefe, SO1 Julio Huertas and SO2 Matthew McCabe.

These three men are charged with abusing a terrorist they captured in a daring nighttime raid on or about 1 September 2009. On that night, they — as part of a platoon from SEAL Team 10 — captured and detained Ahmed Hashim Abed, one of the most barbaric and dangerous terrorists in Iraq. The terrorist — in a move that is literally right out of the al-Queda training manual — complained of abuse, apparently alleging he was struck in the stomach.

We had hoped that the SEALs’ commanders would dispose of this matter at the lowest level — with a scolding and perhaps a few hundred pushups — for anyone actually guilty of inflicting an inconvenience on this bloody-handed barbarian. But on 29 September 2009, Gen. David H. Petraeus signed a letter authorizing MGen. Charles T. Cleveland to dispose of the allegations of misconduct. In that letter, Gen. Petraeus said that MGen. Cleveland could, “…dispose of these matters in any manner you deem appropriate. This includes the authority to convene courts-martial at any level up to and including General Courts-Martial and to refer charges concerning these individuals to any court-martial.”

The three now face special courts-martial next month. We believe their commanders — including General Petraeus — have failed you, the SEALs and the American people by not preventing the matter from going this far.

You are the person next in line above General Petraeus in the chain of command. You can, legally under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, intervene to dismiss the charges against the three SEALs and direct that they be restored to duty.

We respectfully request that you do so forthwith. For this matter to continue — and to place the honor and fighting future of these three men at stake — is manifestly a gross injustice.

Interviews and local coverage

Two Navy SEALs accused of mistreating an alleged terrorist denied the charges Monday — one during a formal arraignment and the other in more plain-spoken terms after the court proceeding.

“No — the answer’s no, point blank,” said Special Operator 2nd Class Matthew McCabe, as he met well-wishers outside Naval Station Norfolk.

McCabe is one of three Navy SEALs charged with mistreating Ahmed Hashim Abed, the suspected mastermind of the March 2004 attack that killed four Blackwater employees. The SEALs have also been credited with his capture.

The grisly ambush created worldwide headlines as the bodies of the burned and mutilated victims were displayed for the press to photograph.

…Capt. Moira Modzelewski, who presided over the arraignment, set a Jan. 11 trial date for Huertas and Jan. 19 for McCabe.

The case has attracted widespread public attention. About 20 members of Congress have signed a letter circulated by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., calling on Defense Secretary Robert Gates to intervene.

It has also attracted grass-roots support from people like Richard Berndt, of Virginia Beach, who arrived at the naval base at 6 a.m. with a sign that read, “You Fought For Us — Now We Fight For You.”
“I just feel I owe these guys everything I can give them,” said the 24-year Navy veteran. “They just need our support.”

Donna Zovko, the mother of one of the four slain Blackwater employees, drove from Cleveland, Ohio, to stand with the supporters. In one emotional moment, she found herself next to Marty McCabe, the father of the accused Navy SEAL.

The two shared a few words before embracing.

Until the charges became public, Zovko had never known the names of the SEALs credited with Abed’s capture.

“It took me a few minutes to talk to her,” McCabe said later. “I kind of got choked up. This is closure for her.”

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:40 AM | Comments (2)

December 10, 2009

Remembering The Battle of Chosin

The fighting around Chosin Reservoir lasted from November 26 to December 11, 1950.

North Korea 1950- 1st Marine Division- Chosin Reservoir: After having forced the invading North Korean forces out of South Korea, the 1st Marine Division was merciless attacked by invading Chinese Forces. Forced to with drawl 65 miles to the south in -40 degree blowing snow, a trip that took many days, they were repeatedly attack. This is their story as told in a ballad written by Frank G. Gross, USMC Chosin Reservoir survivor.


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

We will never forget!!

....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 05:45 AM | Comments (3)

December 08, 2009

Two Navy SEALs Arraigned in Military Court

One of the SEALs is accused of punching the detainee after his September arrest, while the other is accused of lying to investigators. A third SEAL also accused of lying to investigators about the episode will be arraigned later.

All three men have men have received an outpouring of support from people who view them as heroes.

A Facebook page created to support the SEALs had more than 45,000 members as of Friday.

Support The Navy Seals who Captured Ahmed Hashim Abed....the Facebook page.

Two Navy SEALs Arraigned in Military Court, Accused in Mistreatment of Iraqi Suspect

FOX News


Two Navy SEALs accused in the mistreatment of an Iraqi suspect in the 2004 slayings of four U.S. contractors were arraigned in military court Monday, and one SEAL said he was gratified by support from the public and some members of Congress.

The judge scheduled courts-martial next month for Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe of Perrysburg, Ohio, and Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas of Blue Island, Ill. A third SEAL will be arraigned later.

The SEALs have received an outpouring of public support on the Internet, and a California congressman has led a campaign urging Defense Secretary Robert Gates to intervene. About three dozen protesters, including the mother of one of the slain contractors, stood outside the Norfolk Naval Station gate Monday morning holding signs of support.

McCabe is accused of striking the detainee in the midsection, dereliction of duty for failing to safeguard the detainee, and lying to investigators. He deferred entering a plea until his Jan. 19 trial.

McCabe told reporters he was confident he would be exonerated.

"I feel very good about it," he said as he made his way through the crowd of supporters, shaking hands and thanking them. "The support is phenomenal. It makes us feel better, all these people being behind us."

Huertas pleaded not guilty to charges of dereliction of duty, lying to investigators and impeding an investigation. His trial was set for Jan. 11.

"He's been a hero — two tours of Iraq and one tour of Afghanistan — and now this is the thanks he gets," Huertas' civilian attorney, Monica Lombardi, told reporters after the arraignment.

Military attorneys were not available for comment.

McCabe and Huertas both deferred a decision on whether to be tried by a military judge or jury. Lombardi said they couldn't choose because they still have not received the prosecution's evidence.
The men could have accepted a nonjudicial reprimand but wanted to go to trial to clear their names, Lombardi said. A reprimand could have resulted in a loss of rank; if they are convicted at trial, they could get up to a year in jail, a bad conduct discharge, or a loss of rank or pay.
McCabe declined to talk to reporters about specifics of the case. His father, Marty McCabe of Las Vegas, said all his son did was his job.
"It just turns my stomach to have these people send him over there and put him in harm's way, and then they don't have his back when he gets home," Marty McCabe said.

Military officials have cautioned against a public rush to judgment, saying a true picture will emerge when all the evidence is heard. However, more than 45,000 people have signed onto a Facebook page supporting the SEALs, and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said in a letter to Gates last week that the prosecution was an overreaction by the military.

The charges stem from an alleged assault after the SEALs captured Ahmed Hashim Abed in early September. Abed is believed to be connected to the killings of four Blackwater security guards who were protecting a convoy when they were attacked by Iraqi insurgents. Their burned corpses were dragged through the city, and two of them were hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

Donna Zovko of Cleveland, whose son Jerry Zovko was among the slain contractors, said the prosecution of the SEALs who captured Abed was "very heartbreaking."
"For these young Navy SEALs, I am very thankful and hopeful that they will be OK," Zovko said.

Along with McCabe and Huertas, Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe of Yorktown, Va., is charged with dereliction of duty and making a false official statement. His arraignment has not been scheduled.

The SEALs, based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Norfolk, are not in custody.

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

The fact that this has even gone this far is an outrage, and we citizens need to pressure our lawmakers and breakers telling them that along with the ObaMoronic decision to try KSM and friends at Ground Zero this traitorous prosecution of these Navy SEALs won't fly with we already angry Americans.

Obama is the commander-in-chief. He could have stopped this travesty from happening. He is allowing SOCOM to betray our soldiers because he is the most anti-military President in history. By allowing the terrorists to have any standing and file a bogus complaint like this he is betraying these Navy SEALs.

These liberals are raping our soldiers. They are freaking tearing down our military limb from limb.

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:48 AM | Comments (10)

December 07, 2009

Caller To Rush Limbaugh ~ Navy SEALs Case Being Pushed By Obama

This forst part of the video is about the rally in NY to protest the Khalid Sheihk Mohammed (KSM) trial that will be in New York City.
Actor Brian Dennehy is among those protesting the trial.

And the second part of the video is about our Navy SEALs.


House Republicans Seek Reprieve For Navy SEALs

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers are seeking a reprieve for three Navy SEALs facing court-martial because one allegedly punched a suspect after arresting him for an ambush killing of U.S. contractors in Iraq.

Rather than accept a reprimand, the sailors chose to fight the charges in a military court. Their appeal greatly raises the stakes because a guilty finding could bring stiff punishment.

A letter that Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif, circulated in the House said prosecuting the three SEALs "seems to us to be an overreaction by the command."

One of the SEALs is accused of punching Ahmed Hashim Abed in the face after his September arrest; the others are accused of falsifying statements on the episode.

Hunter, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the men could face loss of rank, up to one year of confinement, a bad conduct discharge and forfeiture of a portion of their pay each month for up to a year.

About 20 lawmakers signed the letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, including House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Here is the letter from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif) to Secretary Gates

Navy Times

December 2, 2009

Honorable Robert Gates

Secretary of Defense

The Pentagon

Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We are writing to express our grave concerns over reports that three Navy SEALs will face court-martial proceedings over their handling of one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq. Based on the information we have, we believe that prosecution of these men is not warranted.

As you are aware, in September, the three SEALs in question captured Ahmed Hashim Abed, the alleged planner of the March 2004 ambush in Fallujah that resulted in the killing of four Blackwater contractors. We all remember the horrifying pictures showing two of these individuals, whose bodies, after being burned and mutilated, were hung on a bridge over the Euphrates River.

Since 2004, Abed evaded capture. However, in September, Special Warfare Operators 2nd Class Matthew McCabe and Jonathan Keefe, and Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Julio Huertas, undertook a mission that resulted in Abed’s capture. Soon after his capture, an investigation was conducted based on reports that Abed had been struck in the stomach by one of the SEALs. As we understand it, there was no allegation of torture or sustained abuse. There was simply just this one alleged act. Prosecuting individuals for such a limited act seems to us to be an overreaction by the command. As a result of the investigation, the three SEALs refused to accept non-judicial punishment, believing, according to one of the defense attorneys that they are innocent of the charges. If convicted, they could face significant punishment of up to one year’s confinement, a bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of a portion of their pay each month for up to a year and a reduction in their rank.

It appears from all accounts that these SEALs are exceptional sailors, demonstrated by the fact that each had recently been advanced in rank. They captured a terrorist who had planned an attack that not only killed Americans but also maimed and mutilated their bodies. We believe that prosecution of these sailors for such an apparently limited action will have a negative impact on others in the military who risk their lives in dangerous, often ambiguous situation. Again, we strongly believe that these court-martial proceedings are not warranted and would urge that you review this matter.

Last week on the Rush Limbaugh a retired military intelligence officer called up and had this to say about the Navy Seals case.

He stated that the case of the 3 seals was being pushed relentlessly by the White House. He said that it was pay back for the action taken by the SEALS to kill the pirates that held hostage the skipper of a ship, which was a world-wide event. Obama had set the rules of engagement in such a manner that they almost precluded killing the pirates. A shot could be taken only if the death of the skipper appeared imminent. The seals were on site for 38 hours and had several chances to take out the pirates, but were held back. Finally, the on-site commander determined that the skipper was threatened and ordered the shot. The White House was furious. Obama claimed that he ordered the shot to gain public support, but this was clearly not the case. So, now it is pay back time for the seals.

READ transcript below:

RUSH: Greg in North Carolina, great to have you on the phone here, sir. Welcome to EIB Network.

CALLER: Hi, Mr. Limbaugh, how are you?

RUSH: Fine, sir.

CALLER: Good. I just wanted to call and kind of give a little more insight on this SEAL team situation. I was in the teams for 20 years. I have multiple-decade military service and came in not long after Vietnam. I also worked for Blackwater for a few years in Iraq and know one of the guys that was killed at Fallujah quite well. But, anyway, the point I’m going to get at here is that I think there’s quite a bit of evidence that this is kind of a backwash from the situation of a couple months ago when the SEAL operators rescued Captain Phillips off the coast of Somalia. You may recall that situation.

RUSH: Yes, I do.

CALLER: Well, the truth behind that situation is that the SEAL operators were kept off the scene for well over 36 hours. There was a lot of foot dragging by the commander-in-chief’s people in letting them in the theater. After they were in theater and in place they were given a very restrictive ROE: Rules Of Engagement. The ROE was so restrictive that really they couldn’t engage their targets. There were two previous opportunities to rescue Captain Phillips, and they were not allowed to take those opportunities.

RUSH: Let me stop you here because people may not know. We’re talking Somali pirates. We’re talking about the Maersk cargo ship that a bunch of Somali pirates, teenagers, took over. One of them eventually died, and the media credited Obama — honest to God, folks, the media credited Obama — with giving the order to pull the trigger. Now you may resume the story, sir.

CALLER: Okay. When they finally did engage the hostiles, they did it liberally interpreting the ROE, and the on-site commander finally was kind of fed up with the situation and gave them a weapons-free command and they were able to engage and rescue Captain Phillips. The fallout from that was immediate and rather violent in its anger. The White House people — I don’t know the president himself, I just know their representatives with the chain of command — were absolutely livid with this and they did not want the rescue to be conducted in the way that it was. You know, I cannot prove this because I would have to give names and I’m not giving names for obvious reasons. But the bottom line is that on very good, solid inside information, the national command authority past the Pentagon was not happy.

RUSH: So let me cut to the chase here. So what I think I hear you saying is the blowback that you mentioned is, this is payback for the SEALs violating the ROE on this captain of the Maersk; and this is the chain of command reasserting itself, letting everybody know who’s boss and what’s going to happen to you if you don’t follow orders?

CALLER: That is my rather experienced opinion — and, frankly, the opinion of others

Six Important Facts About the Assault Charges Three Navy SEALs Face for Doing Their Jobs

BIG Government

In recent years, I’ve published too many posts about members of the Armed Forces facing undeserved charges:

•First, it was the so-called “Haditha Marines” [1] who faced trumped-up charges, thanks largely to idiots like Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) declaring them guilty before a mainstream media eager to paint them in a bad light.

•Next, it was Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna [2] who was wrongly convicted of executing an Iraqi detainee, Ali Mansur, on May 16, 2008, and is now serving a 25-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

•Now, I’m following the case of three Navy SEALs facing assault charges [3] related to their capture of Ahmed Hashim Abed. Who is Abed? He’s the alleged planner of the March 2004 ambush, killing and mutilation of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, Iraq. The SEALS gave this enemy combatant piece of dirt a fat lip while apprehending him.

As my first investigative reporting effort related to the SEALs’ case, I offer six important facts about the case you’re likely not to read about in the mainstream media supplied to me by a source whom I cannot name inside the Pentagon:

1) The charges or accusations against the three Navy SEALs were not made from within the SEAL community. Sources tell me they came from someone within the Navy’s Master-at-Arm community.

2) The SEALs were presented with the option of going to Captain’s Mast for these charges but declined this form of non-judicial punishment and opted for court-martial instead. Why? Because they did not want to be judged by those outside of the SEAL community and believed the court-martial route would assure them the representation necessary to prove their innocence.

3) At no time did anyone within the Naval Special Warfare community have any control over these accusations or events other than providing advice or guidance to the accused SEALs.

4) The integrity of the chain of custody of the prisoner is at question.

5) There are extenuating circumstances that indicate there is questionable evidence in some of the accusations made.

6) Evidence will come out in a court-martial that might not have come out in a Captain’s Mast in favor of the accused SEALs.

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

These men are heroes, not criminals. They should be treated with dignity and honor

I believe the caller to Rush's show. Obama and his administration have consistently shown us they do not put our troops first, do not respect them. Obama favors the Muslims!!!

My prayers go out to these SEALS.

These men are being prosecuted because they did their job and because they did it well. This is what they are supposed to do. And aside from Fox News, the media is IGNORING this story!!!

Our soldiers and sailors are the men and women that have kept terrorists at bay for eight years. These are the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for you and your families. These are the men and women who have the enemy on the run right now so that you can sleep peacefully at night.

These are the men and women being shot at, blown up, injured and killed, and they are shooting back at the enemy to defend you against terrorists that would otherwise be in your town, shooting at you, taking your loved ones hostage and beheading them.

The prosecution of our Sailors for the alleged action against a terrorist is madness.

....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 05:49 AM | Comments (6)

December 05, 2009

Navy Seals Could Face One Year In Prison ~ See This Ad And Link So We Can Show Our Support For Our Navy Seals

Support The SEALs: Drop the Unfair and Outrageous Charges NOW!

The hearing is scheduled for December 7.

H/T Bare Naked Islam blog

SupportTheSeals.com is currently running 30- and 60-second ads on cable TV outlets in order to pressure the House, Senate, Administration and Military to drop the charges against these three brave heroes.


2004 ...Fallujah, Iraq. Four civilian U.S. contractors were transporting supplies for a catering company. They were ambushed, killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the streets, then hung from a bridge on the Euphrates River.

A NAVY SEAL TEAM captured one of the military’s “most wanted” terrorists, the one responsible for the heinous crime. Now 4 of our bravest and finest are facing prosecution because the scumbag terrorist claimed he got a bloody lip while in their custody.

SO-2 Petty Officer Second Class Matthew McCabe is accused of punching the terrorist, and is also charged with dereliction of duty for “failing” to safeguard the murderer. SO-2 Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe and SO-1 Julio Huertas are being charged with dereliction of duty and making false statements. The prisoner alleges that he was punched in the face by McCabe, but it isn’t clear if the injury occurred while he was in custody or when he was captured. Please note: He was not water-boarded. He was not interrogated agressively. He was not electro-shocked or tasered. His fingernails were not pulled out. Nor was he boiled in oil, or whatever other torture he may deserve. He most certainly was not shot, burned, mutilated, nor hung from a bridge. He got a bloody lip.

The Navy Seals could face one year in prison


The Navy Seals facing court martial for the alleged abuse of a terror suspect arrested for killing four Americans face up to a year in military confinement, discharge for bad conduct, and forfeiture of two-thirds of their pay for a year, if convicted, according to defense attorneys.

The three Navy Seals--Matthew McCabe, Jonathon Keefe, and Julio Huertas--will be arraigned on Monday in Norfolk, Va. They are facing a special court martial--which is equivalent to a misdemeanor charge--and have each denied the allegations of abuse and cover-up.

Further, their attorneys said that the possibilty that they would not be able to cross-examine their clients' accuser would be grounds for dismissing the case.

The accuser, Ahmed Hashim Abed, is the alleged architect of the murder of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. The bodies of the four Americans were burned and hanged from a bridge for display.

The three Navy Seals--Matthew McCabe, Jonathon Keefe, and Julio Huertas--will be arraigned on Monday in Norfolk, Va. They are facing a special court martial--which is equivalent to a misdemeanor charge--and have each denied the allegations of abuse and cover-up.

The trial date for McCabe, the Seal charged with the alleged assault, is tentatively set for Jan. 19, 2010, McCabe’s attorney Neal Puckett said.

Defense attorneys told CNSNews.com that they are waiting to see the evidence from military prosecutors because it is still under review to determine if it is classified. Even the charges, the only court filings in the case thus far, are still under review.

“The government has not handed over anything,” Huertas’ attorney Monica Lombardi told CNSNews.com. “They are now claiming that things are classified, but they are not saying what’s classified and what’s not classified. I filed my discovery request, and they denied it, pending a classification review. … We have no photographs of the alleged injuries.We have no medical reports of these alleged injuries."

The complete article is HERE


'Miscarriage of Justice'
Rep. Dan Burton on the Navy SEALS Court-Martial: “I would have done much worse. The al-Qaeda Manual says complain of torture if you’re caught.”


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

There will be a rally to support these SEALs on December 7th in Norfolk, Virginia.

This is a complete outrage and mockery of our US Military. As Americans, we CANNOT stand for this and MUST show our support for our troops who are constantly being put in harms way to protect the country that is now bringing them under fire. We must send a message that “political correctness” has reached a boiling point and that these service men will not be hung out to dry.

Support the Nave SEALs Facebook site:


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (9)

December 01, 2009

News Of Our Troops and Contact Information To Support Our Navy Seals

Trees for Troops is once again giving servicemembers overseas a whiff of home. Volunteers have organized to ship thousands of Christmas trees to military men and women around the world.


Cry Freedom

From the Cry Freedom 2010 website,......check it out.


UPDATE and contact information regarding our Navy Seals.

Gathering of Eagles

Three of America's finest sons; Navy SEALS Matthew McCabe, Jonathan Keefe and Julio Huertas are facing arraignment on Pearl Harbor Day and then Court Martial. Their crime? Allegedly punching one of Iraq's most wanted terrorists, Ahmed Abedm, and giving him a bloody lip.

The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called a captain's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.

Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.

Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.

Neal Puckett, an attorney representing McCabe, told Fox News the SEALs are being charged for allegedly giving the detainee a “punch in the gut.”

You can read the full story at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,576646,00.html

This is a complete outrage and mockery of our US Military. As Americans, we CANNOT stand for this and MUST show our support for our troops who are constantly being put in harms way to protect the country that is now bringing them under fire. We must send a message that “political correctness” has reached a boiling point and that these service men will not be hung out to dry.

Voice your opinion by contacting the following:

To file a citizen complaint regarding the treatment of these Navy Seals, please call 813-828-4976 on Monday…
or send emails now to:


US Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps :

The Office of the Judge
Advocate General : Public Affairs : 1322 Patterson Ave., Suite 3000 :
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066
Comm: (202) 685-5493 :
Phone Numbers: Washington Navy Yard: (202) 685-5190 :
Pentagon, Room 4C642: (703) 614-7420 :
AJAG, Military Law : 1254 Charles Morris St., SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5047
Comm: (202) 685-7053

Also here is the link at Facebook :

Support The Navy Seals who Captured Ahmed Hashim Abed

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

What the heck happened to our nation? This is a war and we want to prosecute the good guys because a bad guy got a bloody lip? We used to try to win wars and gain victory by killing people and blowing things up. Not in Obama’s world.

The monster they caught is the torturing, murderous thug who burned and destroyed the bodies of four Americans and then hung what was left of their bodies from a bridge Euphrates River in Fallujah, Iraq back in 2004. The piece of dirt they captured is a terrorist, despite the fact the Obama administration, even the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Seals, won’t even use the word “terrorist” because it might…get this…offend someone!! Team Obama wants to make sure he gets a fair trial and is afforded all the rights of a U.S. Citizen. In the meantime, the Obama administration wants the good guys behind bars!!!

What about the victims hanging from the bridge?

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (10)

November 29, 2009

Breathtaking Spy Plane Footage

Please amazing video of the SR-71 Blackbird as it goes 13 miles up.

Isn’t it amazing the technology that comes from a nation that supports a free enterprise system of advancement, and whats hated by Obama and those who seek to destroy it.

The music is called "Flight" performed by Ty Unwin especially for this show.

The view from a U-2 cruising at 70,000ft as the sky above turns black and the curvature of the Earth is visible.
Despite first flying over 50 years ago, the U-2 continues to serve in the USAF, having outlasted its Mach 3 replacement, the SR-71 (also from Lockheed).

The only people to have gone gone higher on any sort of regular basis were SR-71 pilots. Astronautics have, of course, gone higher still, but certainly not on a regular basis.

And this below is the training for the flight.

Lockheed U-2 Flight - The Training + Extra Flight Scenes Featuring some of the unique training required for high altitude flight. From how to eject to the effects of the low air pressure at 70,000ft on a bottle of water and a rubber glove.

Also features some extra scenes and alternative commentary from the flight itself .

The civilian in the plane is James May, he is is best known as co-presenter of the motoring programme Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. He also writes a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph's motoring section.

He currently lives in Hammersmith, London with his girlfriend Sarah Frater, and with his cat Fusker.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (10)

Sgt. Josh Revak Singing "Empty Boots," His Self Penned Memorial to Fallen Soldiers

Josh Revak had finished his five-year service — 22 of those months in Iraq —with the 1st Brigade, 37th Armor Regiment

I served in the active army from Jan 30, 2002 until Jul 1 2007. During my first deployment in November 2003, my friend Tim Hayslett was killed. All I could do was write a song for him. When the Command Sergeant Major heard the song, he asked us to play at the memorial. The soldiers grieved more then they had in the past memorials, as we made it very personal. We agreed to play every memorial service after that. Unfortunately, the memorial almost always was honoring a friend of mine. I would write a song for each memorial and play during the ceremony.

After I had written for several memorials and had been wounded myself, I learned that my friend and guitar teacher, Aaron Jagger, was killed. He had played at all those memorial services with me. The pain of losing him left me crushed. I recorded the album In the Hours of Darkness in memory of him. It is what he would have wanted me to do. I was awarded two Purple Hearts from wounds received in Ramadi, Iraq on June 26, 2006. All together, I spent 22 months in Iraq. Since the military, I have settled down in Ham Lake, Minnesota with my wife and daughter, and we have a child on the way. I am still recovering from wounds received in combat.


Song Description

The song “Empty Boots” was written after I had already been wounded and was recovering in Germany. Andrew Daul, a really good friend of mine, was killed. I had attended one too many memorial services, and was haunted by the memories of several friends’ empty boots, helmets, dog tags and rifles--displayed as the last reminders of their voices and faces. The song derived from these haunting feelings. I recorded the song in Nashville, using the Grand Ole Opry band as the studio musicians and featuring Gene Chrisman on drums. Gene has a musical track record that is truly one of a kind: he has played with Elvis, Jerry Lee Louis, and the Highwaymen, just to name a few.


Wild Thing's comment......

Here is his MySpace Page

God bless you Josh and thank you!

....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 04:47 AM | Comments (6)

November 23, 2009

Checking in With Our Troops In Afghanistan

Along Afghanistans porous border with Pakistan, the U.S. Army is focused on reaching out to Afghan villagers and building local institutions. Immense Mountains and abject poverty stand out as obstacles to success, but it is the human terrain that presents the greatest challenge.

In this mini-documentary, Lt. Jake Kerr Combat Platoon out of a remote outpost in the Dangam District of eastern Afghanistans Kunar province,


More news of our troops..............

An army soldier keeps position on a hilltop post in Mamond assisting the aerial assault by fighter jets. – Photo by AP.

KHAR: At least 18 militants were killed and eight others wounded in air raids and clashes with troops in Mamond and Khar tehsils of Bajaur tribal region on Sunday.

Two soldiers were injured.

Officials said that jets bombed militants’ hideouts in Spery, Kherkai and Sewai areas of Mamond tehsil.

Local people said that in two hours of bombing, five militants, including two foreigners, were killed and four others were injured.

Security forces fought pitched battle with militants in Khar, thwarting their plan to attack security posts in Lowi Sam, Enzari and Rashakai.

An official said that about 40 to 60 militants were to take part in the attack. He said 11 militants, including their leader named Rafiullah, were killed. Security forces brought the body of Rafiullah to a camp.

Militants have stepped up attacks on security forces in Mamond and other areas in Bajaur.

The house of a militant was destroyed in Terkhu area. Local people said that two militants hiding in the house were killed.


AH-1 Cobra helicopters patrol over Afghanistan assisting ground units with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:48 AM | Comments (1)

November 21, 2009

US Army Unit to Return to Region of Deadly Battle

Army unit to return to region of deadly battle


The 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment is heading back to the same region where it took part in the Army’s deadliest battle in Afghanistan.

While the rest of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team is heading to Logar and Wardak provinces for its upcoming deployment, the 2-503rd will be assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, said Maj. Thomas Gilleran, 173rd public affairs officer.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team is serving in Kunar province, the same region where the 2-503rd served in 2007-2008.

During its 14-month tour, "The Rock," as the unit is known, engaged in hundreds of contacts with enemy forces, including the battle of Wanat, in which hundreds of insurgents attacked a small, remote Army outpost. In the hours-long battle, nine 2-503rd soldiers were killed and more than two dozen were wounded.

The region is still volatile.

Since the beginning of October, 12 soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team have died, including eight who were killed Oct. 3 in Kamdesh district in an attack similar to the one at Wanat.

Kamdesh is in Nuristan province and northeast of Wanat. Kamdesh is one of a collection of isolated valleys near northeastern Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan where U.S. troops have faced fierce resistance in recent years. Military and outside analysts have described the insurgency in northeast Afghanistan as a hybrid of local, tribally based fighters loosely allied with the Taliban and other insurgent networks. The military initially ascribed the Kamdesh attack to tribal militias but later blamed the Taliban.

Battalion leaders confirmed the 2-503rd’s upcoming assignment.

More than 3,000 troops based in Germany and Italy are taking part in the 173rd’s upcoming deployment, which was first announced in July.

Gilleran said Friday that advance elements from the brigade are already in the country and he expected the unit would take control of its area of operations from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division "in the near future."

"We will have pieces of the brigade continue to deploy over the next few weeks," he said.

Wardak and Logar provinces are directly south of the provinces of Parwan, the home of Bagram Air Field, and Kabul, the country’s capital.

South of Kabul, Logar province has long been the heart of insurgent activity targeting the capital city.

Desert conditions and rocky, mountainous terrain embrace lush green valleys where fruit orchards and wheat fields feed the capital. But a scarcity of water and the terrorizing reign of the Taliban have left the villagers poor, scared and often unwilling to side with an absentee government.

In some parts of the province, 3rd Brigade Combat Team soldiers have been training a ragtag Afghan police force, while others are pushing out on patrols to villages, getting to know friendly faces, and often, trying to win over ambivalent, or even hostile, villagers.

It’s the 173rd’s third deployment to Afghanistan since 2005.

"Hopefully, we will set the conditions ... so that we as a brigade will no longer have to go back (to Afghanistan)," Gilleran said.

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

The long history of this unit in particularly Vietnam are a testament to those who serve and have served in it.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (4)

November 15, 2009

Apache Takes Out IED Emplacement Team With A Hellfire Missile In Iraq

AH-64 Gunship Takes Out IED Emplacement Team With A Hellfire Missile In Iraq.

Checking in with our troops and various images from AFGHANISTAN

Staff Sgt. Steven Dubois of Remus, MI and the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry loads a rifle magazine with ammunition at firebase Restrepo. Dubois' tattoo reads "For The Fallen" and lists the names of 17 of his friends who have died in combat during his tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.


Why Winning Matters
by Chuck Holton Boots on the Ground

I don't claim to be an expert on the war in Afghanistan. But for the last month or so, I've had the privilege of living with a bunch of people to whom I would give that classification - men and women who are in the war zone, putting their lives on the line every day.

And from my conversations with these experts, I've come to the conclusion that there are three main reasons why winning in Afghanistan is vital to our nation and to all those who claim the Christian faith. (Let me be clear that I don't count those two groups as one and the same, but neither are they mutually exclusive.)

Two of the reasons we need to win are practical, and one is philosophical.

1. The Taliban

If the world body were to abandon Afghanistan tomorrow, the country would revert to Taliban rule in very short order. This isn't because the Afghan people necessarily desire to live under extreme Sharia law. But without anyone to protect them from the Taliban, these brutal extremists will have free reign over much of the country, with the Panjshir valley a notable exception.
The opium trade would flourish, giving the Taliban millions in cash with which to extend their military reign of terror, and America's enemies like Al Qaeda would have won a vital strategic location from which to plot and execute attacks on our interests around the globe.

2. Opium

Ninety percent of the world's illegal opium comes from Afghanistan. Not only does every kilo of heroin produced there materially benefit those who have sworn to destroy us, every kilo actually DOES possibly destroy some small part of Western civilization by ruining lives that might otherwise be productive.

We need to be in Afghanistan for the same reason we need to be in Colombia - and have been for more than two decades. Heroin is an insidious weapon that poisons free societies. We need to be investing heavily in countering this threat around the world - not just in Afghanistan, but especially there.

3. Freedom

For some people in America, saying "we're over there fighting for freedom" has become a worn-out phrase since 9/11. But from a Christian standpoint, consider this: There isn't a single established Christian church in Afghanistan today. About 99 percent of all Afghans are Muslim.

And they should have every right to BE Muslim if that is what they choose, but that's the point - there is no choice in Afghanistan today. If an Afghan wants to be Buddhist, or gnostic, or Christian, or anything other than Muslim, he either hides his beliefs or potentially forfeits his life.

The last time I checked, our Declaration of Independence still reads,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...

I see nothing in this assertion that excludes men who don't happen to be Americans. I'm not saying this war is some kind of religious crusade to spread Christendom to the uttermost parts of the earth - but I'm saying America was founded on the belief that every man deserves the right to control his own destiny. And that's not a right enjoyed by most Afghans today.

Why does this matter to our national security? America has always stood as a beacon of hope for the opressed around the world. It is this fact that has made our nation great - we stand for liberty. Many countries enjoy bountiful natural resources. Many cultures embody a strong work ethic. These traits don't set the United States apart - liberty does.

Once that light begins to fade - so too will America.


A U.S. Army Pilot flying a UH-61 Blackhawk helicopter, drops ammunition and water to U.S. Soldiers, from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, following a three hour gun battle, in Waterpur Valley, at Kunar province, Afghanistan, Nov. 3, 2009. (U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Moeller/Released


U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment and Afghan soldiers wait to leave Patrol Base Hasan Abad ,in the Garmsir district of Helmand province, Afghanistan


US Army (USA) Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Assault), prepare to search a taxi truck, loaded with civilians, at a vehicle check point located near the village of Sulamain Khel, Afghanistan. USA Soldiers are operating 18-miles from the Afghanistan and Pakistan border


Spc. Matthew King of Lompoc, California reads a card from his mother during a rare mail call in Forward Operating Base Zerok in Paktika province, Afghanistan. Conditions are harsh for the soldiers of the 3-509 US Army's 25th Infantry Division and their Afghan Army counterparts at the Zerok field base near the border with Pakistan. The troops stationed at the base frequently patrol the adjacent mountains on foot and endure frequent attacks by militants, as well as living without showers or laundry for months.


Afghan man poses in Sabari Afghanistan, July 28, 2009. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Matthew Freire /Released


U.S. Army Soldiers awake, in their hasty fighting position, after a night patrol in the mountains, near Sar Howza, in Paktika province, Afghanistan, Sept. 2009. The Soldiers are deployed with Bulldog Troop, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith/Released
















OJ Bailey II, SFC, USASF (Retired)
VP Marketing and Military Liaison
Tactical Operational Products


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Sheath: Kydex

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (9)

November 14, 2009

Soldier ReUnited With His Dog

His dog's name is Gracie.


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

This is such a feel good video. I love it!!!!

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

Vietnam War Veteran
25th Inf Div 66 and 67

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (3)

November 13, 2009

USNA Subbed Mids To Look More Diverse

USNA subbed mids to look more diverse

Navy Times

By Philip Ewing

Staff writer

Naval Academy leaders removed two midshipmen from a color guard that performed at the World Series last week because they were white men, and replaced them with a non-white man and a white woman so the academy could present a more “diverse” profile, according to several sources, a move that has reportedly angered mids and alumni.

As it turned out, the color guard still ended up all white because the male replacement forgot parts of his uniform.

Two white, male members of the color guard learned Oct. 28 they were being replaced with a white woman, Midshipman 2nd Class Hannah Allaire, and a non-white man, Midshipman 2nd Class Zishan Hameed, on orders of the school’s administration, according to an internal e-mail message provided to Navy Times by an academy professor. With a national television audience, Naval Academy leadership worried the color guard it planned to send wasn’t diverse enough, the e-mail said.

However, after the color guard arrived in New York for the game Oct. 29, Hameed, whose family is from Pakistan, realized he had left his dress shoes and cover in Annapolis. Midshipman 1st Class Aaron Stroud regained his place and served as a rifleman for the presentation of the colors. Allaire carried the other rifle and the four original members marched with the flags.

Naval Academy spokesman Cmdr. Joe Carpenter responded to questions about the midshipmen replacements in a written statement Thursday after the color guard story was first reported on the blog “CDR Salamander.”
Carpenter quoted a statement from Naval Academy Commandant Capt. Matt Klunder, who said he wanted to respond to questions about why some of the members of the color guard weren’t able to march at the World Series.

Academy officials actually sent an eight-person color guard to the baseball game, Klunder said, but the full squad couldn’t perform after Hameed forgot part of his uniform, because color guards need an even number of members. So it wasn’t that the academy administration yanked members of the color guard because they were white men, it’s that Hameed’s “uniform inventory problem,” as Klunder called it, meant that only six mids could march, instead of eight.

But a Naval Academy press release on the morning of the game said six mids were presenting the colors at the World Series, and identified them all by name. Stroud and the other white male mid who had been cut went to the game, according to the e-mail obtained by Navy Times — fortunate, because Stroud was needed to take Hameed’s place — but they never expected to be able to march that night.

Carpenter said the initial press release included only six names because the public affairs office didn’t know who else would be joining the World Series color guard. When it learned the names of the other two, the public affairs staff decided it would be too late to put out an updated announcement, he said.

The administration’s decision upset many of the mids, according to the e-mail. But after Klunder heard complaints about the situation from alumni and family members, the brigade’s company commanders were ordered to tell their midshipmen they were forbidden from discussing the color guard story with people outside the Yard, according to a source familiar with the situation who was not authorized to discuss it.

The source said current midshipmen and alumni were frustrated that one of them was denied the chance to march at the World Series, despite having earned it, and that the administration was trying to squelch discussion of it.

Carpenter said he didn’t know who told the midshipmen not to talk about the situation.

The Naval Academy color guard, which is a voluntary extracurricular group, has 28 total members from all four classes.

Naval Academy Changed Color Guard to Appear More Diverse at World Series

FOX News

Naval Academy leaders are under fire after altering the composition of the military color guard at a World Series game last month so the group wouldn't be made up only of white men.

Capt. Matthew Klunder, commandant of midshipmen, disputed that version of events. He said he considered replacing two members but decided to add two extra people instead, expanding the group from six to eight members.

Only six people ended up participating in the Game 2 routine at Yankee Stadium, Klunder said, because one of the two additions — Midshipman 2nd Class Zishan Hameed — forgot parts of his uniform. The color guard performs in even numbers, he said.

Color guard members were upset by the decision to change the makeup of the group .


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

This news item has been a hot topic on USNA Grad sites and is just what it seems. The fact that one of the “replacements” forgot his hat and shoes makes it even more illustrative of the kind of things that are going on at USNA and in the military.

At least this event didn’t get anyone killed, but the PC bent of our military leaders(who are no leaders) inspired by their political bosses is going to be the death of our great military.

Diversity isn’t a strength, character and performance are strenghts.

I really hate to see this kind of thing happening. The military more then anything else needs to be free of this kind of thing. Men and women that serve have their lives at risk and they don't need this put into the mix.

How about individual qualifications instead of quotas? PC and diversity seems to rule everything in this country.

The P.C. crap invades the military mostly from the Congress and the Administration and it is imo part of the reason we have 13 dead soldiers at Fort Hood.

As Nick ( Angry Old Salt) said about this story :

"internally the Navy I know and love wants to treat everyone the same regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin - it is Congress and Big Navy though that decided that equality isn't enough.But this is about PC crap and it is an enemy of our military in all branches."

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

RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company

13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:49 AM | Comments (7)

November 12, 2009

" Remember Me" ~ A VERY Special Video

Music is "Pacific Wind" by Ryan Farish

The video was put together by a young lady of 15 years named Lizzie Palmer.

God Bless Lizzie for stepping up to the plate and using her talents to support our soldiers in such a dramatic way. Would that there were 1,000 more just like her. She's done more to help win the war on the homefront--where it is currently being lost--than all the chicken-necked RINOs in Congress put together.


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

I have posted this before, last year. But I really believe it is something that should be seen more often.

It truly is an awesome video.

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

RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company

13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:45 AM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2009

No Decision on Troop Increase

Foxnews: "I wanna bring you a bit of Breaking News courtesy of Major Garrett, he is now reporting in terms of a decision on whether to deploy more troops to Afghanistan...Major has said that the White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has said this morning that the President has actually not yet made a decision at this point, there are some reports out there (that would be CBSNEWS that hit the Drudgereport yesterday at 5:00p.m.)from other media outlets that he was very close to or had made a decision and it would be in the neighborhood of 30K, Major is saying that he is being told that the President HAS NOT made a decision, any announcement will not come until after the President returns from a trip to Asia...He does not return to the United States until the 20th of November"

Barack Obama will likely hold off deciding his strategy and troop strength levels until December, according to a New York Times report on his upcoming meeting Wednesday with his national security advisers.

This would make four months since Obama's hand-picked Afghan General Stanley McChrystal made an urgent request in August for 40,000 to 80,000 reinforcements, warning the war would be lost within twelve months without them.

Obama recently asked for new troop level options and for reports on the provincial Afghan governments.

Obama has made numerous excuses for delaying his decision, most prominent of them the election controversy over Hamid Karzai's reelection as Afghanistan's president. The election was resolved last week. Obama's latest excuses were his Asia trip this week and a Nato meeting on the 23rd, until the Times article raised a new excuse--the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of November:

Officials said that no decision was expected from Mr. Obama on Wednesday, but that he would mull over the discussions at the meeting during a trip to Asia that begins Thursday. Mr. Obama is not due back in Washington until next Thursday. Officials said that it was possible that he could announce his decision in the three days before Thanksgiving, which is on Nov. 26, but that an announcement in the first week of December seemed more likely.

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

God help our troops, please. Their commander-in-chief won't.

Obama took the 3 am phone call; rolled over, said wake me at noon. Obama thinks he can get away with voting “present” on the Afghanistan War - troop request.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (5)

November 10, 2009

A Tribute To The United States Marine Corps ~ Happy 234th Birthday

Theodore's World Salutes the U.S. Marine Corps on Its 234th Birthday

Nov.10, 1775 – Nov.10, 2009

Semper Fidelis!

(Always Faithful!)

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway delivers the 234th Marine Corps Birthday message. " Carrying On A Legacy Of Valor "
It honors all Marines past and present. A special tribute to today's Heroes, Cpl Jonathan T. Yale, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines and LCpl Jordan C. Haerter, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. These fine Marines were KIA 22 April, 2008. Their heroic actions that day, saved the lives of over 50 Iraqis and Marines. They were both posthumously presented the Navy Cross for Extraordinary Heroism on February 20th, 2009. The Navy Cross is our nations second highest award for valor in combat. Jonathan was 21 years old, Jordan was 19 years old.


Authorized by an Act of Congress dated Nov.10,1775, the U.S. Marine Corps has served as an integral arm of the Department of the Navy since the Revolutionary War. From its legendary founding at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, the Marine Corps has won reknown as America’s "Soldiers of the Sea".


"Retreat Hell! We've Just got here!" Attributed by MajGen Ben Fuller to Col Frederick M. "Dopey" Wise, CO 2d Bn., 5th Marines, 2dDiv, AEF in France, on being informed that the French troops were retreating and being advised to do likewise, Wise reportedly erupted with an expletive.
"Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?" GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918
"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." 1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, U.S. Army, Commander of American Forces in World War I

"What shall I say of the gallantry with which these Marines have fought! Of the slopes of Hill 142; of the Mares Farm; of the Bois de Belleau and the Village of Bouresches stained with their blood, and not only taken away from the Germans in the full tide of their advance against the French, but held by my boys against counter attacks day after day and night after night. I cannot write of their splendid gallantry without tears coming to my eyes." MajGen James G. Harbord, USA, in his book, "Leaves from a War Diary"

In the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the Marines made their famed assault on Chapultepec Palace in Mexico City, which would be later celebrated by the phrase "From The Halls of Montezuma" in the Marines' hymn.

During World War I veteran Marines served a central role in the late American entry into the conflict.The Fifth and Sixth Marine Regiments fought their way to everlasting glory at Belleau Wood, creating the Marines' reputation in modern history. While its previous expeditionary experiences had not earned it much acclaim in the Western world, the Marines' ferocity and toughness in France earned them the respect of the Germans, who rated them of stormtrooper quality. The Corps had entered the war with 511 officers and 13,214 enlisted personnel, and by 11 November 1918 had reached a strength of 2,400 officers and 70,000 men.

In World War II, the Marines played a central role in the Pacific War, executing a series of daring amphibious landings on such islands as Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning." Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, Tarawa, 21 November 1943.

During the battle of Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photograph of five Marines and one Navy Corpsman raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, having come ashore earlier that day, said of the flag raising, "...the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years." The acts of the Marines during the war added to their already significant popular reputation. By war's end, the Corps expanded from two brigades to six divisions, five air wings, and supporting troops, totaling about 485,000 Marines. In addition, 20 defense battalions and a parachute battalion were set raised.[37] Nearly 87,000 Marines were casualties during World War II (including nearly 20,000 killed), and 82 were awarded the Medal of Honor.

"By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy

The Korean War (1950-1953) saw the hastily formed Provisional Marine Brigade holding the defensive line at the Pusan Perimeter. To execute a flanking maneuver, General Douglas MacArthur called on Marine air and ground forces to make an amphibious landing at Inchon. The successful landing resulted in the collapse of North Korean lines and the pursuit of North Korean forces north near the Yalu River until the entrance of the People's Republic of China into the war. Chinese troops surrounded, surprised and overwhelmed the overextended and outnumbered American forces. X Corps, which included the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division, regrouped and inflicted heavy casualties during their fighting withdrawal to the coast, now known as the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

"Don't you forget that you’re Marines - First Marines! Not all the communists in hell can overrun you!" Col Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, rallying his 1st Marines near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950

Marines would continue a battle of attrition around the 38th Parallel until the 1953 armistice. The Korean War saw the Corps expand from 75,000 regulars to a force of 261,000 Marines, mostly reservists. 30,544 Marines were killed or wounded during the war and 42 were awarded the Medal of Honor.

The Marine Corps served an important role in the Vietnam War taking part in such battles as Da Nang, the Relief of Hue City, and the Battle of Khe Sanh. Individuals from the USMC operated in the Northern I Corps Regions of South Vietnam. While there, they were constantly engaged in a guerrilla war against the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF) and an intermittent conventional war against the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). Portions of the Corps were responsible for the less-known Combined Action Program (CAP) that implemented unconventional techniques for counter-insurgency and worked as military advisors to the Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps. Marines were withdrawn in 1971, and returned briefly in 1975 to evacuate Saigon and attempt a rescue of the crew of the Mayagüez.

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 led to the largest movement of Marine forces since World War II. Between August 1990 and January 1991, 24 infantry battalions, 40 squadrons (more than 92,000 Marines) deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield. The air campaign of Operation Desert Storm began Jan. 16, 1991, followed by the main overland attack Feb. 24 when the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions breached the Iraqi defense lines and stormed into occupied Kuwait. Meanwhile, the threat from the sea in the form of Marine Expeditionary Brigades held 50,000 Iraqis in check along the Kuwait coast. By the morning of Feb. 28, 100 hours after the ground war began, the Iraqi army was no longer a threat.

"I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like 'brilliant', it would really be an under description of the absolutely superb job that they did in breaching the so-called 'impenetrable barrier'. It was a classic - absolutely classic- military breaching of a very very tough minefield, barbed wire, fire trenches-type barrier." Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army Commander, Operation Desert Storm, February 1991

Today's Marines remain a vital link in America's fighting forces on land, at sea and in the air. They pride themselves on professionalism, brotherhood, esprit de corps and being "First To Fight". They serve with distinction on the ground and in the air above Iraq and Afghanistan.

"These are my recruits. I will train them to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Marines, thoroughly indoctrinated in love of Corps and country. I will demand of them, and demonstrate by my own example, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality, and professional skill."
"Drill Instructor’s Creed" as it appeared in the Parris Island "Boot" newspaper, Aug. 31, 1956

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:49 AM | Comments (12)

November 08, 2009

Semper Fi Join Me In Project Valour-IT ~ Marine Team!

By Cordell Keith Haugen

He was sitting on a park bench, hunched and looking low. It was hard to imagine how he'd looked so long ago. His beard was long and shaggy now; his sparse hair white as snow but his steel gray eyes were piercing and I turned away to go.

He looked lonely and forgotten and maybe homeless too. Like life had dealt him a bad hand maybe quite a few. He was probably abandoned by those who didn't care I wondered what had happened. What drove him to despair.

He said, "Son, I'm a Leatherneck, of wars before your time." His eyes grew still more piercing as he looked deep into mine. "Your uniform says you're a Devil Dog, the man I've waited for. And there's something I want to tell you -- things I've never said before."
The tattoos on his weathered arm read "Mom" and "Semper Fi." "Let's sing our hymn together, son, once more before I die." As we sang of Montezuma's halls and the shores of Tripoli, the old man stood straight and tall and he looked down at me.
"Bury me at Arlington; put an EGA upon my chest. Tell all the world I died for them that I was one of the best. I was with the Fifth on Iwo and I fought in Korea too. During that ugly war in Vietnam, I stood proud, and cheered for you.
"Get me a straight edge razor, lad and give me a good clean shave. I want to look my very best as I go to my grave. Cut my hair; shine my boots; let me borrow your best blues. You have them back after I'm gone and all my medals too.
"I don't want no flowers, an American flag will do. My life was lived and given for the Red and White and Blue. Whisper 'Semper Fi' my boy, so loud that all will hear. Fire them rifles in the air; they're music to my ear."

As he told me his last wishes. I saw him standing tall. I could see the ribbons on his chest, in the dim light of the Mall. And as he closed his steel gray eyes, I thought about the Corps. He'd lived the life of a real Marine, who could ask for anything more?

"Whisper 'Semper Fi,' my lad," his voice lingered in my mind I thought about all my buddies, those I'd left behind. Today, I'd met a real Marine, a hero through and through.

Forgotten by his country, but not by me and you.

Project Valour-IT helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries. Items supplied include:

*Voice-controlled Laptops – Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.

*Wii Video Game Systems – Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions (donated only to medical facilities).

*Personal GPS – Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTSD.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:48 AM | Comments (3)

Military Releases Names of Dead and Wounded in Fort Hood Shooting~ We will never forget !

At an Army press conference at Fort Hood, the names of the 13 victims from the shooting rampage were read out loud. A spokesperson said these were more than names, they were heroes.

The fatal victims of the Ft. Hood shooting, as released by the Department of Defense on Saturday:

Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, 55, Havre de Grace, MD

Maj. Libardo Caraveo, 52, Woodbridge, VA

Cpt. John P. Gaffaney, 54, San Diego, CA

Cpt. Russell Seager, 41, Racine, WI

Staff Sgt. Justin Decrow, 32, Plymouth, IN

Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, Kiel, WI

Spc. Jason Hunt, 22, Tillman, OK

Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, Mountain City, TN

PFC Aaron Nemelka, 19, West Jordan, UT

PFC Michael Pearson, 22, Bolingbrook, IL

PFC Kham Xiong, 23, St. Paul, MN

Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, Chicago, IL

Michael G. Cahill, Cameron, TX [civilian]

Day is done,
gone the sun,
from the lakes
from the hills
from the sky,
all is well,
safely, rest,
God is near.

Fading light,
Dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky
Gleaming bright,
From afar,
Drawing, near,
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun
Neath the stars
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This, we, know,
God is near.

Anysoldier.com compiled a list of wounded from various news reports as follows


Sgt. Patrick Blue III, 23, of Belcourt, N.D., was hit in the side by bullet fragments during the attack

Amber Bahr, 19, of Random Lake, Wis., was shot in the stomach.

Keara Bono Torkelson, 21, of Ostego, Mo., was shot in the back left shoulder.

Alan Carroll, 20, of Bridgewater, N.J., was shot three times.

Reservist Dorothy “Dorrie” Carskadon of Rockford, Ill., was critically injured.

Staff Sgt. Joy Clark, 27, of Des Moines suffered a gunshot wound

Spc. Matthew Cook, 30, of Binghamton, N.Y., was shot in the abdomen

Staff Sgt. Chad Davis of Eufaula, Ala., was wounded.(?? one of ours? attempting to find out...)

Pvt. Joey Foster, 21, of Ogden, Utah, was shot in the hip

Cpl. Nathan Hewitt, 26, of West Lafayette, Ind.

Pvt. Najee Hull, 21, of Chicago was shot three times, once in the leg and twice in the back.

Justin Johnson, 21, of Punta Gorda, Fla., was shot in the chest and leg.

Staff. Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, of Richmond County, N.C., was shot multiple times.

Shawn Manning, 33, formerly of Redman, Ore., was shot six times

Army 2nd Lt. Brandy Mason, of Monessen, was wounded.

Reserve Spc. Grant Moxon, 23, of Lodi, Wis., was shot in the leg.

Sgt. Kimberly Munley, 34, of Killeen is the Fort Hood civilian police officer who was shot multiple times by the suspect.

Sgt. John Pagel, 28, of North Freedom, Wis., who was shot in the arm and chest.

Chief Warrant Officer Chris Royal, 38, of Eclectic, Ala., was shot three times.

Maj. Randy Royer of Dothan, Ala., was shot.

Pvt. Raymondo “Ray” Saucedo, 26, of Greenville, Mich., had a bullet graze his arm.

George Stratton III, 18, of Post Falls, Idaho, was shot in the shoulder.

Patrick Zeigler, 28, of Orange County, Fla., was critically wounded

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (5)

November 07, 2009

Thank you Sgt Kim Munley ~ American Hero!!!!

Sgt Kim Munley has been hailed a heroine after taking on the lone gunman who went on a shooting spree at a huge military base in Texas, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others.

Texas police officer is a hero for shooting Fort Hood killer Nidan Hasan 4 times during his killing rampage.

A police officer who intervened to stop a shooting spree at America’s biggest military base was hailed today a heroine as she received treatment for the wounds received in a shoot-out with the gunman.

Major Nidal Hasan, an army psychiatrist due to be posted to Afghanistan, shot dead 13 people and wounded 30 others after opening fire with two handguns at Fort Hood yesterday afternoon.

But the death toll from the rampage could have been far worse had it not been for the actions of Sergeant Kimberly Munley, a civilian police officer stationed at the base who was the first on the scene as Major Hasan picked off his victims.

Sergeant Munley managed to hit Major Hasan four times but was herself hit by a bullet that passed through both her legs, according to witnesses.

Fort Hood shooting: Kim Munley hailed for bravery in shooting Hasan


Mrs Munley was one of the "first responders" who returned fire after army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan went on the rampage at the sprawling Fort Hood base in Texas.

She shot Hasan four times but was herself wounded in the gun battle. Her condition is now stable, according to military officials.

"They both exchanged fire and both were wounded," said Col John Rossi during a press conference at the giant base. "Her efforts were superb." The colonel also praised "the heroic efforts of our great soldiers at the scene".

The police officer has been praised for her bravery and for preventing what could have been an even worse massacre.

Hasan, who was about to be posted to Afghanistan, was found alive and taken under armed guard to a nearby hospital.

He was in a serious but stable condition and not in imminent danger of dying. He was unconscious and on a ventilator.

Mrs Munley is married to Matthew Munley, a staff seargeant who has done two tours of Iraq, and they have a three-year-old daughter Jayden.

The family home, on a street near Fort Hood, has many empty homes because those who live there have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Her brother-in-law Bryan Munley said: “There’s nothing that stands in her way. It completely makes sense that she did what she did. Without her, there would have been a lot more people killed. She is definitely a tough woman.”
Neighbours recalled that she thwarted burglars who tried to break into her house last year, telling them: “If you come in I’m going to shoot.”
Erin Houston said: “I just felt more protected knowing she was on my street.”

Her father Dennis Barbour and stepmother Wanda Barbour run a fishing tackle shop in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

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

Thank you Sgt. Kim Munley, for saving more lives at Fort Hood, being courageous enough to incapacitate the perpetrator Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, while being wounded. Our entire and very grateful nation is extremely proud of you, Sergeant Munley.

You Muslim's a woman shot your unclean brother like the rodent he is!

Bush would have already hailed her as a hero … Obama is to busy saying I, I, I to acknowledge anyone else as a possible spotlight center.

....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 05:55 AM | Comments (10)

Fort Hood Survivors and More On TERRORIST Nidal Malik Hasan


The 13 people killed when an Army psychiatrist allegedly opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, included a pregnant woman who was preparing to return home and a newlywed who had served in Iraq.


Fort Worth soldier was hero in Fort Hood rampage

Pfc. Marquest Smith, a former Fort Worth resident who joined the Army just over a year ago, was in a small cubicle inside the Soldier Readiness Center when he heard popping sounds. A bullet tore through the cubicle wall and lodged in the heel of his boot.

Within 15 minutes, the 21-year-old soldier was rushing through the chaos in the huge processing center to pull four wounded victims to safety and help take them to the hospital. The gunman fired toward him from across the room as Smith was fleeing the building.

Other tales of heroism spread throughout this grief-stricken base Friday as it struggled with the aftermath of the worst attack ever at a U.S. military installation. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, who arrived at Fort Hood with new Army Secretary John McHugh, called it "a kick in the gut."***

Eight of the wounded were treated and released, and of the 30 originally hospitalized, 23 — including the alleged gunman — remained in hospitals late Friday. Thirteen flag-draped coffins were placed aboard a C-17 and flown to a military installation in Dover, Del., for final funeral preparations.

McHugh, who succeeded Pete Geren of Fort Worth as army secretary Sept. 21, told reporters that the FBI and Defense Department are conducting a joint investigation into Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who was felled in an exchange of gunfire with a civilian policewoman.***

Hasan, who sustained at least four gunshot wounds, was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio at mid-afternoon, the Army said Friday night.***

Col. John Rossi, at mid-evening Friday, said Hasan apparently fired more than 100 rounds of ammunition from his two handguns, a 5.7 mm semiautomatic and an older model Smith & Wesson .357-caliber revolver.


Bernie Goldberg saying that if Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan was a "White Male Christian" instead of a Muslim, his religion would be the top story in the mainstream media. But because he is Muslim, most of the mainstream media refuse to even consider that his Islamic beliefs are central to his commit a terrorist act.

Shooter advised Obama transition

Fort Hood triggerman aided team on Homeland Security task force

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged shooter in yesterday's massacre at Fort Hood, played a homeland security advisory role in President Barack Obama's transition into the White House, according to a key university policy institute document.

The Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University published a document May 19, entitled "Thinking Anew – Security Priorities for the Next Administration: Proceedings Report of the HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force, April 2008 – January 2009," in which Hasan of the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine is listed on page 29 of the document as a Task Force Event Participant.

Hasan received his medical degree from the military's Uniformed Services University School in Bethesda, Md., in 2001.

Noting that the Obama administration transition was proceeding, the GWU Homeland Security Policy Institute report described on the first page the role of the Presidential Transition Task Force as including "representatives from past Administrations, State government, Fortune 500 companies, academia, research institutions and non-governmental organizations with global reach."

While the GWU task force participants included several members of government, including representatives of the Department of Justice and the U.S Department of Homeland Security, there is no indication in the document that the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition, other than to serve in a university-based advisory capacity.

Daniel Kaniewski, deputy director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University affirmed to WND in a telephone interview this morning that the Nidal Hasan listed as attending the meetings of the HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force was the same person as the alleged shooter in the Fort Hood massacre.

Kaniewski said Hasan attended the meetings in his capacity as a member of the faculty of the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, not as a member of the HSPI Presidential Task Force.

Kaniewski believed Hasan applied on the institute's website to attend the meeting and was accepted because of his professional credentials.

Kaniewski could not tell WND whether or not Hasan made comments from the audience that influenced the task force recommendations or not.

He further confirmed Hasan had attended several meetings held by the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University and that the institute is currently searching conference records to see if it is possible to determine what additional institute conferences he attended.


Obama's Frightening Insensitivity Following Shooting

NBC Chicago

Obama didn't wait long after Tuesday's devastating elections to give critics another reason to question his leadership, but this time the subject matter was more grim than a pair of governorships.

After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.

But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner." Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?

Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours had to have been stunned. An incident like this requires a scrapping of the early light banter. The president should apologize for the tone of his remarks, explain what has happened, express sympathy for those slain and appeal for calm and patience until all the facts are in. That's the least that should occur.

Indeed, an argument could be made that Obama should have canceled the Indian event, out of respect for people having been murdered at an Army post a few hours before. That would have prevented any sort of jarring emotional switch at the event.

Did the president's team not realize what sort of image they were presenting to the country at this moment? The disconnect between what Americans at home knew had been going on -- and the initial words coming out of their president's mouth was jolting, if not disturbing.

It must have been disappointing for many politically aware Democrats, still reeling from the election two days before. The New Jersey gubernatorial vote had already demonstrated that the president and his political team couldn't produce a winning outcome in a state very friendly to Democrats (and where the president won by 15 points one year ago). And now this? Congressional Democrats must wonder if a White House that has burdened them with a too-heavy policy agenda over the last year has a strong enough political operation to help push that agenda through.

If the president's communications apparatus can't inform -- and protect -- their boss during tense moments when the country needs to see a focused commander-in-chief and a compassionate head of state, it has disastrous consequences for that president's party and supporters.

All the president's men (and women) fell down on the job Thursday. And Democrats across the country have real reason to panic.

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

Amazing ithat a Chiacgo nbc wrote the article about Obama. Good for them. I posted this video the other day and we all commented on it. But this article is good and really points out what a total FAILURE Obama and how he could care less. He should not even need a team of people to tell him to "act" sorry or sad or outraged. Damn HIM!

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (9)

November 06, 2009

Ft. Hood Primary Shooter ( JIHAD ) Major Malik Nadal Hasan Is Still Alive

Fort Hood Press Conference -- Primary Shooter Major Malik Nadal Hasan Is Still Alive -- FOX News


The gunman, first said to have been killed, was wounded but alive in a hospital under military guard, said Lt. Gen. Bob Cone at Fort Hood. He was shot four times, and was on a ventilator and unconscious, according to military officials. "I would say his death is not imminent," Cone said.

The man was identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a 39-year-old from Virginia.

The suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was on a ventilator and unconscious in a hospital after being shot four times during the shootings at the Army's sprawling Fort Hood, post officials said. In the early chaos after the shootings, authorities believed they had killed him, only to discover later that he had survived.

Central Texas Now

Information on Fort Hood Terrorist Malik Nadal Hasan

Military officials say the suspected shooter is not dead, as was originally reported. He is alive, and has been treated for his wounds.

Military officials say the suspected shooter at Fort Hood was a psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for six years before being transferred to the Texas base in July.

The officials had access to Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan's military record. They said he received a poor performance evaluation while at Walter Reed.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because military records are confidential.

Federal law enforcement officials say the Hasan came to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.

The Virginia-born soldier was single with no children. He was 39 years old.

He is a graduate of Virginia Tech University, where he was a member of the ROTC and earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry in 1997. He received his medical degree from the military's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., in 2001. At Walter Reed, he did his internship, residency and a fellowship.

Colleague Terry Lee on Fort Hood Shooter Malik Nadal Hasan -- He Wanted Muslims to "Stand Up"

Below is complete video of the Press Conference, including the questions from the media:


MUSLIM DENIAL......again ! ~ Wild Thing

Waco Trib

Al Siddiq, president of the Islamic Center of Waco, followed the unfolding news of the Fort Hood tragedy anxiously, as a veteran of the U.S. Army himself, as a friend of some Muslim soldiers currently stationed at the Central Texas post and as a Muslim who has become wary of backlash.

Siddiq said the Muslim Islamic community is very concerned that the shooter on Fort Hood was a Muslim because Muslims tend to get all thrown into the same category. Since 9/11, Siddiq said, when an individual Muslim acts stupid, it affects the entire Islamic community. The concern is backlash against other Muslims, he said.

“We’ve been very fortunate in Waco,” Siddiq said. “But there’s always a backlash.” Siddiq said he had a great experience in the U.S. Army, both in Korea and stationed at Fort Campbell.

“That’s what hurts me the most,” he said. “The Army has accommodated Muslims. Not any other Army can offer what the U.S. Army offers.”

Siddiq said what he has heard is that the Fort Hood shooter may be a convert to Islam. He said he thinks the problem some converts have is not based on the Islam religion, but on the resentment toward the U.S. government that they bring to their faith.

Washington Examiner

Malik attended prayer services nearly every day in Silver Spring for several years. Six months ago Hasan came to the attention of the FBI because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings.

After lauding a Muslim U.S. Army soldier who killed comrades in Kuwait in 2003, Hasan wrote in an online posting, “If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers … that would be considered a strategic victory.”
At Fort Hood, Hasan exhibited a troubled state of mind. Retired Col. Terry Lee, who worked with Hasan at the psych ward at Fort Hood, told Fox News that about six months ago he heard Hasan say, "Maybe the Muslims should rise up and fight against the aggressor," in Iraq and Afghanistan -- referring to the U.S. Army

Galveston News

Authorities said the gunman was shot but was not killed. Two other soldiers suspected in what appears to be the worst mass shooting at a U.S. military base were also apprehended, officials said.

Tom Hunt, himself a former Army sergeant who was stationed at Fort Hood, said his son called about an hour after the shooting to tell him he was safe.

James Hunt, 27, serving with the 510th Combat Engineers, was with his platoon at the base’s Soldier Readiness Center where soldiers who are about to be deployed undergo medical screening. He is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in January.

But because James had broken his foot several weeks ago, he was sent outside and told to get some extra paperwork that would clear him for deployment. James was waiting in the parking lot of the center when the shooting started, his father said.

“Everybody started running and shouting, and he saw the wounded come out,” Tom Hunt said. “He didn’t hear the shooting, but he said it was ‘a bloody mess.’”

Hunt said his son told him he loaded up many of the wounded and drove them to the hospital. The wounded relayed what they saw inside when the shooting happened.

“They were telling him that one guy was shouting something in Arabic while he was shooting,” Tom Hunt said. “He couldn’t say much more than that.”

Dad Of Soldier: Ft. Hook Shooter Exclaimed "Allah Akbar" As He Opened Fire


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

This is an outrage against our Servicemen on OUR soil.....this person is a terrorist.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 AM | Comments (20)

Clinic Cat MAX On Orders to Luke Air Force Base

Max, a 21-pound gray tabby cat, is on official Army orders to the Luke Air Force Base Veterinary Clinic in Glendale, Ariz. Not only does he increase the morale of the staff and visitors to the clinic, he also officially provides "Fat Cat Security and Pest Control" as stated in his orders

Clinic cat on orders to Luke Air Force Base

56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


During the past ten years, the Luke Air Force Base Veterinary Clinic has seen six civilian and military veterinarians come and go, as well as countless veterinary technicians and other workers. But there has been one constant, and his name is Max.

Max, a 21-pound gray tabby cat, was brought into the vet clinic in July of 1999 after he was discovered in a gutter.

"He was a six-week-old kitten when he arrived," said Joan Seifert, 56th Force Support Squadron veterinary clinic office clerk. "Nobody called and said they were missing a kitten, so he hung out here and we decided to make him our clinic cat. We got him neutered and declawed in the front, and he has been living here for the past ten years."

When Max first started his duties as clinic cat, he would roam the office all day, interacting with pets and their owners. He even helped the staff with some of their more difficult patients.

"We had a chihuahua in here one day, and we were trying to get him into a cardboard carrier," Ms. Seifert said. "Every time we tried to put him in the box, the chihuahua would try to bite us. Max must have heard us struggling, so he came running around the corner and batted the chihuahua in the face. The dog was so baffled, we were able to close the carrier."

Max isn't concerned with size, either. Big or small, he takes on all comers.

"Earlier this year, I was outside just before the sun came up," Ms. Seifert recalled. "I was looking for Max and started to walk out toward the parking lot when I saw what I thought was a dog trotting toward me. All of a sudden, as the 'dog' got close, I saw it was a coyote. I started backing up toward the door. By that time, Max had spotted the coyote. He let out a shriek, puffed up and took off after him. I screamed, 'No, Max, no!,' but he just took off after it and came in a few minutes later looking like, 'It's ok, I took care of it.'"

But, Max is just doing his job. He is on official Army orders to Luke to provide "fat cat security and pest control." He also searches out lizards, spiders or any other pests that are brave enough to roam in or around the clinic.

"He is on a calorie-controlled diet, but he supplements it pretty good with all the lizards he catches and eats," Ms. Seifert said.
Though Max is a perfect bodyguard and exterminator at the clinic, he also plays an important role in base public relations. At least once a week, an Airman, family member or civilian will come to the clinic asking if the staff still has "that big cat."
"We had a colonel from the Aerospace Medical Squadron call up and ask if Max was available because he wanted to bring his family over to see him," Ms. Seifert said. "I told him I would check his schedule and of course Max was free. The colonel brought his family over to see him."

The vet staff also recalled a little girl who lived on base. Her family didn't have pets, so her father would bring her to the clinic to play with Max. Other Luke members bring their cameras and snap photos of him.

"He plays into it when he knows he is getting attention or when people come and take photos," said Michaela Debelius, 56th FSS veterinary technician. "He loves it."

Debelius' husband, Staff Sgt. Ralph Debelius, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Air Ground Equipment mobility manager, visits Max every day.

"I am a big cat person and he increases my morale on a daily basis," Sergeant Debelius said. "He is really friendly, and he has this kind of feisty attitude. He has a lot of personality and is great for a good laugh."

Max's charm isn't reserved only for humans, either. He's also made friends with a few of the military working dogs who are housed right next to the kennel. When one of them, Kisma, comes over for an appointment, Max will jump up on the table right beside him and cuddle up.

Kisma's handler, Senior Airman Steven Bruner, 56th Security Forces Squadron MWD handler, says he has never seen anything like it before.

"They told me before I came over here for the first time, that Kisma was pretty friendly with the cat," he said. "I was surprised."

Max has grown and changed with the clinic over the years. Now, instead of roaming the clinic freely, Max has a large, fenced area in the back of the building where he can hang out.

"If we have him out on a clinic day, when customers start to come in I say 'OK Max, come on in the back,' and he comes," Seifert said. "Cats are trainable. It takes a lot of patience and they have to want to do it, but he listens better than a lot of people's dogs do."

Max would be offended if he knew he was compared to a dog, but he does seem quite canine-like as he sits at the front door of the clinic waiting to be let in.

"He sits there and meows until you let him in," Mrs. Debelius said. "And he meets us every day at the door to say good morning."

And ready to protect the clinic's staff from coyotes and lizards alike.

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

Love this story. The Vet we go to for Sebastian and Missy has his cat at work each day. There are also a lot of soldiers and Air Force from McDill Air Force Base here that go to the Vet we go to.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:48 AM | Comments (4)

Afghanistan ~ The Soldiers Speak

From The Washington Times

Special forces for special Afghan rescues

Dangerous missions to save severely wounded

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan | A cool wind rushed through the open back doors of the Black Hawk, rattling the ventilators, IV tubes and defibrillators as the rescue helicopter banked sharply and rose into the sky.

It was headed for a site on Kandahar's Highway 1, dubbed "Death Highway" by coalition troops, where a powerful improvised explosive device had just struck a U.S. convoy.

The mission - to pick up the dead and wounded - was all too familiar for the members of the Air Force's 55th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, better known as the Guardian Angels, based at Kandahar Air Field.

"This is the toughest thing we do, but we bring everyone home and we leave no one behind," said Capt. Steve Colletti, director of operations, before donning his gear and boarding the HH 60G Pave Hawk, a modified Black Hawk helicopter.
"Every time we pick up injured troops, it hits us deep in the heart," he said. "We've become the 911 response for southern Afghanistan - whether that's our troops or Afghan citizens."

The past week has brought plenty of heartache for the medical combat specialists, considered the "special forces" of the Air Force. A day earlier, they had spent an afternoon airlifting 17 severely wounded members of the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team to the trauma center at Kandahar Air Field. One American and one Afghan soldier were killed in that IED attack.

For the nearly 68,000 already here, the debate is not academic.

It "was a pretty bad day," said Maj. Ben Conde, from Denver, who flew the missions to rescue the 17 injured troops and bring home the two killed in action. "It was a day we never wish would happen again."
"These aren't numbers, these are our family, our brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and children," said Pararescueman Vincent Eckert, from Tucson, Ariz. "We've kind of become a jack of all trades. These are the things we do so that others may live. We're not bomb droppers - our mission is to save lives."

The members of the squadron are called pararescuemen or parajumpers - PJs. All are trained trauma medical technicians who can perform battlefield surgery - including amputations - under enemy fire.

If necessary, the PJs parachute to their victims. Trained to work in almost any weather, they are physically fit enough to perform rescues deep underwater or high in the mountains.

During the Vietnam War, PJs recovered downed pilots in enemy territory and developed a tradition of getting two green feet tattooed on their bodies, representing the mark the helicopters leave on the ground.

In Afghanistan, the group rescues troops, brings sick Afghans from remote locations to big field hospitals and helps others in need of medical treatment.

On Saturday, members of one unit lingered after finishing a shift. Some worked out in a makeshift outdoor gym, while a second shift prepared for the long night ahead.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Schollard, 28, a pararescueman from Tuscon, played his guitar and joked with his buddy, Staff Sgt. Scott Dowd, 27, also a pararescueman from Tuscon.

Only 45 minutes after the second shift arrived, pagers went off.

Immediately the flight engineers, gunners and medics grabbed their M-4 carbines and medical gear and rushed to two helicopters.

On one Black Hawk, Capt. Colletti sat on one side and Senior Airman Lucas Ferrari sat across from him. They clutched their weapons closely to their chests and flung their feet out through the open doors as they watched the ground below, flying over Kandahar's mountains and above the red desert that would lead them to the casualties.

Kandahar city disappeared in the distance.

A billowing cloud of pink smoke rose into the sky from a road near a small farming compound.

Capt. Colletti and Airman Ferrari pointed below and put their thumbs up.

"We're here," Capt. Colletti wrote down on his notepad, which he kept in his ballistic vest. He pointed his weapon down toward the fields where insurgents were still firing on the Army convoy as the rescuers arrived.

The Black Hawk circled strategically, banking sharply, with the wreckage below framed through the open door. Smoke billowed from the site of the explosion.

The rescuers jumped off the second helicopter before it landed on a ravine, kicking up dust and dry grass.

Senior Master Sgt. David Swan, 42, from Corning, N.Y., and Staff Sgt. Joshua Keyes, 30, of Alturas, Calif., rushed to a wounded soldier without hesitation. The soldier, nestled in the litter, was stabilized on the helicopter by the medical team.

The helicopters flew back to Kandahar Air Field's trauma hospital.

The soldier, although severely wounded, survived. The Washington Times is withholding his name until his relatives can be notified.

A second flight was even more difficult. The rescue unit was flying back to retrieve the remains of a dead soldier, whose name The Times is also withholding.

The squadron placed the young man's remains in a small black bag, carried the bag on board the chopper and draped it with a U.S. flag, then lifted off from the highway where he had taken his last breath. There was silence on the flight back.

From the sky, the villages and farmland looked benign, even beautiful. Some Pashtun villagers circled the area where the convoy was struck. A small group cheered as the body was loaded onto the craft. Others watched silently.

"It never gets easy," said Master Sgt. Swan, after the group had returned back to base. "This past month has been hard on our troops. We do our job and we never leave anyone - not anyone behind."

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

I don't understand how Obama and those like him can sleep at night, knowing their indecision is costing the lives of our warriors our heroes. There must be a special place in hell for people like that.

Prayers for the friends and families of the fallen and wounded.

....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 03:45 AM | Comments (2)

November 05, 2009

Deadly Mass Shooting At Fort Hood Army Base In Texas

At least 7 are dead and 30 were injured after 3 gunmen opened fire on a crowd at Fort Hood in Texas.
Reuters reported:

At least seven people were killed and 12 wounded in a shooting at the Fort Hood, Texas, U.S. Army base Thursday, local media reported.

One gunman was in custody and another was on the loose at the military base, one of the largest military installations in the world, local media reported. There could be a third shooter involved, MSNBC reported.

Via FOX News– The FBI says terrorism was not involved. The shootings began about 1:30 p.m. Thursday at a personnel and medical processing center at Ft. Hood. 6 of the 7 victims were military.

The base is still on lockdown.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) reports on MSNBC that there may be 30 wounded.

McClatchey reports that the shooters used M-16 rifles.

KCEN-TV in Waco

KCEN-TV reports that about '500 military personnel are moving sacross the base' in order to secure it. Two suspects now in custody.

KWTX-TV and CNN reporting nine dead.

KCEN-TV is now reporting that there are two additional areas reporting shots fired. This is unconfirmed.

Reporting - 12 dead and 31 wounded.


SNIPPET: “KILLEEN, Texas - Officials at the Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen say 12 people are dead and about 30 are wounded in a mass shooting on the Fort property.


According to officials, a soldier carrying two handguns opened fire at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Soldier Readiness Center at the post in Killeen, Texas.

“It would be an environment that would be very susceptible to casualties or injuries,” Killeen City Manager Connie Green said.

Officials said the gunman was shot and killed after quick response from security officers.

At least two other soldiers were taken into custody.

Army personnel said a civilian police officer was among the deceased. At least six of the wounded were military.

“We’re praying that those who are injured … are not seriously injured,” Green said.

The Fort Hood public affairs spokesman said the Army has set up a special operations center to handle the response.

The official base Web site posted a message that it is on lock down and in an emergency situation. It also urged people to stay indoors.

Nine schools on the base — seven elementary and two middle — are included in the lock down.


Military: Fort Hood Shooter, Suspects Soldiers


ABC News

Military Major Malik Hassan, a convert to Islam, originally from Virginia, is the Prime Suspect and now dead, killed by two PD Ofc

The shooter was killed and two other suspects, who are also soldiers, have been apprehended, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone said.

The general said there were "eyewitness accounts of more than one shooter," and the others were tracked to an adjacent facility.

Cone said that a gunman entered a facility known as the Soldier Readiness Facility, where soldiers who are preparing to deploy go for last minute medical check ups and dental treatment. Sources told ABC News that the soldiers gathered there were getting ready to deploy to Iraq.

The gunman used two handguns, Cone said. He wasn't sure if the shooter reloaded the weapons during the attack.

"The gunman opened fire and essentially due to the quick respond of the police forces was killed," said Cone.

The shooter was killed by civilian law enforcement and one police officer died in the shootout, Cone said.

The gunman's suspected accomplices were taken into custody in an adjacent facility known as the old SportsDome Complex.


OMG...OMG....Fort Barack Obama Gives "Shout-Out" Before He Comments on Shooting -- FOX News

Wild Thing's comment......

Prayers for the victims and their families. I will update as things come on the news.

I am not positive , but I think this is the Facebook for the shooter that was shot.


He is convert no less; the most dangerous type of jihadi. In a sane version of America, all madrassas and mosques would be shut down immediately !! And also when anyone in our military converts to Islam they should be kicked OUT asap!!!!!! Isalm is not religion, it is a LAW they follow, it is dangerous to our troops and to all of us. This was a TERRORIST ATTACK! Like the Muslim convert grenade thrower in Kuwait. He didn’t want to fight against his Muslim brethren.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 PM | Comments (21)

November 04, 2009

In Country With the Our US Army and US Air Force

U.S. Army Spc. Michael Riley, a radio traffic operator, smokes a cigarette while taking a break with fellow Soldiers during a dismounted patrol across the Tangi Valley in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan, Aug. 29, 2009. All Soldiers are assigned to 1st Platoon and 3rd Platoon, Apache Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Teddy Wade / Released) Date Posted: 10/29/2009">


U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Stephen Barnes continues with his mission even thought the crotch of his pants were ripped off during a dismounted patrol across the Tangi Valley in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan Aug. 29, 2009. Barnes is a squad leader assigned to 1st Platoon, Apache Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Teddy Wade /Photo Released) 10/29/2009


U.S Army Spc. David Oliver, of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, is enjoys his last cigarette before going out on a mission at Forward Operating Base Lane in Zabul province, Afghanistan, Oct. 11, 2009. The 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army Europe is deployed throughout southern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tia P. Sokimson/Released) 10/30/2009


U.S. Army Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Apache Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, cross a river during a dismounted patrol across the Tangi Valley in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan, Aug. 29, 2009. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Teddy Wade / Released) 10/29/2009


U.S. Army 1st Lt. Tracy Tyson, assigned to the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, reads "Stars and Stripes" at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, while waiting for a flight to Forward Observation Base Wolverine, Afghanistan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ernesto Hernandez Fonte/Released)


U.S. Army Sgt. Josh Engbrecht, his interpreter and other Soldiers assigned to 1st Platoon, Apache Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, negotiate the price for a stack of Roshan cell phone prepaid cards with a local Afghan salesman while patrolling the bazaar in the Tangi Valley in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan, Aug. 29, 2009. All Soldiers from Apache Company are stationed at Combat Outpost (COP) Tangi, which lacks a Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center with phones or internet. This situation forces Soldiers to call home using their pre-paid phones. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Teddy Wade / Released) 10/29/2009


U.S. Air Force explosive ordnance and disposal technicians, and U.S. Army Sgt. Zachary Cleland, a combat engineer assigned to Alpha Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, talk after finding an improvised explosive device during a patrol in the streets of the Tangi Valley in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan, Aug. 28, 2009. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Teddy Wade / Released) 10/29/2009


An Mi-35 Hind helicopter fires its 12.9mm gatling gun during a training sortie over southern Afghanistan . U.S. Airmen with the 438th Air Expeditionary Training Group use the helicopter to train Afghan aviators while deployed to Kandahar Air Field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Angelita Lawrence/Released)
[The Gatling gun, lower left pointing upward, is inactive here.]

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (7)

November 02, 2009

The Warrior Song

No matter what branch of the United States Armed Forces you serve under or have served under, this song is dedicated to you.


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

Love it, it is so great to see people making things like this video. And doing songs like this.

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

1973 - 1999

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:46 AM

November 01, 2009

F18 Air Strike and a Walk Through Abandoned Taliban Training Camp

F/A-18 Hornet catches jihadist firing rockets at US base in Iraq, uses its M61 Vulcan gatling gun to turn them into pieces and spread them across the desert.

Anyone want to move in??? LOL NO thanks!

The Pakistani military has taken members of the media on a tour of what it says is an abandoned Taliban training camp in the volatile Swat valley.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (4)

October 27, 2009

U.S. Troops Hope Afghanistan Sacrifices Not In Vain

Army Sgt. 1st Class Teresa R. Coble, 27, of Germantown, with the 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment from Fort Bragg, N.C., continues to work while in a bunker at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan on Thursday, during the second rocket attack in a week.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Teresa R. Coble

U.S. troops hope Afghanistan sacrifices not in vain

Doubts, determination to finish mission fill days

The Washington Times

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan

The sirens blared as a Taliban rocket attack rattled troops across Kandahar Air Field for the second time last week.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Teresa R. Coble and other members of her unit at the base's media-support center hit the floor, lay flat on the dusty cement and protected their heads with their hands. Later, the unit moved to cement-reinforced bunkers until the all-clear sounded.

While the Obama administration debates whether to send tens of thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and Afghans prepare to vote for president for the second time in four months, some of those already braving rockets and bombs worry that their mission has lost the support of the U.S. public and that their sacrifices - and those of their fallen comrades - have been in vain.

"What about the troops who died giving their lives for this mission?" Sgt. Coble asked as she waited for the rocket alert to finish.

By next August, Sgt. Coble, 27, from Germantown, will have served more than 30 months combined in Iraq and Afghanistan, far from her only child, five-year-old Troy Davis.

"We would not be honoring the lives of the troops who died if we left here without finishing our mission, and many troops are concerned that the American people have forgotten why we came here to begin with," she said.
"If we left Afghanistan right now, its equivalent to somebody going up to help a rape victim, engaging in a fight to help that rape victim, then giving up because they didnt want to get hurt themselves and allowing that rape to continue," she said. "Because essentially thats what the Afghan population is: They are victims, and we need to follow through with what we promised."

Others interviewed by The Times were less supportive of the eight-year war and less certain that adding more U.S. forces would defeat a tenacious and growing Taliban insurgency or reduce corruption in the Afghan government. Several asked not to be named so that they could voice their opinions candidly without retribution from their superiors.

One young soldier, who had arrived at Kandahar Air Field from a forward operating base along the Pakistan-Afghan border, said his unit had suffered a number of casualties.

"I used to believe in what we were doing here," the soldier said. "I'm not too sure anymore. It's just we don't know what the endgame is. We've been getting hit hard out here. What are we here to win? I have to believe that what Gen. [Stanley M.] McChrystal is doing is going to work.But who knows how long that will last before someone else decides to change the game plan again? I mean, do the people in Washington even remember we're here?"

Others said they had difficulty working with some members of the Afghan National Army, which they described as disorganized and in some cases untrustworthy. Gen. McChrystal, the commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, seeks to increase the size and quality of the Afghan army as the mainstay for Afghan security in the future.

"I don't trust them," said one U.S. soldier who said he had worked closely with Afghan military personnel during multiple tours in Afghanistan. "They make it impossible for us, and we have to work around it. I understand that we're trying to aid the Afghans in securing their own country, but we're up against some of the worst corruption I've ever known. It puts our lives in danger."

In Kabul, Army Maj. Pedro Espinoza said he supported Gen. McChrystal's plans and believed in the mission despite its difficulties.

"I have hope in what we're doing here," Maj. Espinoza said, as he donned armor in preparation for the short ride from International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters to Kabul airport. "Look, if I didn't have hope, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing. It's as simple as that."

Polish Col. Jacek Rolak, who was also in the convoy, wasn't as hopeful. He joked with Maj. Espinoza and said he was grateful to be leaving Afghanistan.

"I'm not too sure things will work out the way we would like," Col. Rolak said. " I'm not sure what's going to happen, or how good any strategy is in Afghanistan. Guess we just wait and see."

U.S. troops here deal daily with death and injury, seeing comrades hurt and watching flag-draped coffins go through forward operating bases on their final trip home.

Many are also haunted by the faces of Afghan people the U.S. is trying to help.

In Kabul, Army Pvt. 2nd Class Logan Purtlebaugh sent e-mails to her family from the comfort of her bunk bed. Her Myrtle Beach pink blanket, books strewn on her bed and periodic breaks to brush her long, blond hair made the 19-year-old seem more like a university student in a dorm than a soldier in a barracks. The young chaplain's assistant with the 82nd Airborne, 4th Brigade, at Camp Lindsey, not far from Kandahar Air Field, was on a nine-day break in the Afghan capital.

The policy debate back in Washington was not on the mind of this soldier from Bloomington, Ind.

Instead, she was thinking about the accidental death of an Afghan child she recently had witnessed in Kandahar.

"It's the first time I'm dealing with death," said Pvt. Purtlebaugh, who is on her first deployment. "I'll never forget what happened."

She folded down her laptop and stared into the darkness.

"He ran out in front of the MRAP [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle], and there was no time for the driver to stop," she said. "The little boy's head was decapitated. It was horrible for everybody involved. Especially for the family of the boy."

The young victim "seemed to be about the same age as my seven-year-old sister, Madison Purtlebaugh," she said. "I really miss home, but this is where I want to be. I believe in the Afghan people. I have hope despite everything."

Sgt. Coble urged Americans to think about the sacrifices U.S. troops have made in Aghanistan and the consequences of narrowing the mission before it has more time to succeed.
"We're not just numbers," she said. "I'm not going to say morale is high with everything going on at home. We're here for a reason. This is not a draft military. When people go out on the streets in America and say, 'Bring our troops home,' it infuriates me. Don't go out there talking about bringing our troops home, let us decide when to come back home. We're here because we want our children, my son, to have a safer world, and we know the risks."

Morale dips for American Marines in Afghanistan


A mile from South Station, an outpost of US marines in Helmand province, the tribal chief was openly hostile. “The Americans threaten our economy and take our land for bases. They promise much and deliver nothing,” he said.

“People here regard the American troops as occupiers,” said Haji Khan, a leader of the Baluch tribe, who rules like a medieval baron. “Young people are turning against them and in time will fight them.”

Inside South Station, soldiers are proud of the progress they have made. Until they arrived, this remote part of Helmand had not had a government presence for years. But many are pessimistic about where the conflict is heading.

“I’m not much for this war. I’m not sure it’s worth all those lives lost,” said Sergeant Christian Richardson as we walked across corn fields that will soon be ploughed up to plant a spring crop of opium poppy.
A New Yorker who joined the marines after 9/11 and served two tours in Iraq, Richardson, 24, said his men had achieved much. “You can see we are making progress, slowly. But when we leave, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda will surely return.”

With enough effort, resources and time, the marines are confident the population can be won over. But, with the platoon’s influence limited to a small area around their base, many soldiers wonder if the Taliban and Al-Qaeda may simply outlast them, or if the US and Afghan governments have the resolve to send enough troops to win.

Third Platoon, Charlie Company of the 2nd Light Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, came last July to Khan Neshin, as far south as Nato soldiers have reached in Afghanistan. It was part of a summer offensive by more than 4,500 troops of the Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which has joined British and other forces trying to turn the war in Helmand.

Although they have read the manuals on counterinsurgency and heard generals speak about how to defeat the Taliban, the reality has been bloody, painful and frustrating.

The platoon knows there are at least 20 booby-trapped bombs on the high ground around the base. More than half the men have already been caught in blasts. One marine explosive expert was killed; others suffered broken legs and amputated feet. Three have survived two explosions and come back to fight again.

General Stanley McChrystal, the US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, says the mission is to protect the population and isolate them from the Taliban, but the marines are finding it no easier to defeat the Taliban than it has been for the British, who have fought in the province for three years. Villagers are rarely willing to express a simple opinion, let alone inform soldiers where the enemy is hiding. One marine described the way the Taliban blended with the population as “unbelievably frustrating”.

In terrain crisscrossed by canals with weak and narrow bridges, the platoon has to approach villages on foot. Even when they have surrounded the Taliban, the marines have found the enemy has an uncanny ability to slip away in the ditches. All this adds to the strain of facing improvised explosive devices, which are the main threat.

“We are all brothers here,” said Lance-Corporal Corey Hopkins, 22, from Georgia. “And it hurts to see your brother hurt or put him in a bag for the last time. It pisses you off. It makes you mad. You know people out here know what’s going on, but they won’t tell you.”

The marines hope to open a school and provide medical facilities. They are also offering to pay Khan and others to provide jobs to improve the canal system.

Later, a marine intelligence officer said the drug economy and the feudal system made the strategy of winning hearts and minds extremely complex. As drug producers, men such as Khan had a “working relationship with the Taliban”.


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

This treatment of our troops by Obama as their CIC is absolutely unacceptable, all the while Zero touts his latest idea, “muslim technology fund”. Unbelievable, and UNFORGIVABLE.

....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 06:48 AM | Comments (16)

October 25, 2009

Portrait Does Justice to a Soldier's Sacrifice ~ Thank You Army Sgt. Rich Yarosh !

Army Sgt. Rich Yarosh stands near an oil-on-canvas portrait of himself Friday at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Yarosh, 27, was left scarred and disfigured after an explosion while he was fighting in Iraq three years ago.

Portrait Does Justice to a Soldier's Sacrifice

Arlene Coffman stared at the man in the painting. He had no ears, no nose, no eyebrows. Instead of smile lines by his eyes there was scar tissue. Tears welled in her eyes.

"It's incredible. It's hard to describe because it's so moving," said Coffman, 64, visiting here from Pebble Beach, Calif. "Most portraits bring emotions. This one is emotional in a different way."

The face in Coffman's gaze belongs to retired Army Sgt. Rich Yarosh. On Sept. 1, 2006, he was in the turret of a Bradley assault vehicle when it hit a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He and two other soldiers were engulfed in flames. One later died. Yarosh suffered burns on 60 percent of his body, lost part of his right leg and has limited use of what's left of his hands.

Three years later, most of it spent in an Army hospital, and after 35 surgeries, his scarred countenance is now proudly featured at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery here. The painting is one of 49 finalists out of 3,300 entries in the museum's second Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. It will hang in the building for the next year with iconic images of presidents, scientists and celebrities.

"I didn't want the depiction of his injury to overwhelm the depiction of his humanity," said Matthew Mitchell, the Amherst, Mass., artist who painted Yarosh as part of a project called 100 Faces of War Experience. Despite the soldier's obvious wounds, said Mitchell, "He's a whole person."

That's something Tony Bass recognized. A portrait of the New York psychoanalyst stares across the second floor gallery toward Yarosh's. Both men were among the first to view the paintings when the competition exhibit opened to the public Friday.

"There's a sense of his having survived this horrendous trauma, a sense of his spirit coming though," said Bass, 58. "The eyes and the stance – it's an amazing picture of someone prevailing in the face of almost unbelievable tragedy."
Museum curator Brandon Fortune, who organized the competition, said Miller's portrait of Yarosh was "quite traditional" in its head-and-shoulders composition. "It has gravitas, that dignity that really gives it its power," she said.
"He looks calm, like he's dealing with it," said Carmen Diaz, 66, of Alhambra, Calif. "He's gone through the worst in life and yet he can smile. He can sit for this. He's going on."

Yarosh, now 27 and back home in Windsor, N.Y., didn't accept his new look easily. He didn't see his face until five months after the explosion – and then only by accident when he glimpsed himself in the reflection from a laptop computer screen.

"It took another six months to get used to it, especially to going out in public," said Yarosh, who says he still scares little children sometimes. "I'm so used to it now. I still get looks but it doesn't bother me."

Several visitors wandering the gallery seemed drawn to his portrait. Many stopped to read Yarosh's own words about his ordeal in Iraq: "That day started the same as every other day, but that day has never ended."

The portrait is "beautiful but also alarming," said Odile Schalit, 24, of New York. She wondered what it would be like to lose control over her own face, that most basic ingredient of identity. Then, gesturing around, she said, "After seeing this, so many of the other portraits seem so self-indulgent."
Yarosh said he always wanted to sit for a portrait and is thrilled with the one Mitchell painted. He says the artist captured him "perfectly," even though his lack of ears and a nose meant Mitchell had to paint "totally outside his box" to convey the soldier's character.
"It's more than just a portrait, more than just a painting," Yarosh said. "It's a story."

Museum volunteer Heidi Whitesel, 67, of Gainesville, Va., said it was fitting that the soldier's portrait hung among those of others who made a difference in history. Their achievements, she said, were often made possible by the sacrifice of those in the military.

"He's transformed his personal tragedy into an inspiration for others," she said. "It helps us to walk a little more in the shoes and have less fear and more respect."

Some visitors chatted with Yarosh, who arrived before the museum opened. Others, though obviously moved by his likeness, seemed ill at ease when they realized he was nearby. Some glanced his way before moving to another gallery.

For a few, the portrait was political, a reminder of the horrors of war and the wrongness in particular of the one in Iraq. ( ASSHOLE COMMENT ~ Wild Thing )

"Every kid standing in line to go in the Army should look at this," said Bill Meyer, 72, a retiree from Baja, Mexico. "It makes me very glad I chose not to go in the service." ( ASSHOLE comment!!! ~ Wild Thing )

Kathryn Chase, 58, of Austin, said, "It's wonderful someone is recording these tragic stories. I'm very opposed to that war but really respect the people sacrificing in it."

Yarosh said he is "not a symbol of the war gone wrong" and remains "100 percent proud of my service" in Iraq. He hopes those who see his portrait come away with the same sense of pride.

A group of parents and their home-schooled children from Woodbridge, Va., who were on a field trip shared Yarosh's pride and were also grateful for his sacrifice.

"This reminds me that our life is so easy compared to the soldiers fighting the war on a daily basis," said Linene Kleppe, 36, whose husband is in the Air Force but whose job working with satellites has kept him off the battlefield. She asked her four children what they thought about the painting.

"I don't really know," said daughter Madigan, 8. Staring more intently, she added, "He looks like he's been in a lot of battles.
"He's just a guy with an Army shirt on," said her brother McCoy, 6. "He's happy. He's not scary."

Yarosh's father holds a photo of the soldier taken before his injury in Iraq. On Sept. 1, 2006, the Bradley assault vehicle Yarosh was manning hit an explosive device. Engulfed in flames, he jumped from the top of the vehicle and rolled around on the ground to try and snuff out the fire. Yarosh eventually fell into a water-filled canal, where the flames were extinguished. He suffered burns on more than 60 percent of his body.

Yarosh's body is covered in scar tissue, and he's lost parts of his nose, ears and his right leg. His fingers are permanently bent and rigid.

Yarosh, here with President George W. Bush in 2007, said he is "not a symbol of the war gone wrong" and remains "100 percent proud of my service" in Iraq. He said he hopes those who see his portrait come away with the same sense of pride. (Source: AP)


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

This is a wonderful article minus the two scumbag assholes two comments. A story about an American Hero and I am honored to post this story!!! Thank you Army Sgt. Rich Yarosh for your service to our country, I can sit here in safety because of you sir.

....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 (3)

October 24, 2009

Wounded Warriors Return to Iraq for a Bit of Closure & Camaraderie

Wounded Warriors Return to Iraq for a Bit of Closure & Camaraderie

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

Recently on Fox News, Julie Banderas featured a special segment of wounded warriors who returned to Iraq for a homecoming, of sorts, to try and find some closure of their time in the battle. What a touching story this was, and what a reminder it is that we owe our very freedoms to these men and woman so we may enjoy the lives we are currently living.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (6)

October 21, 2009

The U-2 Dragon Lady Endures

Staff Sgt. Austin P. Dibenedetto, 380th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, gears-up for the U-2's departure, Oct. 18

The Lady Endures

Story by 2nd Lt. Kidron Vestal

The year was 1968.

The Tet Offensive began in Vietnam. Simon & Garfunkel premiered the soundtrack to The Graduate. Martin Luther King 'had a dream.'

The U.S. Air Force had a vision. The plane known as the U-2 Dragon Lady, Aircraft No. 068-0337, came on board to offer strategic, aerial capabilities equal to none. It exceeded its 25,000th hour of flight, Oct. 18, in a mission out of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia.

America's premier, high-altitude intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance plane is the second U-2 to reach this milestone. Aircraft No. 068-0329 clocked a quarter of 100,000 hours, April 4, also of the 380th AEW. These two are the first of 33 U-2 airframes worldwide to achieve this feat.

The plane, with a wingspan of 105 feet, is maintained by military members and civilian contractors. Many elements come together on this piece of equipment, manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

Superintendents help oversee the maintenance operations of their dedicated crew chiefs, and assistant dedicated crew chiefs, who care for the plane as though she were their own.

"Every day, they come to work knowing they are responsible for the most critical high-altitude intelligence asset in the world, and they are dedicated to ensuring every mission is delivered on time and ready for the fight," said Capt. Vaughan Whited, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron officer-in-charge.

This celebrated plane has overcome much in its 41 years. Over the course of Aircraft No. 0337's life, it has bellied in three times, each requiring a major overhaul.

Capt. Whited said, "The technicians and contractors continue to synergize their best maintenance practices in order to ensure she keeps flying strong."

The plane's design is accommodating for the ISR mission, not necessarily for an ease in maintenance. This makes No. 0337's achievement even more remarkable.

Tech. Sgt. Dave Wright, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron expeditor, says the airframe is more labor-intensive than others, given its age and the changes in technology over time. When designed, some things were not considered, he said.
"Most aircraft have access panels and a hydraulic system that is easily accessible. The U-2 does not," said Sgt. Wright. While this might appear as a blunder, there may be a good explanation.
Col. Ricky R. Murphy, 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Group commander, said, "The U-2 is unique in that to maximize combat capability, there's no redundancy in the primary systems on the aircraft...as to minimize weight and maximize loiter time over the area of operations."
There are various platforms of ISR systems, with cameras that capture the broadest, most in-depth imagery of anything out there, said Capt. Whited.
Because of their maintenance, the systems are, "Consistently reliable every time," said Col. Murphy.

Ten thousand five-hundred feet of Kodak film is used on the weapon system, in addition to digital and satellite documentation. Artistry for this airframe is not limited to such imagery, however.

Staff Sgt.'s Jason A. Ortiz and Michael L. McVey, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, sketched with chalk symbolic designs on the airframe, prior to the flight.

Consistency was a highlight of the day, echoed by Chief Master Sgt.'s William K. Renner and David E. McGuigan, 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron (Chief McGuigan, Group).

"Looking at it long-term shows you how you have consistent maintenance practices over time," said both gentlemen near-simultaneously. Four decades of 'getting it right' led us to Oct. 18.

Success did not come by accident. Every factor for attention is considered, even for the operator.

Given the aerial elements that the pilot will face at 70,000 feet, Lt. Col. Robert B. Wehner, 380th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, received pure oxygen for one whole hour prior to flight. Thus, his pre-flight inspection was executed by another pilot, as is the practice for every U-2 mission.

"There is a huge amount of trust there for a pilot, between the maintainers and other pilots," said Capt. Whited.
Even with the layered workload, he continued, "Many have said the U-2 is the most demanding and rewarding aircraft anyone could fly."

The Dragon Lady was once assigned to the CIA, and flew special operations worldwide. After a reassignment to the Air Force, the U-2 was present for every major allied contingency to date. She is used for diverse missions as well, including the mapping of wildfires in California and providing oversight to the Counter Drug War in Panama years back.

Over the years, the wingspan grew, the cockpit was upgraded, and the engine became more fuel-efficient. Other than that, the plane is the same as it was when embraced by the Air Force.

For the pilot who flew the Dragon Lady into its honored status, Colonel Wehner said, "If that airplane feels as good as I do, I guess that's a good thing for both being 41 years old."

The men and women of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing support Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (4)

October 12, 2009

Camp Keating 12 Hour Battle ~ Interviews Of Our Heroes


" I forgot I had this, but was looking through all of my pictures and videos of COP Keating since it's been in the news lately (COP Keating is gone now). This place will always hold a special place in my heart as this is where I felt most at home when in Afghanistan. I was trying to make a video diary for my mother and put a face on the men of the 6-4 cav because she was sending care packages to them, but I stopped because I just felt like an intruder. I meant to go back and do a sactioned video diary with the Mayor of the base, but never got around to it. "


US forces leave isolated Afghan base after attack


On the day of President Obama’s glorious Nobel Appease Prize victory, a Taliban henchman gloats in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Kamdesh siege. The battle marked the largest loss of U.S. life in a single skirmish in more than a year. Besides the eight Americans slain, three Afghan soldiers and an estimated 100 insurgents died, according to NATO.

Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the U.S. bombarded the outpost with airstrikes after leaving, as well as the local police headquarters.
“This means they are not coming back,” Mujahid said. “This is another victory for Taliban. We have control of another district in eastern Afghanistan.”
“Right now Kamdesh is under our control, and the white flag of the Taliban is raised above Kamdesh,” Mujahid said.
A senior official of the Nuristan provincial government confirmed Taliban forces were in control of the village and Afghan police and soldiers had withdrawn from the district. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
Provincial police chief, Gen. Mohammad Qasim Jangulbagh, said the pullout “has had a direct affect on the morale of Afghan forces.”
“If Afghan soldiers are losing support, how can they stay there?” he asked. “We need the coalition to send their forces back. We need more police, more soldiers.”
The battle marked the largest loss of U.S. life in a single skirmish in more than a year. Besides the eight Americans slain, three Afghan soldiers and an estimated 100 insurgents died, according to NATO.

Raw Video:Camp Keating Interviews (12 hr. battle, soldiers describe the attacks) Amazing HEROES!

Nick Paton Walsh joins U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan as they come under attack.
Interviews with soldiers at Combat Outpost Keating (Aug 2009)...THIS VIDEO IS FROM CNN AND THAT AWFUL Michael Ware!

Wild Thing's Comment........

CIC Obama did NOTHING! Other then giving the Generals and our troops the FINGER!
The Taliban must have enjoyed the CNN * piece because it gave them perfect intel.
And when someone from the outpost informed the local village elders that the camp would be closed in two weeks-
what did the wonderful locals do-the ones are guys are giving their lives to protect ?
They ran to the Taliban and ratted out our guys.
Attack soon , before they leave.
We have a CINC who has been and continues to be - Derelict in his duty .
That conclusion is inescapable and glaringly obvious .


U.S. soldiers recount fierce Afghanistan battle

The assault began at dawn, as bullets and rockets peppered the remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan.

The insurgency was so fierce, according to one soldier, that the troops couldn't get to their mortars to fire back.

"They were under heavy enemy contact," Sgt. Jayson Souter said, describing the October 3 attack that pinned his comrades at Combat Outpost Keating, a remote base in Nuristan province.

Four servicemen -- Souter, a fellow soldier, an Apache helicopter pilot, and a gunner -- talked to a military reporter about their roles during the Keating attack in an interview posted by the Department of Defense on Facebook and NATO's International Security Assistance Force YouTube Channel.

The United States says about 200 insurgents -- mostly local fighters, with some Taliban organizers and leaders -- had been planning the attack for days, hiding mortars, rockets and heavy machine guns in the mountains.

The battle started early on October 3 and lasted for 12 hours. At the end, eight American soldiers and more than 100 militants were killed and buildings at the outpost were destroyed.

Fire support officer 1st Lt. Cason Shrode said the initial round "didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary." There was a lull and then there was a heavy attack.

"We started receiving a heavy volley of fire. Probably 90 seconds into the fight they ended up hitting one of our generators so we lost all power," Shrode said in the interview posted online by the Defense Department. "At that point I knew that this was something bigger than normal."

Troops called in air support. Helicopter gunner Chad Bardwell said he had to confirm the fighters he saw on ridgelines were the enemy because he had never seen such a large group of insurgents. ( from Wild Thing ...this is because of the R.O.E and how they have to be careful not to fire on civilians which is BS! It is getting our troops killed! )

"We tried to stop them as they were coming down the hill. ... We were taking fire pretty much the entire day," he said in the Defense Department interview.

Chief Warrant Officer Ross Lewallen, the Apache pilot, said a few aircraft were damaged in what was a "time-consuming endeavor" governed by tough terrain. He said the morning battle was "significant," but later troops were able to identify targets and eliminate larger weapons.

"One of the primary reasons for the fight taking so long is that it is an extreme terrain," he said in the same interview.

Lewallen said the valley sits beneath mountains to the west and north.

"There's a lot of cover so you really can't detect the enemy until they start moving again," he said, adding that it was tough for medical evacuation aircraft to land "because we were still trying to control" the outpost.

The intense assault on Keating led to fires. There were five main buildings at the post and four of them burned. Soldiers eventually ended up going into one building.

"The next morning it was pretty much ash besides that one building. I mean that's the way to describe it. Most of it had burned down. So we were pretty much at one building and the rest was just a shadow of what it used to be," Shrode said in the Defense Department interview.

Lewallen said what came together was "air-ground integration."

"All the training we've done before deploying here; it really clicked that day," he said in the interview. "We started realizing that the guys on the ground knew what they needed to tell us to get the job done. It made things that much easier."

He disputed media reports suggesting that there weren't enough weapons and troops. He said 40 minutes into the fight, air power arrived.

We had everything we needed. It was just a big attack with a lot of people. Bad things happen -- but I think we did well, under the circumstances."

Reflecting on the fight, Souter said, "Everybody basically came together and in the mix of it all, they were donating blood for the wounded that we had. They all pulled together to make sure that we can pull our boys out of this."


Raw Video: Camp Keating Interviews -- from the soldiers who were there, and the pilots who flew in. Interview by ISAF Media.

NATOs main role in Afghanistan is to assist the Afghan Government in exercising and extending its authority and influence across the country, paving the way for reconstruction and effective governance. It does this predominately through its UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force.

Since NATO took command of ISAF in 2003, the Alliance has gradually expanded the reach of its mission, originally limited to Kabul, to cover Afghanistans whole territory. The number of ISAF troops has grown accordingly from the initial 5,000 to around 50.000 troops coming from 42 countries, including all 28 NATO members.

ISAF is a key component of the international community's engagement in Afghanistan, assisting the Afghan authorities in providing security and stability and creating the conditions for reconstruction and development.

Part 1
Pilots and Soldiers talk to a military reporter about their roles in the recent insurgent attack on Combat Outpost Keating near Jalalabad, Afghanistan and give detailed accounts of the events of this specific attack. Part 1 of 5.
• 1st Lt. Cason Shrode (US), Fires Support Officer
• Chief Warrant Officer Ross Lewallen (US), Apache Pilot
• Sgt. Jayson Souter (US)
• Chief Warrant Officer Chad Bardwell (US), Apache Gunner

Pilots and Soldiers talk to a military reporter about their roles in the recent insurgent attack on Combat Outpost Keating near Jalalabad, Afghanistan and give detailed accounts of the events of this specific attack. Part 1 of 5. Interviewees:


Raw Video: Camp Keating Interviews-2


Raw Video: Camp Keating Interviews-3


Raw Video: Camp Keating Interviews-4


Raw Video: Camp Keating Interviews-5


Camp Keating - after the attack 1
Camp Keating, Afghanistan (former Kamdesh PRT)

Outside 360-degree view of the now abandoned and destroyed Camp Keating in Kamdesh, Afghanistan. This footage was taken in 2007. The bridge was just outside the base, immediately above the HLZ. The Camp Keating perimeter is outlined in HESCO barriers.

The strength, courage and steadfast determination of the US personnel who lived, fought and died here should never be forgotten.


after the attack 2

Camp Keating, Afghanistan (former Kamdesh PRT)

Wounded U.S. Soldiers Refused to Leave Taliban Fight

ABC News

( ABC News' Karen Russo was the only reporter to get to the scene of this bloody firefight between U.S. troops and hundreds of Taliban insurgents when she went in on a MEDEVAC helicopter. Here is her report: )

Flying into the besieged Afghan base during a nighttime firefight this weekend was a harrowing mix of overwhelming noise, stomach dropping maneuvers and shadows hurrying through the gloom.

When the chopper lifted off moments later with three wounded soldiers, it left behind others who were wounded but refused to be MEDEVACED out of the combat zone so they could return to fight with their buddies.

Fighting raged at two remote U.S. outpostsnear the Pakistan border this weekend, that left eight U.S. soldiers dead and 24 wounded. The battle was fought from Friday night through Sunday as hundreds of Taliban insurgents and their allies tried to overrun the Americans.

During the fighting, the insurgents succeeded in breaching the outer defense of the base at times before being repelled with the help of attack helicopters, fighter jets and drones. It was the bloodiest battle in a year for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

During the fight, the MEDEVAC team at a nearby base waited - with both patience and frustration.

MEDEVAC teams are known for flying into some of the most deadly areas in the world to rescue injured soldiers. MEDEVAC helicopters are unarmed so they often need supporting aircraft to protect them, and sometimes the cover of darkness is their only defense.

On Saturday night, the team finally received the go-ahead as the sun set. Within moments of receiving the call, we rushed to the helicopter and quickly sped to the outposts.

As we were flying into the attack space, the MEDEVAC team with one medic and a doctor were preparing for the oncoming patients, setting up IV's, pulling out medical equipment and making other last minute preparations.

Apache helicopter gunships escorted us as we neared the combat zone to ensure our safety as we hovered at 10,000 feet awaiting word to descend. When word came, we plummeted in a corkscrew manner, making the descent in a matter of seconds, landing in a valley at the bottom of steep mountains. It felt very vulnerable to attack.

One of the pilots said that even though he had night vision goggles and ordinarily he can see in that sort of situation, because the fighting was intense there was so much smoke it was actually fogged over and it was difficult for him to see. Fortunately he could make out the landing zone, but it was touch and go.

Once on the ground, I hopped out of the chopper, but could see little other than smoke wafting through the moonlight, likely from a fire that was burning much of the base. Then I could make out the shadows of soldiers as they carried the wounded towards the helicopter.

Any noise of the conflict was drowned out by the propellers of the helicopter. The area smelled of burned out pine trees something one solider described as "death and hell."

Three wounded soldiers, one U.S. and two Afghan, were carried down the steep incline and quickly placed on the helicopter.

Some of the injured refused to be MEDEVACED out of the combat zone and continued to fight despite their wounds, according to soldiers at the base. Soldiers told the MEDEVAC crew that troops were donating blood during the battle, so it could be transfused into wounded comrades.

Between the gloom of night and the smoke, it was too dark to see much and the roar of the chopper made it almost impossible to hear commands.

I was quickly sort of touched by a crew member to get on the flight. I hopped on and even before I was on, the medical team was already working on the wounded.

Doctors wore night vision goggles, but still found it difficult to see. One doctor said it was like working by touch.

We were on the ground for a little more than five minutes, but in the chaos of noise and darkness, it felt like it could have been anything from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

Moments later, the chopper lifted into the air and flew to the nearest medical facility. Despite the heroism of the crew, one of the soldiers died after reaching the facility. It wasn't immediately announced whether the soldier who died was American or Afghan.

The eight American troops killed in the battle were all from Fort Carson in Colorado Springs:

"In the deadliest day for Fort Carson since Vietnam, eight soldiers from the post’s 4th Brigade Combat Team died in Afghanistan on Saturday when insurgents attacked a pair of remote outposts in Nuristan province.
The Army hasn’t identified the dead, but several military sources confirmed that all eight were from the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade, which went to war in May and in recent days began withdrawing from remote areas to better provide security in cities and villages.
“My heart goes out to the families of those we have lost and to their fellow Soldiers who remained to finish this fight,” Col. Randy George, the brigade’s commander, said in a statement late Saturday. “This was a complex attack in a difficult area. Both the U.S. and Afghan Soldiers fought bravely together; I am extremely proud of their professionalism and bravery.”

Please take time to read the profiles of the American soldiers who died in the siege at Kamdesh.

The Colorado Springs Gazette tells their stories HERE and also HERE

Many were fathers. All were patriots. They were stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. They leave behind grieving wives, girlfriends, young children, family, and friends. Remember their names. Remember their heroism:

Spc. Stephan Lee Mace, 21
Sgt. Joshua Kirk, 30
Pfc. Kevin Thomson, 22
Spc. Christopher T. Griffin
Spc. Michael P. Scusa, 22
Sgt. Vernon W. Martin
Sgt. Justin T. Gallegos, 22
Sgt. Joshua M. Hardt, 24

Spc. Mace’s family is speaking out. Let’s pray the White House is listening:

Stephan Mace of the Army’s 61st Cavalry Regiment knew the Taliban would be waiting for him when he returned to eastern Afghanistan in September.

During a two-week leave in early September, the 21-year-old specialist sat on his father’s couch in Winchester, Virginia, and discussed his concerns over Forward Operating Base Keating in Kamdesh District, a region known as a Taliban stronghold.

“He talked about the village next to the base, that it had 300 Taliban, and they couldn’t do anything about it because they were in mosques hiding or with other civilians,” says his father, Larry Mace.

“They knew they were there and they couldn’t do anything about it and they killed them.”

Added comment from Wild Thing,

In comparing the size of the area......South Vietnam was 62,000 square miles, heavy foliage in the jungles and tunneling . Afghanistan is four times as big at 252,000 square miles,much of which is extremely mountainous and challenges even modern warplanes. That is, the enemy on high peaks know the helos must fly in a certain valley to come to support a besieged forward operating base.

Think about the number of troops and warplanes we had in VN, at 62,000 square miles, compared to a much smaller number in Afghanistan, at 252,000 square miles.

Those combat support aircraft are spread mighty thin, and flying times are long.

For combat casualties, this is BAD. It’s like being shot in West Texas, and being medevaced to Houston for treatment, via a slow helicopter. In Iraq, from wounding to hospital is measured in minutes, in Afghanistan, it may be HOURS.

Obama needs to realize this and listen to the General that has been boots on the ground and knows. Unlike Obama that cannot even take the oath of office without messing up. He needs to understand our troops have got to OWN the mountain areas not only the lowlands.

The location of Camp Keating reminds me a lot of like Dien Bien Phu. It too was set in a bowl surrounded by hills.

With Obama as CIC it is a Kluster Foxtrot!!!

He McCrystal not needed in talks taking place in DC re strategy - told him to wait - after all, he had basketball to play. Then he comes out with the Taliban not really an enemy, has role in Afghanistan’s future and let's leave the Taliban alone and only go after the al-queda and add into that the stupidest R.O.E. that I have heard of totally dangerous to our troops.

And let's not forget this as well....from another date where Obama is at faullt with his .R.O.E.'s

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
‘We’re pinned down:’ 4 U.S. Marines die in Afghan ambush

U.S. commanders, citing new rules to avoid civilian casualties, rejected repeated calls to unleash artillery rounds at attackers dug into the slopes and tree lines — despite being told repeatedly that they weren’t near the village.

“We are pinned down. We are running low on ammo. We have no air. We’ve lost today,” Marine Maj. Kevin Williams, 37, said through his translator to his Afghan counterpart, responding to the latter’s repeated demands for helicopters.

Survivors in Afghanistan Need Immediate Help - 56 Soldiers Lost EVERYTHING

Please join me in contributing to the Combat Outpost Keating Relief Fund.

Mothax at the American Legion’s Burn Pit blog writes that “[i]n the battle for Combat Outpost Keating, the men of Bravo Troop 361 Cavalry lost every possession they had, save for the clothes on their backs.”

Also Tankerbabe has a list if you want to sent a package and what is still needed.

All personal belongings were destroyed. They lost everything. But the army is attempting to get them new uniforms.
They needed everything from underclothes, all personal hygiene supplies, cold weather gear - remember, they are in the high Hindu Kush mts. = some of the most severe winter weather on earth - and no comfy barracks, etc., - They needed heavy wool socks, wool helmet liners, balaclavas, gloves, long johns, , fleece blankets, etc etc...and they lost their iPods, DVDs, and other little things that helped keep them sane.

That is a lot of stuff to replace quickly for 56 soldiers.

Guess what - within 3 days of flurry - ALMOST everything on the list has been raised and is one the way. Fantastic!


Here is where to donate online using your credit card.

Here is where to mail checks:

COP Keating Relief Fund
PO Box 1954
Indianapolis 46206

Here is an online form that you can send in with your checks. Make sure you have COP Keating Relief Fund on the check so we can allocate it correctly.

If you want to send stuff today, and do it completely on your own, please mail to:

CSM Robert Wilson
TF Mountain Warrior
FOB Bostick
APO AE 09354

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (6)

Weapons Failed US Troops During Afghan Firefight

The Army's new rife project was cancled. Here's what the SpecOps guys buy and use - according to what I could find.
SCAR (SOF Combat Assault Rifle) FN SCAR: Mark 16 and Mark 17- Special Forces Combat Assault Rifle (USA/Belgium

FN SCAR-L / Mk.16 rifle - prototype (1s generation, late 2004), left side view

FN SCAR-L / Mk.16 rifle, 2nd generation prototype, with FN EGLM 40mm grenade launcher attached

FN SCAR-H/Mk.17 rifle prototype in CQC (Close Quarter Combat, short barrel) configuration, 7.62x51 mm NATO version

FN SCAR-L/Mk.16 rifle partially disassembled; note additional quick-detachable barrel

5.56mm NATO FN SCAR-L/Mk.16 rifles of current (2007/2008) production, top to bottom in Long Barrel (LB), bstandard (Std) and Close Quarter Combat (CQC) configurations

The M240, formally identified as the United States Machine Gun, 7.62 millimeter, M240, is a family of belt-fed, gas operated middle sized machine guns firing the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. The M240 was adopted by the U.S. Military following a world-wide contest for a reliable 7.62 mm machine gun for use as a coaxial weapon for armored motor vehicle applications. The Coaxial edition of the legendary Belgian FN MAG 58 (Mitrailleuse d'Appui General or General Purpose Machine Gun), created by FN Herstal, won this contest. Despite not being the lightest medium machine gun in service, the M240 is highly regarded for reliability, and its standardization among NATO members is also seen as a major advantage. The demonstrated consistency of this weapon, 26,000 Mean Rounds Between Failure (MRBF), makes it the world's most dependable machine gun. ( The Gun Source )

Weapons failed US troops during Afghan firefight

It was chaos during the early morning assault last year on a remote U.S. outpost in Afghanistan and Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips' M4 carbine had quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn't work either.

When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a "critical moment" during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents.

Which raises the question: Eight years into the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, do U.S. armed forces have the best guns money can buy?

Despite the military's insistence that they do, a small but vocal number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq has complained that the standard-issue M4 rifles need too much maintenance and jam at the worst possible times.

A week ago, eight U.S. troops were killed at a base near Kamdesh, a town near Wanat. There's no immediate evidence of weapons failures at Kamdesh, but the circumstances were eerily similar to the Wanat battle: insurgents stormed an isolated stronghold manned by American forces stretched thin by the demands of war.

Army Col. Wayne Shanks, a military spokesman in Afghanistan, said a review of the battle at Kamdesh is under way. "It is too early to make any assumptions regarding what did or didn't work correctly," he said.

Complaints about the weapons the troops carry, especially the M4, aren't new. Army officials say that when properly cleaned and maintained, the M4 is a quality weapon that can pump out more than 3,000 rounds before any failures occur.

The M4 is a shorter, lighter version of the M16, which made its debut during the Vietnam war. Roughly 500,000 M4s are in service, making it the rifle troops on the front lines trust with their lives.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a leading critic of the M4, said Thursday the Army needs to move quickly to acquire a combat rifle suited for the extreme conditions U.S. troops are fighting in.

U.S. special operations forces, with their own acquisition budget and the latitude to buy gear the other military branches can't, already are replacing their M4s with a new rifle.

"The M4 has served us well but it's not as good as it needs to be," Coburn said.

Battlefield surveys show that nearly 90 percent of soldiers are satisfied with their M4s, according to Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, head of the Army office that buys soldier gear. Still, the rifle is continually being improved to make it even more reliable and lethal.

Fuller said he's received no official reports of flawed weapons performance at Wanat. "Until it showed up in the news, I was surprised to hear about all this," he said.

The study by Douglas Cubbison of the Army Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., hasn't been publicly released. Copies of the study have been leaked to news organizations and are circulating on the Internet.

Cubbison's study is based on an earlier Army investigation and interviews with soldiers who survived the attack at Wanat. He describes a well-coordinated attack by a highly skilled enemy that unleashed a withering barrage with AK-47 automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

The soldiers said their weapons were meticulously cared for and routinely inspected by commanders. But still the weapons had breakdowns, especially when the rifles were on full automatic, which allows hundreds of bullets to be fired a minute.

The platoon-sized unit of U.S. soldiers and about two dozen Afghan troops was shooting back with such intensity the barrels on their weapons turned white hot. The high rate of fire appears to have put a number of weapons out of commission, even though the guns are tested and built to operate in extreme conditions.

Cpl. Jonathan Ayers and Spc. Chris McKaig were firing their M4s from a position the soldiers called the "Crow's Nest." The pair would pop up together from cover, fire half a dozen rounds and then drop back down.

On one of these trips up, Ayers was killed instantly by an enemy round. McKaig soon had problems with his M4, which carries a 30-round magazine.

"My weapon was overheating," McKaig said, according to Cubbison's report. "I had shot about 12 magazines by this point already and it had only been about a half hour or so into the fight. I couldn't charge my weapon and put another round in because it was too hot, so I got mad and threw my weapon down."

The soldiers also had trouble with their M249 machine guns, a larger weapon than the M4 that can shoot up to 750 rounds per minute.

Cpl. Jason Bogar fired approximately 600 rounds from his M-249 before the weapon overheated and jammed the weapon.

Bogar was killed during the firefight, but no one saw how he died, according to the report.

Wild Thing's comment......

Our troops are brave, well trained professionals and so many have sacrificed their lives for our country. I do a lot of volunteer work with the military and with Veterans. When I meet our troops and Veterans in person, online, at the VA, the Disabled Veterans group or other places I am involved with I truly couldn’t be prouder of them.

I put a few guns for the graphics they are beautiful! The bottom lilne for me is I want the best for our troops whatever it takes, and I could care less what it costs financially.

....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 05:49 AM | Comments (9)

October 10, 2009

Obama Is Directly Responsible For The Unnecessary Deaths Of Our Servicemen

Frontline: 10-minute rough cut of the first act of "Obama's War", part one of the PBS documentary
This video is from an upcoming PBS Frontline special called Obama’s War.

This special airs on October 13th at 9PM.


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

Any American who would leave our men on the battlefield there and not send them the reinforcements they need should be shot.

Obama has tied our military’s hands behind their backs by the restrictive ROE - and the Taliban are taking full advantage of it. Unleash the dogs and let our military do their job!

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (10)

Sergeant Jeremiah Workman ~ Thank You!

SSgt Workman Earned the Navy Cross

h/t WOT

His Book:

Shadow of the Sword: A Marine's Journey of War, Heroism, and Redemption


"Derek Sholl's new song, "When They Come Back" captures beautifully the experience of our returning combat veterans as they struggle to make the transition from warrior to civilian while dealing with the physical and mental wounds they've brought with them from the battlefield. Sholl avoids the ultra-patriotic tone of such songs as Toby Keith's American Soldier and Courtesy of the Red White and Blue for a much more honest and personal accounting of what it means to be an American warrior growing up and following in his father's footsteps.

With his powerful voice setting the emotional tone of the song, and the lyrics speaking honestly and with intensity rarely seen in the pop music scene, "When They Come Back" is destined to speak for a generation. This is a rare gem, one that will stand for years to come. And decades from now, when the veteran is asked by his son or grandson, "What was it like?" the answer will be, "Listen to this song. That's the way it was for all of us."

- John R. Bruning, Co-Author of "Shadow of the Sword"


Sergeant Jeremiah Workman shares his story at the American Veterans Center's 2008 conference. Workman received the Navy Cross for his actions during Operation Phantom Fury during the Second Battle of Fallujah.

According to the citation, he was awarded for extraordinary heroism, while serving as a squad leader for the Mortar Platoon, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Workman, exemplifying the old adage "no man left behind," repeatedly exposed himself to a hail of enemy fire to retrieve isolated Marines trapped inside an insurgent-infested building.

Ignoring heavy enemy fire and a storm of grenades raining down on his position, Workman fearlessly laid down enough cover fire to allow the trapped Marines to escape.

After seeing the first group of wounded Marines safely to a neighboring yard, Workman rallied additional Marines to his side and provided more cover fire for an attack into the building to rescue other Marines still trapped. He continued to fire even after receiving numerous shrapnel wounds to his arms and legs after a grenade exploded in front of him, stated his citation.

Workman's efforts did not stop after the second rescue attack. Ignoring his wounds, Workman once again united his team for a final assault strike into the building to retrieve remaining Marines and to clear the building of insurgents.

"Basically, we got ambushed," he said. "There were insurgents on the second floor in a bedroom. We fought our way up the stairs. There were grenades going off around us (and) small arms fire everywhere."

During the course of the fight, Workman was responsible for the elimination of more than 20 insurgents.

While the citation states he "reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps," Workman does not dwell on the fact that he is a Navy Cross recipient. All that matters in the long run are the lives lost and saved during the war, he said.

"The first thing I thought about was all the Marines we lost over there," Workman said, reflecting on that fateful day. "I don't look at myself as being any different. I did what any other Marine would have done. There are thousands of other Marines over there (in the Middle East) that deserve to be awarded, too."

Workman's modesty is evident to his fellow Marines here as well.

"I have a lot of respect for Sergeant Workman," said Staff Sgt. Jeff Moses, operations chief for Delta Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion. "He's been very humble about everything. (What he did) is just amazing."

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

Thank you Sergeant Jeremiah Workman! God bless you!

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (13)

October 09, 2009

Mother and Son Serve Together in Afghanistan

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Seth Alderman, a squad leader for the military police in the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, waits for his squad prior to a mission out of Combat Outpost Sabari in the Khost province of eastern Afghanistan. Photo by Pfc. Andrya Hill


U.S. Army Maj. Una Alderman, the chief nurse officer for the 452nd Army Reserve, from Wisconsin, tends to a patient at the hospital on Forward Operating Base Salerno, Aug. 5. She is stationed in the same area of operation as her son, Staff Sgt. Seth Alderman, a military policeman with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Photo by Pfc. Andrya Hil

Mother and Son Serve Together in Afghanistan

Story by Pfc. Andrya Hill

Deployed Soldiers have all kissed their families good-bye, and headed off to war with the expectation of learning to handle the constant heartache of missing their loved ones.

However, in a rare exception, two Soldiers in eastern Afghanistan have found unexpected relief from this typical situation by being assigned to the same location at Forward Operating Base Salerno in the Khost province.

U.S. Army Maj. Una Alderman, the chief nurse officer for the 452nd Combat Support Hospital, received deployment orders after her son had already been serving in Afghanistan.

“His mailing address said Salerno, and then I found out that was where I was going. I just couldn’t believe it,” she explained.

Her son, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Seth Alderman, a military policeman with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Alaska, was equally surprised.

“When I came here with 4-25 in March, she was on orders waiting to deploy, but we didn’t know where,” he said. “When I found out she was coming here, to Salerno, I just thought ‘Wow.’ It was a huge surprise to both of us.”

Seth works on Combat Outpost Sabari, just a few miles from FOB Salerno, and convoys between the two locations each month.

“Having her here really gives me something to look forward to when I come to Salerno,” he said.

While their close proximity is unique to the deployed environment, and provides a form of solace in the midst of war, it also enables more frequent visits than they have experienced in the U.S.

“It is nice because I live in Wisconsin, and Seth lives in Alaska. We’ll be able to see each other on a more regular basis here, instead of every year-and-a-half,” Una said.

Both Soldiers said they have tremendous support from their colleagues, and other Soldiers are excited about their opportunity.

“There is a lot of joking around from my Soldiers, but there is also a level of respect. They think, who else’s mom is over here, really?” Seth said.

Combat brings a level of daily danger and with Una working in the hospital, and her son working on the ground, they each have had to face the possibility of continuing their jobs in an unfortunate tragedy.

“I am a mom, he is my son, so I do worry,” said Una.

Despite her motherly worry, Una, with help from others is able to focus on her mission.

“I have a lot of support from the colleagues that I work with, and we will do the job regardless,” she said.

Seth has a half-year remaining in his year-long deployment, and Maj. Alderman has just begun hers. They said they are appreciative of the time they will get to spend together, and are looking forward to the new level of camaraderie, as fellow Soldiers, as well as mother and son.

“I am really proud to be in the Army,” Una said. “The people I am here with are just outstanding Soldiers, so I think it is going to be a very good year, a very meaningful year. Besides my children, this is probably one of the most meaningful things I’ll ever do in my life, and adding that Seth is here, at least until February or March, it makes it that much better.”

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

Great story!! I have posted several where there is a father and son, or two brothers, etc. But this is the first one of a son and his Mother serving together.

......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 02:50 AM | Comments (4)

October 05, 2009

Apache Engage 3 Terrorists in Iraq


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

Way to start the day of right! OH yesssssss!!!

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (8)

September 28, 2009

USN SEAL Lt. Daniel Cnossen Needs Our Support

USN SEAL Lt. Daniel Cnossen, WIA 9/8/09 needs YOUR support~SEAL Team One, USNA '02

USN SEAL Lt. Daniel Cnossen is a member of SEAL Team One based in Coronado, CA. He is also a 2002 graduate of the United States Naval Academy


Dan's Story

On September 6th, 2009, Dan returned to Kandahar, Afghanistan. With less than 36 hours on the ground, his team received their first mission task targeting Taliban operatives. During the mission, Dan activated a land mine and lost both legs, and sustained traumatic internal injuries. Currently he is at the National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland where he is fighting a new battle. Like any other challenge in his life, Dan will face this one with courage and dedication. Already, friends and family have witnessed Dan’s unbelievable strength as he begins what will surely be a long and difficult recovery. Despite the challenges ahead, Dan remains positive and exudes his kindness and true appreciation for friends and family, and for life.

Although known to some as Danny boy or Danger Dan, to others as Cnoss, C-Nasty, Disco Dan, or Batta Bing, and to some just plain Dan, we all know and love Dan Cnossen as a courageous and determined leader, a strong and selfless man, and a dedicated and unconditional friend. Though he can be described as introverted and a bit stoic, Dan’s friends prefer to use the words soft spoken and humble instead. A truly genuine and loyal person, Dan is also known to have a way with words, creating laughter in the wake of his humor, and amazement from his friends and family with his curiosity and zest for life.

His life’s motto, “Life is all about extremes” plays out everyday in both his professional and personal life, and he is excited by and drawn to activities that challenge him both physically and mentally. From the moment he learned about the US Navy SEAL program, he was hooked by the pure challenge, and immediately dedicated himself to preparing for it. In his free time Dan took on many adrenaline-filled adventures: climbing Mount Machu Picchu, Peru; hiking Patagonia’s Torres del Paine, Chile; mountaineering through Samaria Gorge, Crete; free-climbing Mount Whitney, CA; skiing the back country of Mount Baker, WA; and swimming the Mediterranean and Dead Seas. Dan’s sense of adventure has also taken him to Argentina, Uruguay, Columbia, Egypt, Jordan, Guatemala, Turkey, Mexico, and Spain.

Among his local adventures, Dan loves to rock climb and run. Those who know him from the Naval Academy share memories of sneaking off the Navy yard to join Dan on these (and other) extreme excursions. Dan amazed friends when he would sign up for a 50-mile race or ultra-marathon just weeks before a race. Taking on these unbelievably difficult tasks only further exemplifies Dan’s immense mental and physical strength, and true passion for challenge, adventure, and reaching life’s absolute limits. Some people train their entire lives to accomplish what Dan would decide to do on a whim.

Dan was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas on a small farm owned by his grandfather, and spent his childhood working on the farm, reading, running, boxing and playing soccer. Upon arriving at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1998, Dan had never seen the ocean, had never learned how to swim, and could barely make it across the pool. Dan only saw this as yet another challenge, and because he was fully dedicated to succeeding, he sought out friends to help him learn how to swim. Dan would often skip lunch and head to the pool, and immediately joined the Navy Triathlon Team to further strengthen his swimming abilities. But being a member of the team wasn’t enough. By his senior year, Dan was elected a captain, and lead the team to a national championship. Friends watched as Dan woke up at 5am every morning to run, and then return to the gym or pool for a second and even third workout everyday. Each day Dan focused tenaciously on his ultimate goal of becoming a US Navy SEAL.

Upon graduating from the US Naval Academy in 2002, Dan headed to San Diego, CA with several classmates, and immediately began fulfilling his orders to Basic Underwater Demolition and SEAL school (BUDs Class 242). He successfully completed some of the most mentally and physically rigorous training in the United States military, and succeeded in fulfilling his life-long goal. Dan was pinned as a US Navy SEAL, and reported to his SEAL Team, stationed in Coronado, CA.

As a junior officer, he served two deployments in Iraq, one to the Philippines, and supported JSOC with a deployment to Afghanistan.

You can go here to Dan's website and see the Video....if you click at the top where it says updates you can also comment at the guest book or othe next page to give support. ~ Thank you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This is from Rob, one of Dan's closest friends:

Family & Friends,
Just wanted to send you all a quick update on Dan...He is doing great and everyday is getting better and better. Yesterday, the ICU took Dan off the ventilator and to everyone's surprise he started talking. Dan remembers pretty much everything in detail, and his spirits are as high as ever. He understands his injuries and is anxious to start his rehab as soon as possible. He was even cracking jokes about the number of pullups he'll be able to knock out.... and how fast he'll be swimming with bionic fin attachments. He will be undergoing a surgical wash out today and will continue his surgical debridement/reconstructive surgeries every other day for sometime, hopefully to be out of the ICU in two weeks or less. He has the verybest surgeons... the White House medical team in fact. He wanted me to pass along to each of you that he loves you all and looks forward to seeing you all soon. Out of respect for Dan's family, and the necessity for Dan to get as much rest as he can while in the ICU, he wanted me to pass along that unless you are family or very close and immediate friend to please wait to visit until he is out of the ICU in 1-2 weeks. So far the support has been tremendous and the NSW community has taken great care of Dan and his family. Please feel free to send cards or notes of support to Dan and the family. As Dan begins the road to complete recovery, please continue to keep his Mother Alice and his Sister Leslie in your thoughts and prayers as well as the men in Dan's platoon as they begin their deployment. A few of us in the D.C. area will continue to be with Dan multiple times a week and I will be sending out a weekly SITREPs for you all. Please feel free to send me contact info of anyone else that wishes to be on the Distro list to track his progress.

Best Regards,



September 22, 2009

Dan had passed his swallow test...so now he can drink and eat anything he wants.

Surgery yesterday went really well - they revised the amputation on the right leg, so he now has bilateral above-the-knee amputations. Always looking at the positive, Dan pointed out that he'd rather have both of his legs the same length anyways. The doctors are still trying to find the best way to control his pain, because he can't be on such heavy-hitting pain medications when he leaves the ICU. So they are trying some new options right now to see what will be most effective for him when he moves to the 5th Floor.

More from his update page

September 24, 2009

He has been so sleep deprived, and surgeries every other day take their toll. So, we do appreciate everyone's understanding of his need for privacy, rest, following doctors and nurses' orders and just plain healing over time. It's amazing how his body is healing itself in so many ways. We especially appreciate the special fancy air bed ICU ordered for his body, which just isn't used to spending so many hours flat in bed. The doctors are still working on pain management, and getting Dan off his epidural. He's had a consistent fever the entire time he's been here, and the epidural is the suspected source of the infection, so they're slowly weaning him off it. He's currently in surgery right now to stabilize the back side of the pelvis with surgical pins. Plastic surgery has been consulting on his inner thigh wounds - one leg should close and heal on its own, but the other will require skin grafts. Tomorrow he will go back to the OR again for more wound cleaning - this will be 3 surgeries in 3 days.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (4)

September 24, 2009

Vets For Freedom Petition: Give Our Generals in Afghanistan What They Need!


The Obama administration is waffling on providing our troops what they need for success in Afghanistan. The internal debate in the White House swings between declaring defeat and sticking it out, but no voices appear to be raised in favor of Victory. So the procrastination drags on and our troops and the people of Afghanistan suffer for it.

Sgt. Daniel Bell, the Missouri State Captain of Vets For Freedom asks that you sign this petition to pressure the president to give General McChrystal what he needs to do the job!

Sgt. Daniel Bell writes…

Fellow Vets for Freedom members:

My name is Sergeant Daniel Bell and I’m the Missouri State Captain of Vets for Freedom. Much more importantly, I served as a Special Operations Medic under General Stanley McChrysal in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Serving under General McChrystal–one of the most frequently deployed service members to Iraq and Afghanistan–gave me a first-hand perspective on this man’s dedication to our country. Whether I was listening to one of his briefs, or flying alongside him on a mission, Gen. McChrystal’s decisive leadership was always evident.

He always instilled confidence in the men of his task force by leading the way–and being on the ground–during dangerous missions. If there ever was a commander who knows what is taking place on the ground, and understands why type of strategy we need to win, it is Stan McChrystal.

There is no military leader I respect more than General McChrystal. Our troops in Afghanistan could not have a more competent and dedicated commander, and I’m committed to doing anything possible to ensure General McChrystal is given the support he needs to turn the tide in Afghanistan.

Please join me in supporting General McChrystal by signing the Vets for Freedom “Give the Generals What They Need” Petition.


Move out and draw fire!

Sergeant Daniel Bell

U.S. Veteran, Iraq and Afghanistan
Missouri State Captain, Vets for Freedom


Here is what the Petiton says:

The Petition

To the President

We, the undersigned U.S. war veterans and patriotic Americans, petition you with one simple request:
Listen to the commander on the ground in Afghanistan—General Stanley A. McChrystal—and provide him with the troops he says he needs to win the war in Afghanistan.
By accepting the troop recommendations of General McChrystal—and his boss General David Petraeus—we have a chance to turn the war in Afghanistan around. This is a moment in history we must not miss.
Like General Petraeus in Iraq, General McChrystal is an outside-the-box thinker who thrives in the ambiguity of asymmetrical battlefields. Like General Petraeus in Iraq, General McChrystal has the right strategy—a comprehensive counterinsurgency plan.
In 2007, General Petraeus was given the troops he needed (the "Surge") to win, and Iraq has turned around—resulting in dramatically lower U.S. casualties, a more stable Iraq, and a drawdown of American forces.
General McChrystal—and all our brave Soldiers and Marines on the ground—deserve the same chance to win in Afghanistan. They deserve the additional troops needed to turn a winning strategy into a winning result.
We fully acknowledge that the war in Afghanistan has been tough, and is currently headed in the wrong direction. And as you have said, it has been under-resourced, under-funded, and under-manned for years. You have also said that it is a war we must win. We agree on all fronts.
Unlike Iraq, there was consensus at the beginning of the war in Afghanistan that America must be successful in toppling the Taliban and dismantling Al Qaeda, for the safety of our country. Eight years later, the consensus on the war in Afghanistan is fractured; however we believe—as do you—that the need for victory has not changed.
During this time of domestic uncertainty and global threats, winning the war will require steadfast Presidential leadership; a Commander-in-Chief who is unwilling to be swayed by lagging poll numbers or party leaders who want to block troop increases.
Now is the time for your leadership. If you listen to commanders on the ground, give them what they need, and stand behind our warriors in Afghanistan—we will stand with you. If you don't, and would rather fight the "war of necessity" with one hand tied behind our back, then we will loudly object.
Many—in fact a majority—said the war in Iraq was "unwinnable," yet our troops persevered and turned the tide. Despite the drumbeat of detractors—on both sides of the aisle—this is another war we can win. But we must act now.
We owe it to the Marines and Soldiers slogging it out with insurgents every day to get this right. If we do, they'll fight, they'll persevere, and they'll win. If we don't, we are setting them up for failure. No less than America's greatness—and the legacy of America's finest warriors—is at stake.


Wild Thing's comment......

This is soooo important. Nick and I both have signed this petition.

......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 02:37 PM | Comments (4)

September 23, 2009

Enemy of Troops as CIC Not Listening to Generals nor Troops!

Is It Amateur Hour in the White House?


Analysis: the leak of Gen. McChrystal's report shows the Obama administration is mishandling Afghanistan.

The administration's handling of Afghanistan policy has been amateur hour. The leak of General Stanley McChrystal's assessment of the dire situation there faces President Obama with by far his most serious foreign-policy challenge. It's also a challenge to what appears to be his whole approach to foreign policy.

Buzz about the leak of McChrystal's report focuses on two questions. Who slipped the document to the great Bob Woodward of the Washington Post? That's fun, but not serious. And who's responsible for allowing President Obama to get into this mess? That is serious.

What mess? That, of course, is the administration's immediate spin. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even maintained—under politely insistent inquiry by The Newshour’s Margaret Warner—that while Gen. McChrystal might be making one set of recommendations, the administration is talking with others who disagree. Really? Is Obama running an administration where an analysis required of a four-star general confirmed into his job by the Senate—an analysis drafted by an international civilian and military team of experts recruited for the task—can be second-guessed by some guy someone at State knows in a think tank? What's worrying about this administration is that the answer may be: yes.

In his campaign, Obama opposed the invasion of Iraq but safeguarded his national-security credentials by supporting the war in Afghanistan. A war, he said, America had to win—but to which, he charged, the Bush administration had failed to devote the necessary resources. In office, Obama ordered up a new Afghanistan strategy, and announced this on March 27 as the product of what he called "a careful policy review." Shorn of rhetoric, the new strategy actually accepted all the Bush administration's goals in Afghanistan—defeating the insurgents; preventing Al Qaeda from reestablishing a sanctuary there; working to set up a democratic and effective government; training Afghan forces to take over from U.S. troops; coaxing the international community to give more help. The review even added a new goal: saving Pakistan—or, as the review put it, "assisting efforts to enhance civilian control and stable constitutional government in Pakistan and a vibrant economy that provides opportunities for the people of Pakistan. And to accomplish this breath-taking set of objectives? Obama had already agreed to send another 17,000 troops to Afghanistan to safeguard polling in the Afghan presidential election in August. Now, as part of his new strategy, he agreed to send an additional 4,000 troops to train Afghanistan's own forces.

What remains a mystery is whether Obama thought those 21,000 would be enough, or whether he was ducking a tough decision to send the numbers really needed. If he did believe 21,000 would suffice, who was advising him? The strategy Obama adopted—one that he inherited from a rethink all but completed in the last months of the Bush presidency—was what the military calls COIN: counter-insurgency. That means protecting the Afghan population from the Taliban and their allies so they can then be wooed into supporting the government and then, hopefully, turning in the insurgents. Whether counter-insurgency is a plausible strategy in Afghanistan is much debated within the military. But that's the strategy Obama adopted in March. What was always clear was that COIN would need thousands more troops. The mystery is whether Obama realized this.

Even at the start of the year, the then commander in country, General David McKiernan, was asking for 10,000 more combat troops than the 17,000 Obama agreed. The administration decided to defenestrate McKiernan in May. A new strategy required a new commander. Now Obama's new handpicked commander, Gen Stanley McChrystal, has concluded that he will need another 45,000 troops to carry out Obama's strategy. Plus, by the way, a vastly expanded, better organized, and costly effort to carry out the civic improvement projects that are an essential part of COIN strategy.

McChrystal hasn't plucked his demand for troops from thin air. They are the product of what the Army calls a TTT analysis—TTT meaning "troops to task": how many troops to cover X thousand square miles of that desolate country, and protect Y millions of its population. McChrystal's math is that to cover six vital provinces in southern and eastern Afghanistan under the most urgent threat from the Taliban and its allies, and to bring security to the Afghans living in them, will take close to 45,000 additional troops. (The analysis allows for U.S. troops to replace European units soon to leave the south, plus a few to shore up the north.) McChrystal was planning to submit this troop demand as an appendix to his overall assessment. Now, at the command of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, McChrystal has submitted to two constraints. He has postponed sending up these calculations until the administration chooses to ask for them. And he has refined his needs into three categories: reinforcements of 10,000, 30,000, and 45,000. The administration will certainly call these "options." They're not; they're "risk assessments." Given only 30,000, McChrystal has calculated, he will have to leave important areas of south and east Afghanistan unprotected. Given only 10,000, more areas will remain unprotected. (McChrystal's numbers, though not formally submitted, are circulating in Washington like samizdat writings banned in the Soviet Union.)

Suddenly, the strategy Obama announced in March is being ditched. Back then, Obama said that Afghanistan had not received (from the Bush administration) "the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently needs." Specifically, he charged, the resources U.S. commanders needed "have been denied." "Now, that will change," he said. As late as last month, Obama was declaring the struggle in Afghanistan "a war of necessity" where victory was "fundamental to the defense of our people."

That, it appears, was then. Now, faced with the bleak assessment of the general he sent out to turn things round, Obama is equivocating, saying: "One of the things I'm absolutely clear about is that you have to get the strategy right, and then make a determination about resources." He has ordered yet another review of strategy, a review which the chairman of the joint chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, said was going back to "the first principles, if you will."

What's going on ? The March 27 "White Paper" laid out what Obama called his administration's "comprehensive new strategy."

The administration spin is that the debacle of the Afghan presidential elections, which President Hamid Karzai appears to have won by industrial-strength vote-rigging, has altered the situation. That's nonsense. Everyone knew Karzai would do whatever it took to win. (The U.S. in practice settled for that months ago, having tried but failed to find a plausible competitor to Karzai.) If the U.S. does have vital national interests at stake in the region, those remain, no matter how disputed the Afghan government is (or however ineffective the government in Pakistan). Lousy local governments just make the job tougher.

Now though, Obama and his administration give every sign of being torn, unable to decide to fulfill Obama's pledge to resource this "war of necessity." Meanwhile Obama is losing control of the debate about Afghanistan back home. Congressional heavyweights like Senator Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Services Committee, and Senator John Kerry, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, have voiced their doubts about U.S. policy in Afghanistan. The administration has been trying to prevent Gen. McChrystal from coming back to give Congress his views. That was always short-sighted; now that his assessment has leaked, it's untenable.

Afghanistan is by far Obama's toughest foreign-policy test. Iran, North Korea and the Israeli/Palestinian impasse are important issues. In each, Obama finds himself confronting a collision between rhetoric and reality. But those are tests of diplomatic adroitness and leverage. Afghanistan too has turned into a test between rhetoric and reality. But Afghanistan is different. It's also a sensitive domestic issue, because what is immediately at stake are the lives of American kids in uniform.

Comparisons with Vietnam may be overblown, and are certainly misguided in detail. But the political parallel seems ever more appropriate. Like Lyndon Johnson, Obama has inherited from his predecessor a messy war with only indirect connections to vital U.S. national interests. LBJ had a soaring domestic agenda, but he didn't know how to handle Vietnam. Obama, with comparable domestic ambitions, appears not to know how to handle Afghanistan. Vietnam sank LBJ's presidency in his first term. Afghanistan could do the same to Obama.

Sangin, Afghanistan

The roads are so littered with enemy bombs that nearly all transport and resupply to this base occurs by helicopter. The pilots roar through the darkness, swoop into small bases nestled in the saddle of enemy territory, and quickly rumble off into the night.
A witness must spend only a short time in the darkness to know we are at war. Flares arc into the night, or mortar illumination rounds drift and swing under parachutes, orange and eerily in the distance, casting long, flickering but sharply defined shadows. The worst that can happen is that you will be caught in an open field, covered by nothing and concealed only by darkness, when the illumination suddenly bathes you in light. Best is to stay low and freeze and prepare to fire, or in the case of a writer, to stay low and freeze and prepare to watch the firing.


Helmand Province, Afghanistan

With the war increasing, Air Force Pararescue has been crisscrossing the skies picking up casualties.

Images and descriptions from Michael Yon's blog
Thank you Michael for all you do!!!

Troops React to McChrystal Report

New York Daily News

The soldiers I have talked to in Afghanistan say they would welcome more troops, as Gen. Stanley McChrystal has recommended - any help they can get to get out of here and get back home.

The war here is under-resourced, under-funded and until recently largely ignored in favor of the war in Iraq. There is double the number of troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan right now - and many wonder why Iraq was allowed to distract us from the gains made here early on in the war.

But even if more troops are sent to Afghanistan - it’s not enough, they say. The key to winning - whatever that means - is getting the Afghan government and security forces to stand up for themselves and to stop the corruption that is so prevalent here. The soldiers can train Afghan army and police all day long, but until there is a comittment on their part to make things better, it won’t do any good.

The sense is that U.S. and NATO troops are just holding on here, doing what they can during their deployment until the next unit comes along. They understand the need to protect the people - a main tenent of counterinsurgency - but that also means fighting the enemy. And that has become more difficult as McChrystal and Afghan President Hamid Karzai continue to require that Afghan security forces accompany them on patrols and arrests. Simply put, that’s just not a realistic request. There are too few Afghan forces here and the ones that are on the payroll often don’t bother to show up to work.

Still, even if more troops and more Afghan forces were in place to combat the enemy and provide security for the people - many soldiers question the end-game in Afghanistan - especially as Pakistan and other nations continue to provide a safe haven for the bad guys.

As one soldier put it to me: “It’s like a game of whack-a-mole. You hit one and they pop up somewhere else.”
All said, the soldiers here are dedicated. They want nothing more than to make a difference. They want to “win” - not only to make the world a safer place, but for the friends they have lost in this long, deadly war.

General Stanley McChrystal, right, in Afghanistan

McChrystal to resign if not given resources for Afghanistan

by Bill Roggio

Within 24 hours of the leak of the Afghanistan assessment to The Washington Post, General Stanley McChrystal's team fired its second shot across the bow of the Obama administration. According to McClatchy, military officers close to General McChrystal said he is prepared to resign if he isn't given sufficient resources (read "troops") to implement a change of direction in Afghanistan:

Adding to the frustration, according to officials in Kabul and Washington, are White House and Pentagon directives made over the last six weeks that Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, not submit his request for as many as 45,000 additional troops because the administration isn't ready for it.

In the last two weeks, top administration leaders have suggested that more American troops will be sent to Afghanistan, and then called that suggestion "premature." Earlier this month, Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "time is not on our side"; on Thursday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged the public "to take a deep breath."

In Kabul, some members of McChrystal's staff said they don't understand why Obama called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" but still hasn't given them the resources they need to turn things around quickly.

Three officers at the Pentagon and in Kabul told McClatchy that the McChrystal they know would resign before he'd stand behind a faltering policy that he thought would endanger his forces or the strategy.

"Yes, he'll be a good soldier, but he will only go so far," a senior official in Kabul said. "He'll hold his ground. He's not going to bend to political pressure."

On Thursday, Gates danced around the question of when the administration would be ready to receive McChrystal's request, which was completed in late August. "We're working through the process by which we want that submitted," he said.

The entire process followed by the military in implementing a change of course in Afghanistan is far different, and bizarrely so, from the process it followed in changing strategy in Iraq.

For Afghanistan, the process to decide on a course change began in March of this year, when Bruce Reidel was tasked to assess the situation. This produced the much-heralded yet vague "AfPak" assessment. Then, in May, General David McKiernan was fired and replaced by General McChrystal, who took command in June. General McChrystal's assessment hit President Obama's desk at the end of August, almost three months after he took command. And yet now in the last half of September, the decision on additional forces has yet to be submitted to the administration.

Contrast this with Iraq in the fall of 2006. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was fired just one day after the elections in early November. The Keane-Kagan plan for Iraq was submitted to President Bush shortly afterward, and encompassed both the assessment of the situation and the recommended course of action, including the recommended number of troops to be deployed to deal with the situation. General David Petraeus replaced General George Casey in early February 2007, and hit the ground running; the surge strategy was in place, troops were being mustered to deploy to Iraq, and commanders on the ground were preparing for and executing the new orders. The first of the surge units began to arrive in Iraq only weeks later, in March.

Today, the military is perceiving that the administration is punting the question of a troop increase in Afghanistan, and the military is even questioning the administration's commitment to succeed in Afghanistan. The leaking of the assessment and the report that McChrystal would resign if he is not given what is needed to succeed constitute some very public pushback against the administration's waffling on Afghanistan.


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

Good article, gets into how McChrystal arrived at his numbers. Surprising to find it it Newsweek. It’s being in Newsweek means that the One really is in trouble.

Obama is nothing more then a community organizer if that, he's all about government social welfare programs for the inner city...he’s a military illiterate with a non-American upbringing and no world view....he’s the same as Maxine Waters or Shiela Jackson Lee.

And this was on CNN...."Now, President Obama has to man up and decide: is he going to fight this war or is he going to oversee an American defeat.....said by the vile horrible Michael Ware to the almost as horrible Anderson Cooper.

Obama has no policy for Afghanistan, he ONLY has R.O.E. for our troops.

Damn Barack Hussein Obama to the eternal flames of hell

Michael Yon has also posted Kagans' report (from AEI) re: AfPak. It reflects what McChrystal (and many others) are saying. Bambi better get off his butt and get moving.

Afghanistan Force Requirements (PDF) - Kagan Report

Obama's R.O.E.s


"NATO-led forces are investigating the death of four Marines in eastern Afghanistan after their commanders reportedly rejected requests for artillery fire in a battle with insurgents, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. Tuesday's incident was "under investigation" and details remained unclear, press secretary Geoff Morrell told a news conference. A McClatchy newspapers' journalist who witnessed the battle reported that a team of Marine trainers made repeated appeals for air and artillery support after being pinned down by insurgents in the village of Ganjgal in eastern Kunar province. The U.S. troops had to wait more than an hour for attack helicopters to come to their aid and their appeal for artillery fire was rejected, with commanders citing new rules designed to avoid civilian casualties, the report said."


We walked into a trap, a killing zone of relentless gunfire and rocket barrages from Afghan insurgents hidden in the mountainsides and in a fortress-like village where women and children were replenishing their ammunition.

"We will do to you what we did to the Russians," the insurgent's leader boasted over the radio, referring to the failure of Soviet troops to capture Ganjgal during the 1979-89 Soviet occupation.

Dashing from boulder to boulder, diving into trenches and ducking behind stone walls as the insurgents maneuvered to outflank us, we waited more than an hour for U.S. helicopters to arrive, despite earlier assurances that air cover would be five minutes away.

U.S. commanders, citing new rules to avoid civilian casualties, rejected repeated calls to unleash artillery rounds at attackers dug into the slopes and tree lines — despite being told repeatedly that they weren't near the village.

"We are pinned down. We are running low on ammo. We have no air. We've lost today," Marine Maj. Kevin Williams, 37, said through his translator to his Afghan counterpart, responding to the latter's repeated demands for helicopters.

Four U.S. Marines were killed Tuesday, the most U.S. service members assigned as trainers to the Afghan National Army to be lost in a single incident since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Eight Afghan troops and police and the Marine commander's Afghan interpreter also died in the ambush and the subsequent battle that raged from dawn until 2 p.m. around this remote hamlet in eastern Kunar province, close to the Pakistan border.


KABUL -- Beginning today, American Soldiers in Afghanistan will be under orders to back down when they're chasing Taliban fighters whenever they think that civilians might be at risk.

"General McChrystal has been given instructions when he left here that, in all military operations, that we redouble our efforts to make sure that innocent loss of life is minimized, with zero being the goal," Jones said, noting that, "In one mishap you can create thousands more terrorists than you had before the mishap."

The new order, however, is likely to draw criticism from some U.S. troops, many of whom feel the rules that govern how they fight the war already are too restrictive.

Many troops here say they depend on air power and heavy weaponry because there aren't enough ground troops to chase Taliban forces on foot. Jones said no additional ground troops will be sent this year, even though some ground commanders want them.

"Everybody had their day in court, so to speak, before the president made his decision," he said. "We signed off on the strategy, and now we're in the implementation phase."
McChrystal's order will instruct Soldiers to "think about what else can we do," said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, the military's top spokesman in Afghanistan. "We cannot keep going down the path of putting civilians at risk. ... People want to see changes in behavior."


Four U.S. Marines died Tuesday when they walked into a well-laid ambush by insurgents in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province. Seven Afghan troops and an interpreter for the Marine commander also died in the ambush and the subsequent battle, which lasted seven hours.

Three American service members and 14 Afghan security force members were wounded.

It was the largest number of American military trainers to die in a single incident since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

The battle took place around the remote hamlet of Gangigal, in a valley about six miles from the Pakistani border, after local elders invited the U.S. and Afghan forces for a meeting.

American officers said there was no doubt that they’d walked into a trap, as the insurgents were dug in at the village, and had preset their weapons and their fields of fire.

It was a trap alright....but one they could of extradited themselves out of if not for the rules of engagement laid out by Obama's General, General Stanley McChrystal:

Airstrikes by coalition forces in Afghanistan have dropped dramatically in the three months Gen. Stanley McChrystal has led the war effort there, reflecting his new emphasis on avoiding civilian casualties and protecting the population.

NATO fixed-wing aircraft dropped 1,211 bombs and other munitions during the past three months — the peak of the fighting season — compared with 2,366 during the same period last year, according to military statistics. The nearly 50% decline in airstrikes comes with an influx of more than 20,000 U.S. troops this year and an increase in insurgent attacks.

The shift is the result of McChrystal’s new directives, said Air Force Col. Mark Waite, an official at the air operations center in southwest Asia. Ground troops are less inclined to call for bombing or strafing runs, though they often have an aircraft conduct a “show of force,” a flyby to scare off insurgents, or use planes for surveillance, Waite said.


The Pentagon is to give some 600 prisoners held in the US air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, the right to challenge their detention, Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said Monday.

"It's basically a review procedure that ensures people go in front of a panel periodically to give them the opportunity to contest their detention," he told reporters.

The inmates would be aided by a uniformed "personal representative" who would "guide them through this administrative process, to help gather witness statements," Whitman added.


The Obama administration is holding off major decisions that could put its military forces on a firmer war footing in Afghanistan even as doubts grow about whether the United States can win there.

Many military and diplomatic leaders have urged President Barack Obama to send thousands more Marines, soldiers and pilots to try to reverse Afghanistan's crumbling security situation.

But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said no decision about adding troops is expected for "weeks and weeks," following what he described as intensive evaluation. The troop decision will be a first indicator of whether Obama intends to double down in Afghanistan, becoming a wartime president in earnest.


The Obama Administration has declined to set a deadline for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, arguing that the situation there is different from that of Iraq and 9/11 plotters are still holed up in the Af-Pak region and planning attack against the US.

"We have a different situation in Afghanistan. It is actually the place that - Afghanistan and Pakistan - where the folks who attacked us on 9/11 are holed up and plotting against us still," David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to the US President, told the NBC news channel in an interview.


As the Obama administration and Congress begin a heated debate about how many more American troops to send to Afghanistan, military observers, soldiers on the ground there and some top Pentagon officials are warning that dispatching even tens of thousands more soldiers and Marines might not ensure success.

Some even fear that deploying more U.S. troops, especially in the wake of a U.S. airstrike last week that killed and wounded scores of Afghan civilians, would convince more Afghans that the Americans are occupiers rather than allies and relieve the pressure on the Afghan government to improve its own security forces.

The heart of the problem, soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and some officials in Washington told McClatchy, is that neither Barack Obama's White House nor the Pentagon has clearly defined America's mission in Afghanistan. As a result, some soldiers in the field said, they aren't sure what their objectives are.

Current officials and military officers who're wary of escalation refused to speak on the record because they aren't authorized to talk to the media and because doing so would be hazardous to their careers.

"Gen. McChrystal's latest assessment reportedly indicates that the situation in Afghanistan is 'serious,' " said former deputy secretary of state and Pentagon official Richard Armitage, referring to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan. "President Obama needs to define, more clearly than he has so far, what our country's objectives in Afghanistan are and his strategy for achieving them. Without that, it's impossible to assess whether the mission requires additional troops."


“Justice: As if fighting a war in Afghanistan isn’t hard enough, ambitious global prosecutors have rolled into Kabul looking to charge U.S. troops. Intentional or not, such legalism will sap U.S. morale as it did in Vietnam.

At about the time NATO’s new secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, warned NATO’s European members against an early pullout, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, whose body is charged with looking for international war criminals, announced he was looking for new “clients” from anyone with a grievance in Afghanistan.

At a briefing Wednesday in The Hague, Moreno-Ocampo said he had launched a new war crimes inquiry, seeking information about “torture” especially — a European obsession — and had already mined the human rights groups for stories. He added he was also “very open” to more information from foreign governments.

Oh, he’d been evenhanded in his Monday-morning battlefield quarterbacking of course, promising he’d prosecute both Taliban and NATO troops as moral equals.

But it doesn’t take a genius to know what the spotlight-loving attorney (who once launched his own reality TV show back in Argentina) is really after: Americans in the dock as war criminals.

Ground intelligence sources who might have warned them were reportedly more fearful of Taliban retaliation than convinced that American troops would be able to defend them, given the weakening will of the West. They opted to survive.

Now, the latest legalistic block against winning is an international prosecutor looking for NATO troops to prosecute.

Back in 2002, President Bush told the ICC that there wouldn’t be any of that, and he rescinded the U.S. signature from the Rome Statute that would have opened the door to that. Today, there’s a legal battle going on at the ICC to make U.S. troops subject to doing it and there’s no signal from the White House that it will stop it.

Don’t think Moreno-Ocampo won’t do it. His history as a prosecutor suggests an affinity for publicity over justice, which is just what the anti-American crowd wants.

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:40 AM | Comments (15)

September 22, 2009

Happy 62nd Birthday To Our US Air Force September 18th


The United States Air Force, the youngest of the Armed Forces, a happy 62nd birthday!

Prior to its official founding in 1947, the U.S. military’s air component existed from 1909 under multiple labels such as: Aeronautical Section, Signal Corps, Aviation Section, Signal Corps, United States Army Air Service, United States Army Air Corps, and United States Army Air Forces.

World War II demonstrated the true value of aircraft to the military, and on July 26, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, creating the National Military Establishment. The United States Air Force officially stood up as a separate military component, equal to that of the other services, with the swearing in of the first Secretary of the Air Force, W. Stuart Symington.

Happy 62nd Air Force, and thank you for your service.


CAMP VICTORY, Iraq -- Members of the Sather Air Base honor guard post the colors while more than 200 servicemembers stand at attention during the opening of the Air Force's 62nd birthday celebration held at the Al Faw palace here Sept. 18, 2009. Lt. Gen. Mike Hostage, Air Force Central Command commander, was in attendance as well as Maj. Gen. Joseph Reynes Jr., Air Component Coordination Element director, who served as the keynote speaker for the evening. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Johnny L. Saldivar)


More than 200 servicemembers attended a ceremony celebrating the Air Force's 62nd birthday at Al Faw palace here Sept. 18, 2009.

Lt. Gen. Mike Hostage, Air Force Central Command commander, was in attendance as well as Maj. Gen. Joseph Reynes Jr., Air Component Coordination Element director, who served as the keynote speaker for the night.

Upon arrival at the palace, attendees mingled during a social time before proceeding to the ball room for the official ceremony.

For Fairfield, Calif., native Senior Airman Jessica Trackwell, Task Force 134 Detainee Operations executive assistant, the birthday celebration was on opportunity for those in uniform to interact outside of a work environment.

"These events help boost morale of the Airmen out here," said Airman Trackwell, who is deployed from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. "We get to come together and get to know one another and remember what the Air Force is all about."

Although the atmosphere was light, General Reynes pointed out the seriousness of the event and said there is probably no better place to celebrate the Air Force birthday than at Al Faw Palace with the "great joint team" in attendance.

"Celebrating the United States Air Force's birthday provides Airmen an opportunity to reflect on the exceptional men and women who have built our heritage and to look forward to the challenges that lie ahead," General Reynes said. "Today some Airmen will learn about the history of the Air Force and others will experience a renewed sense of pride. We should all take a moment to remember and honor our history and those who answered our nation's call. We are their legacy."

With another year of service to the United States under its wings, the Air Force will continue its mission to fly, fight and win.



US Air Force

Hundreds of Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines celebrated the 62nd Air Force birthday with tradition, solidarity and a show of force Sept. 18 here.

A reveille ceremony was held at 6 a.m.at the base flag poles in Camp Cunningham, named after Senior Airman Jason D. Cunningham, an Air Force pararescueman who gave his life in Afghanistan in March 2002 while saving 10 wounded Army Soldiers.

"While we're celebrating the Air Force's 62nd birthday it is important to remember that we're involved in a joint fight serving the Army and other Coalition ground forces bringing this counterinsurgency to an end in Afghanistan," said Brig. Gen. Steven L. Kwast, the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. "What a fine way to celebrate our heritage; we came from the Army (and) we have the same foundations. We celebrate that heritage by fighting together with our sister services and coalition partners. We're bringing freedom and liberty to this part of the world by taking care of the insurgents' sanctuary to where they cannot run and they cannot hide."

Both coalition members and other American servicemembers said they were thankful for the Air Force's support and efforts for their troops on the ground and in contact with the enemy.

"We have a great working relationship with your pilots and the close-air support we receive from you has no limitations," said Polish Army Lt. Col. Slawomir Warnbier.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 James Wright of the 101st Airborne from Fort Campbell, Ky., echoed Colonel Warnbier's sentiments about the Air Force's role in Afghanistan.

"The Air Force airdrops are providing needed support to Soldiers in the field; getting people and parts to our guys in the (forward operating bases) and in the mountains," Mr. Wright said. The Air Force is doing a great job and it's great to have them out here."



Wild Thing's comment.....

I am a few days late for this and I apologize. It is the first time that has happened. grrr

HUGE Happy Birthday and a bigger thank you to our US Air Force!!! Love the Air Force, heck I love all of them.

God bless the USAF, buand also to o the US Army Air Corps. They started it all heh heh and thank God they did!

......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 05:55 AM | Comments (11)

Thank you and Welcome Home Patrick!






"Here are some pictures of myself and brothers while in Iraq 2003. Alpha Company 1-15 Infantry"


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

I am so pleased to show you these photo's of Patrick. HUGE thank you Patrick for serving our country!! I heard from him a couple of days ago and was so thrilled to meet him through his email and be able to thank him for all he has done to help keep us the land of the free and for his service to our country to keep us safe.

THANK YOU Patrick!!! And thank you to all the others in the photos as well.
God bless you!!!

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (10)

September 16, 2009

Phantom Thunder III and Family First Fest At Fort Hood

This photo of from the one they did last year

Here is an aerial photo of just a portion of the riders that took part in the first to be annual Fort Hood Phantom Thunder motorcycle ride. This is the brain-child of LTG Rick Lynch, commander of Fort Hood and a Harley rider.

Safety classes and vehicle inspections were held prior to the ride, then the soldiers were treated to a carnival and pretty much, a day off.

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood

Gather the Family for an afternoon of fun featuring live music by country music duo Martin/Ramey and national country music recording artist Darryl Worley, and a comedy performance by former Soldier Joe Saba.

For the kids, there will be inflatables, pony rides, and face painting.

Enjoy a micro race car track for adults and children! AAFES will be selling motorcycle gear for all you riders from Phantom Thunder.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the sun, sand and a fun afternoon of FREE activities for all ages.

Food, beverages and alcohol will be available for purchase. Family First Fest is FREE and open to all. All events will take place at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreational Area Live Oak Pavilion. BLORA beach front will be open.

Family First Fest officially kicks off at 3pm, but the work day on Fort Hood ends at 12pm, so come out early for a DJ and beach activities beginning at 12:30pm.

Patrons are encouraged to ride the free on post shuttle to BLORA. The shuttle will be running from 12-9:30pm.

For more information, call 254-288-7835 or visit www.hoodmwr.com

Date: Thursday, September 17, 2009
Time: 3:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: BLORA Live Oak Pavilion

Phantom Thunder III and Family First Fest: September 17

Gas up the hog for Phantom Thunder III, a motorcycle safety ride led by LTG Rick Lynch. The ride will depart from Hood Stadium at 1pm and arrive at BLORA at 3pm. Participation is free and open to all. Proper riding safety gear is required.

For more information on Phantom Thunder, call 254-553-3871.

After the ride, gather the Family for an afternoon of fun at Fort Hood’s Family First Fest, from 3pm-8pm at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreational Area Live Oak Pavilion. Family First Fest features an exciting live entertainment line-up: country music duo Martin Ramey, and award-winning country music artist Darryl Worley, best known for hit songs “Have You Forgotten” and “I Miss My Friend”.

Gather the Family for an afternoon of fun featuring live music by country music duo Martin Ramey and national country music recording artist Darryl Worley, as well as a comedy performance by former Soldier Joe Saba. Bring the children to enjoy free inflatables, face painting and pony rides. The fest kicks off at 3pm, but the work day on Fort Hood ends at 12pm so come early to enjoy a pre-party with live DJ and activities beginning at 12:30pm. FREE and open to all!

This event is free and open to all. Food, beverages and alcohol will be sold. In order to alleviate traffic, patrons are
encouraged to ride the free on-post shuttle to BLORA. BLORA is located on North Nolan Road 10 miles from East Range

Road. Access to the park is also possible from FM 439 and Sparta Road. For more information, call 254-288-7835 or
check out www.hoodmwr.com

Future Events:

1st Cavalry Division Fall Festival

Come join us for a fun-filled day for Soldiers & Families of the 1st Cavalry Division

Saturday, 10 October 2009 at the 1st CAV Division Horse Stables from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mark your calendars!!!

Free Family Portraits

What: Soldiers' Angels - Portraits of Love, Free Family Portraits for Families of Deployed Soldiers. Professional

Photographers are volunteering their time and talent to help send a piece of home to Soldiers abroad.

When: 15-30 September, 2009

Times: 1200-2000 hours Monday through Friday and 1000-1700 on Saturdays

Where: Oveta Culp Hobby Soldier & Family Readiness Center, building 18000, Battalion Ave

Why: Soldiers' Angels (Non Profit Organization) & the Photo Imaging Manufacturers & Distributers Association (PMDA)

collaborated to create a project called "PMDA Soldiers' Angels Portraits of Love." Their goal is to provide 10,000 free Family photos to Families of Deployed Soldiers.

How: Interested Families should call 288-2794 to schedule an appointment for their photo. Each Family photo session will last no more than 15 minutes.

Families must show proper military ID to participate.

Family members must provide the Soldier's mailing address during the photo session.

One 5X7 Family portrait will be mailed to the deployed Soldier at no cost and another free 5X7 photo will be available
for the Family.

Wild Thing's comment.....

This is so cool, I love it. I love that Fort Hood does this for the families and the troops. AWESOME

For those of you that have Facebook.


And this if Fort Hood on Facebook

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

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:48 AM | Comments (8)

September 15, 2009

Allah Calls Another Home

Terrorists blow themselves up while U.S. gunship holds fire

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

Now THAT is sweet! Bye Bye!

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

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (8)

September 14, 2009

American Service Member Shot Over Drink of Water!!

American shot over drink of water

In Kabul, the capital, an American service member and an Afghan police officer got into an argument because the American was drinking water in front of the Afghan police, who are not eating or drinking during the day because of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, said the district chief, Abdul Baqi Zemari.

The police officer shot the American and seriously wounded him, while other American troops responded and seriously wounded the police officer, Zemari said.

Lt. Robert Carr, a U.S. military spokesman, confirmed an incident between Afghan police officers and a U.S. police mentoring team. He could not provide information on the conditions of the two men.

Wild Thing's comment......

Because "Mohammed said it", Muslims assume that they can impose their 7th century bullshit on all humanity. This is how a Muslim is toward someone trying to help them from being overwhelmed by even more radical and fanatical Muslims, if that's possible.

There can be no compromise with Islam as Islam will never compromise. Islam will always take anything offered by the West and shit on the West in return. Gratitude is not a part of Islam.

We are in a global war for survival against a fanatical, barbaric system posing as a religion. It is a matter of life or death. And it is going to happen here in our country. We have yet as a country to come down hard on followers of Isalm, they have gotten a free ride in our country and it just gets worse.

This soldier should have been thanked and praised and given the chance to have as much water as he wanted.

Turn it into a parking lot over there and come home!!! And as far as Obama is concerned..... screw Obama and his R.O.E.'s. He can just apologize later, he does that anyway when he speaks about America.

......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 04:55 AM | Comments (15)

September 13, 2009

Senate Panel Seeks End to F-22 Export Ban

Senate panel seeks end to F-22 export ban


September 10th, 2009

A Senate panel urged the Air Force on Thursday to start developing an export model of its F-22 Raptor, the most advanced U.S. fighter jet, even as it voted to end U.S. purchases.

Japan, Israel and Australia have shown interest in buying the supersonic, radar-evading F-22 Raptor, designed to destroy enemy air defenses in the first days of any conflict and clear the way for other missions.

Foreign sales were banned by a 1998 law aimed at protecting the "stealth" technology and other high-tech features said to have made the F-22 too good for money to buy.

If enacted, the measure adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee would let the Defense Department prepare a modified F-22 that protects classified and sensitive information, technologies and U.S. war fighting capabilities.

"The committee urges the Air Force to start this effort within the funds appropriated in Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Air Force, for the F-22 aircraft," a report accompanying the bill said.

Neither Lockheed Martin nor the Air Force had any immediate comment.

Creating an export version would preserve U.S. jobs and an option to buy more F-22s later, without having to pay the full cost of restarting production.

The U.S. Air Force has estimated Japan would have to spend as much as $2.3 billion for development of its own version of the Raptor. For years, Tokyo has sought to buy two squadrons of the F-22, possibly 40 planes, a request that has become more compelling amid tensions with neighboring North Korea.

The bill, adopted 30 to 0 in 15 minutes without debate, largely backed program cuts sought by President Barack Obama. Overall, it provided $636.3 billion for defense in fiscal 2010, which starts October 1.

The measure would kill a combat search-and-rescue helicopter, a presidential helicopter and a missile-defense project called Kinetic Energy Interceptor.

It includes $128.2 billion for "overseas contingency operations," primarily to keep fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The legislation would cap the U.S. F-22 "Raptor" fleet at 187, down from an original Air Force Cold War-era plan to buy as many as 750 of the air-superiority fighters.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, announcing plans to terminate the F-22 on April 6, said doing so was "not a close call." He said the military should gear up more for wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill, which must be reconciled with the House of Representatives' version, provided no funds for a second, interchangeable engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The alternate engine, which Obama considers wasteful, would be veto bait, the White House has said. In July, the House approved $560 million for the second engine development as part of its 2010 defense appropriations bill, despite the veto threat.

General Electric Co and Rolls-Royce Group PLC, partners in the second engine, have said they are confident a House-Senate conference committee will preserve competition for the F-35 engine.

Sen. Daniel Inouye, the Hawaii Democrat who chairs the appropriations committee and its defense subpanel, told reporters he did not know how the second engine's fate would play out.
"Apparently the Senate is not for it, so we'll go into conference on that basis. But as always, my mind is open," he said.

The Senate panel put rival United Technologies Corp's Pratt & Whitney unit, maker of a fully funded engine for the F-35, a step closer to a monopoly over a projected $100 billion market.

At issue is the engine and its aftermarket for three variants of the F-35, a single-engine Lockheed Martin fighter in early stages of production. It would replace at least 13 types of warplanes, initially for 11 nations.

The Senate committee, in sync with recommendations made Wednesday by its defense subpanel, broke with Obama on Boeing Co's C-17 cargo plane. It added $2.5 billion to sustain the production line by buying 10 more in 2010. The administration wants to end the C-17 program without further purchases.

The House approved $674 million in its defense appropriations bill to buy three more C-17s.

The full Senate could vote on the defense bill as early as next week. House and Senate representatives then meet to mesh their legislation before it is sent to the White House. The House-Senate conference is on track to take place by the end of this month, said Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the Senate panel's top Republican

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

This an update to my other post awhile back about this.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:40 AM | Comments (4)

September 12, 2009

U.N. Lawyers Target U.S. Troops

"Mansions of the Lord"....This beautiful and haunting hymn was featured in "We Were Soldiers" and was played as President Reagan's casket was borne from National Cathedral

U.N. Lawyers Target U.S. Troops


Justice: As if fighting a war in Afghanistan isn't hard enough, ambitious global prosecutors have rolled into Kabul looking to charge U.S. troops. Intentional or not, such legalism will sap U.S. morale as it did in Vietnam.

At about the time NATO's new secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, warned NATO's European members against an early pullout, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, whose body is charged with looking for international war criminals, announced he was looking for new "clients" from anyone with a grievance in Afghanistan.

At a briefing Wednesday in The Hague, Moreno-Ocampo said he had launched a new war crimes inquiry, seeking information about "torture" especially — a European obsession — and had already mined the human rights groups for stories. He added he was also "very open" to more information from foreign governments.

Oh, he'd been evenhanded in his Monday-morning battlefield quarterbacking of course, promising he'd prosecute both Taliban and NATO troops as moral equals.

But it doesn't take a genius to know what the spotlight-loving attorney (who once launched his own reality TV show back in Argentina) is really after: Americans in the dock as war criminals.

The atmosphere that makes a prosecutor like Moreno-Ocampo ambitious enough to go after Americans instead of a real monster like, say, Fidel Castro, can only occur when the West's will has weakened, as Rasmussen warned.

After all, if a war to defend our civilization can be reduced to a series of police-brutality cases, then Afghanistan isn't about victory.

This is underscored by Washington's conflicting aims.

Though our president has rightly boosted the number of troops in Afghanistan, he's created a climate of doubt by declaring the war on terror an "overseas contingency operation" and stating he doesn't believe in "winning." It's poison for morale and gives momentum to the kind of bureaucratic, legalistic and defeatist thinking that preceded our bitter pullout in Vietnam.

Moreno-Ocampo's entry into Afghanistan is a sign that legalism has begun to overtake victory as a goal, at a time when our Taliban foes still believe in victory.

On the battlefield, our troops are increasingly constrained by legalistic rules of engagement.

Case in point: On Tuesday, four U.S. Marines and seven of their Afghani allies walked into a well-planned ambush and were killed in the Kunar province near the Pakistani border.

"We are pinned down. We are running low on ammo. We have no air. We've lost today," Marine Maj. Kevin Williams, 37, told his Afghan counterpart, responding to the latter's repeated demands for helicopters, McClatchy Newspapers reported.

Rules of engagement condemned them to die because they couldn't get air cover.

According to McClatchy: "U.S. commanders, citing new rules to avoid civilian casualties, rejected repeated calls to unleash artillery rounds at attackers dug into the slopes and tree lines — despite being told repeatedly that they weren't near the village."

Meanwhile, all pullout talk condemned those U.S. troops, too.

Ground intelligence sources who might have warned them were reportedly more fearful of Taliban retaliation than convinced that American troops would be able to defend them, given the weakening will of the West. They opted to survive.

Now, the latest legalistic block against winning is an international prosecutor looking for NATO troops to prosecute.

Back in 2002, President Bush told the ICC that there wouldn't be any of that, and he rescinded the U.S. signature from the Rome Statute that would have opened the door to that. Today, there's a legal battle going on at the ICC to make U.S. troops subject to doing it and there's no signal from the White House that it will stop it.

Don't think Moreno-Ocampo won't do it. His history as a prosecutor suggests an affinity for publicity over justice, which is just what the anti-American crowd wants.

Back in 2008, he ambitiously charged a sitting president, Omar Hassan Ahmad al Bashir of Sudan, with genocide, using a public application for an arrest warrant instead of a sealed warrant. The latter would have been more likely to bring justice to Darfur's victims. He went for the TV cameras instead.

Someone like that won't hesitate for a minute to make a big show of putting U.S. troops in the dock for "war crimes" no matter what the impact in Afghanistan. That's defeat.


Wild Thing's comment......

“rejected repeated calls to unleash artillery rounds at attackers dug into the slopes and tree lines — despite being told repeatedly that they weren’t near the village.”

Obama's hate for America, hate for our military and his love for Muslims is literally getting our guys KILLED. There isn’t a word in the English language or any other language for how mad I am!

Just a reminder to add to this John McCain's treachery in this it is from January 28, 2005.

Citizens for Global Solutions Applauds Senator McCain’s Support of the International Criminal Court

In a BBC Worldservice televised debate before the World Economic Forum on Friday January 28th, Senator John McCain (R- AZ) declared his support for the United States joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), asserting: “I want us in the ICC.”
McCain’s comments drastically change the debate on the International Criminal Court, in part because the United Nations Commission of Inquiry report, expected to be released mid-next week, likely will recommend a UN Security Council referral of the Darfur situation to the ICC.
McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Service Committee, did raise concerns. “I’m not satisfied that there are enough safeguards,” he said. Nonetheless, his declaration at the World Economic Forum was the strongest indication to date that he would be in favor of the United States joining the ICC in the near future.
Speaking alongside McCain was Senator Joseph Biden (D- DE), ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Like McCain, Biden stood in support of the United States inclusion in the ICC, and likewise, expressed a desire to have greater safeguards for U.S. officials. Noting that European Union (EU) states had rejected the safeguards when the ICC’s statute was agreed in 1999, Biden declared, “that can change, should change, will change.”
The BBC World Television debate, in which McCain made his comments, will be broadcast again on The BBC World on Saturday.
McCain’s comments come at a critical time in the history of the International Criminal Court. The administration is debating internally and at the United Nations, the best method for justice and accountability in Darfur, western Sudan. Many observers expect a Security Council a debate over a referral of the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

Posted by Wild Thing at 08:47 AM | Comments (4)

September 11, 2009

Questions Raised Over Raid to Free Journalist in Afghanistan

Past photo taken a few years ago of Stephen Farrell is shown in Iraq in 2007.

Times reporter kidnapped by militants in northern Afghanistan is freed by British commandos

Daily News.co.uk

A New York Times reporter taken hostage by militants was rescued from a hide-out in northern Afghanistan early Wednesday in a daring raid that left his translator, a British soldier and civilians dead.

Journalist Stephen Farrell was kidnapped Saturday while interviewing villagers in the northern province of Kunduz about NATO air strikes that reportedly left as many as 90 people dead.

Farrell's interpreter, one of the British commandos sent to rescue them and several others died when a firefight broke out during the raid.

According to the Times, Farrell called an editor at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and declared, "I'm out! I'm free!" The Times did not know about the military operation.

Farrell described to the Times hearing helicopters approach the hide-out as special forces dropped onto the home, prompting his Taliban captors to flee. He and interpreter Sultan Munadi followed, with the translator hollering, "Journalist! Journalist!"

Surrounded by bullets, Farrell dived in a ditch, but Munadi was struck by either allied or militant gunfire.

"He was lying in the same position as he fell," Farrell told the Times. "That's all I know. I saw him go down in front of me. He did not move. He's dead. He was so close, he was just two feet in front of me when he dropped." A spokesman for the Kunduz governor said a Taliban commander, the owner of the house and another woman were killed. British defense officials confirmed one of the commandos also perished.

Farrell, 46, a longtime journalist in the region who began working for the Times in 2007, had wanted to interview villagers near the site where U.S. jets dropped two bombs on tankers hijacked by the Taliban. Reports said villagers collecting fuel from the tankers had died.

Authorities had warned journalists that the area near the tanker strike was Taliban-controlled and dangerous. The Times did not publicize the kidnappings out of concern for the hostages' safety.

Questions raised over bloody raid to free British journalist in Afghanistan

Guardian .co.uk

Military officials tonight defended the decision to launch a dramatic raid to rescue a British journalist from the Taliban, in which his Afghan assistant and a soldier were killed, against angry criticism in Afghanistan that the operation had been ordered while talks for his release had already begun.

Gordon Brown hailed the helicopter assault, carried out by the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marines, as an act of "breathtaking heroism" and said the bravery of the soldier who was killed would not be forgotten.

Stephen Farrell, a 46-year-old New York Times reporter who had been held by the Taliban in Kunduz for four days, was freed as a result of the raid in the early hours, but the Afghan journalist working with him, Sultan Munadi, was killed.

There were reports that at least two others were killed, possibly a woman and the owner of the house, but details remain unclear.

Sources in Kabul claimed that at the time of the assault, talks were under way with the Kunduz leadership of the Taliban and a deal seemed possible.

Munadi had been allowed to call home at 10.30pm yesterday. According to his family, his captors made no threats against his life, and told his mother there were just "a few issues" to resolve before he would be set free.

A western diplomat in Afghanistan said Farrell was being held under the orders of Mullah Salam, the Taliban's "shadow governor" of Kunduz.

"He was out of money and open to doing a deal. The plan was to keep negotiations local and appeal to the decency of Afghans to do the right thing and release a civilian journalist. But then MI6 charged in and, with next to zero knowledge of the local situation, decided to launch an operation," the diplomat said.

British officials, however, said the rescue operation, by the Special Forces Support Group flying in US helicopters, had been ordered after intelligence, including intercepts, suggested that the journalists' lives were in imminent danger.

"An opportunity arose and it was seized," said one official.

The New York Times editor, Bill Keller, said Farrell had told him the situation in the Taliban hideout where they were being held had been growing more menacing just before the raid. Keller said he did not know what had triggered the assault, but it is possible the military had intercepted plans to move the journalists or to do something to them.

Moeen Marastial, an MP for Kunduz, said the Taliban had left the British with no choice but to launch a rescue.

"The people in Kunduz had been talking to the Taliban about getting him released. The local people were telling them that they have to release them or otherwise there will be another Nato airstrike and more civilians will be killed. But the Taliban had been promising, promising, hour by hour, but they never released him," he said.

The reporters had gone to a village which had been the target on Friday of a Nato air strike on two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban. The tankers exploded, killing a crowd of civilians, and anti-western feeling in the area was running high.

The New York Times was caught entirely by surprise by the rescue mission.

The newspaper had asked British officials to use force only as "a last resort," according to sources close to the negotiations. However, British officials made it clear to the newspaper straight after Farrell and Munadi were kidnapped that their policy was to carry out raids when they deem fit. The US government seeks consent from the next of kin first.

The first news of the raid came when Farrell called his editor in the early hours of yesterday morning to say he was free.

"We were all in a room, the Talibs all ran, it was obviously a raid," Mr Farrell said, according to the New York Times. "We thought they would kill us. We thought, should we go out?"
He said the two journalists hid behind a wall as the fighting went around them, and at one point Munadi, a 34-year-old father of two, raised his hands and walked into the open, shouting: "journalist, journalist". But he was shot down by "a hail of bullets".
Afghan reporters and interpreters who work with foreign journalists have been incensed by the incident. They congregated at the northern edge of Kabul to honour the return of Munadi's body. "The media community is very angry," said Ali Safi. "They are saying that these foreigners launch these operations only to release their own people."

The raid has heightened an internal Nato debate on how to respond to the kidnapping of journalists working in dangerous areas, often against the advice of Afghan and alliance officials.

"This guy was told not to go in there. He was told by local officials," said a western military source. "But being stupid should not give you a death sentence. How do you decide when not to go in? That's the hard thing? When do you give a bad man with a gun the right to decide. You always go back and get someone."
The source said if a raid had not been ordered, the military would have been criticised for "standing by and doing nothing".
A diplomat in Kabul suggested the British may have acted to make the point that they did not do deals for hostages.
The prime minister said: "Hostage-taking is never justified, and the UK does not make substantive concessions, including paying ransoms. But whenever British nationals are kidnapped, we and our allies will do everything in our power to free them."In the last two years, six foreign journalists have been kidnapped in Afghanistan by insurgents and criminal gangs. Five were released after negotiations and one, David Rohde, another New York Times reporter, escaped after seven months in captivity.


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

Farrell wanted to do a hit piece about how evil NATO forces intentionally killed innocent civilians. He was warned not to go into the Taliban controlled area but did so anyway. Should have let the Taliban keep him.

It is really stupid to risk the lives of soldiers in the rescue of journalists who are writing stories alleging atrocities by those very same soldiers.

I’d rather see 100 NYT reporters remain in captivity forever than have ONE soldier from our country, or ANY of our allies, die while rescuing them.


....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 07:40 AM | Comments (2)

September 09, 2009

Gen. McChrystal and His ROE for Rules of the Road

Jalalabad Highway

Hazards of driving in Afghanistan. Jalalabad road in Kabul is the main road servicing Camp Phoenix.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander, General Stanley McChrystal, has issued a directive stating his requirements for all ISAF personnel to adhere to appropriate legal driving procedures and behavior in Afghanistan.

“The manner in which ISAF forces interact with and treat the Afghan people directly correlates to our ability to earn their trust and support. ISAF forces are highly conspicuous when travelling in vehicles and I expect ISAF members to drive in ways that respect the safety and well-being of the Afghan people,” said General McChrystal.
In his guidance, McChrystal emphasizes safe driving to be an essential ingredient in the successful prosecution of the ISAF mission. “Safe and considerate driving represents a visible and tangible sign of our commitment to the people of Afghanistan,” General McChrystal said.

The Theatre Driving Principles direct ISAF personnel to adhere to safe driving practices, such as respecting Afghan traffic rules and regulations, driving at an appropriate speed, and driving defensively. It is the responsibility of every member in the chain of command to encourage and reinforce a culture of safe driving with ISAF, the directive concludes.

Wild Thing's comment.....

"The Theatre Driving Principles direct ISAF personnel to adhere to safe driving practices, such as respecting Afghan traffic rules and regulations"....

I am sorry but .......what??????

Our troops should be given applause for the great driving they are already doing. ( tapping the General on the shoulder.....psssst can you hear me now????? )

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (6)

September 07, 2009

Miracles On The Front Line: Snipers Defy Odds, Death In Afghanistan

Miracles On The Front Line: Snipers Defy Odds, Death In Afghanistan

h/t Pat Dollard

MIANPOSHTEH, Afghanistan

For seven hours, the Marine sniper team waited, crouching behind a concrete block in a dusty courtyard, at the edge of an adobe compound. They were pretty sure that a group of local Taliban militants was on the other side of the compound wall. But the snipers couldn’t strike until they had some proof.

So they stayed there, in silence. They downed energy drinks to stay awake. They urinated in bottles and defecated in bags, so they wouldn’t leave evidence of their presence behind.

Team leader Sgt. Erik Rue kept himself sharp by running scenarios in his head of what could happen next: What if the Taliban burst in, guns blazing? What if they enter unarmed? What if there are children in the way? What if the courtyard is overrun by the militants? Where do we go then?

U.S. Marines and Taliban guerrillas have battled in the villages and compounds of this farming community nearly every day for eight weeks. It’s become one of the epicenters of America’s renewed war effort in Afghanistan. But during most of those shootouts, the two sides have been hundreds, even thousands, of feet apart. On Tuesday, they fought at point-blank range.

And despite all those hours of what-ifs, Rue and his team couldn’t have predicted how this gunfight would play out. By the time it was over, at least two men were dead. Another took a bullet to the chest but escaped unharmed. And another had his gun shot out of his hands. Four more survived what should have been a lethal bomb blast. “It was a fuckin’ pretty eventful day, to say the least,” Rue says.

After waiting for so long, the sniper team decided to try something new to flush out their targets. Rue — a smallish, slight military brat with a clean-shaven head and world-weary brown eyes — whispered into his radio to his headquarters, about a mile away.

Bring some helicopters overhead, he said, and make a low pass. The guys over the compound wall might start shooting at the helos. And then we’ll have proof of their hostile intent. The helicopters — already circling over another group of Marines engaged in a firefight — began to swoop in towards the snipers’ position. They made their pass.

But the men on the other side of the wall didn’t take the bait. If they had guns, they didn’t bother shooting them at the Cobra gunship and the Huey attack chopper.

Staff Sgt. Doug Webb was getting sick of waiting. The tattooed, twitchy Long Island, New York, native wanted to figure out if these guys were Taliban or not. Right now.

He scooted into a small room, adjacent to the courtyard. On the western wall of the room, at floor level, was a yard-wide “mousehole.” Webb lay his chest on the floor, and stuck his face in the hole.

At first, all he could see were ankles and feet. All he could hear were four male voices, speaking Pashto. Then he recognized a single word: “Taliban.” Webb looked up, and saw that one of the men had a vest packed with ammunition. And an AK-47.

Webb came back into the courtyard — and almost got shot himself. He surprised his teammate, Sgt. Nick Worth, who drew a pistol on him. “Whoa!” Webb whispered. Worth returned the gun to its holster.

“Man, I just saw a guy with an old-school mujahideen chest rig and a weapon,” Webb whispered excitedly. But the guy — and his three pals — appeared to be walking away from the snipers on a north-south trail, at the compound’s edge. If the snipers were going to attack, they had to do it right away,
“Fuck it. Now or never,” Rue said. He sent three snipers to the roof, and ran out of the courtyard with three others: Sgt. Ryan Steinbacker, Cpl. Fred Gardner, and Worth. They entered an east-west alleyway, perpendicular to the trail that Webb had spied through his mousehole.

They reached the intersection, and saw one man in the distance to their left. Luckily, he didn’t see them in the alleyway. Then, a second man, wearing brown tunic and a black hat, turned the corner. He was maybe five feet from the snipers. His eyes widened with surprise.

“I gave him half a second. He swung around his AK,” said Worth, who was carrying a Benelli 1014 shotgun. “Then I put four buckshot rounds in his chest.” Rue added a few more shots. The man crumpled to the ground.

A third man in a white robe was in the distance, about 150 feet to the north. He raised his AK-47 and fired at the snipers. Steinbacker dropped to one knee and shot the man with his M4. He dropped.

Almost immediately, a barrage of bullets came flying in directly at the snipers, from the cornfields in the west and from the trees to the east. Clearly, there were more than four militants on the area. Many, many more. And some of them could shoot.

Lance Cpl. Justin Kuhel, positioned on the roof, had the M203 grenade launcher blasted out of his hand. Lance Cpl. Justin Black, next to him, took a shot in the center of his chest. It spun him around. He collapsed on his forearms.

“It felt like I got hit with a hammer,” Black says. He reached his hand underneath his armor plates. Luckily, there was no blood.
But Black was clearly in trouble. “After I got hit, I’m laying there. And I saw rounds hit right in front of me. I thought, ‘Man, this might be it.’”
It was another now-or-never point for the Marines. The fire from the corn was about to separate the sniper groups from one another — and make them much easier to pick off. “Pull back! Pull back!” Rue yelled.
They ran back to the courtyard, and took up guarding positions at the entrances. “Hey, are you all right? Are you all right?” the snipers asked each other.
They gawked at Black’s perforated chest plate, and wondered how the hell he was still alive. The snipers knew he wasn’t the only lucky one; that storm of lead from the cornfield could’ve killed any of them. “I felt invincible until then,” Black says. “Then it’s, ‘Aw, fuck. I can get shot.’”

The gunshots died down, for a minute. Rue’s mind turned to those two Taliban bodies, outside on the trail. American forces could glean valuable information from their weapons, their documents, their radios, their fingerprints. But the Taliban were famous for removing their dead almost instantly.

Once again, it was now-or-never time. Rue and Webb went out to get the bodies. The Marines grabbed the first dead militant by the ankles, and dragged it back into the courtyard. He had his AK-47 still slung across his chest, and a rice bag, filled with ammunition.

Again, the Marines took fire from at least two different positions in the corn. Again, the fire died down. It was time to make a run for the second body. They hurled themselves into the alleyway, and made a right on the trail.

Ordinarily, Marines here have avoided these obvious footpaths; local militants have turned the trails into death traps, filled with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. But there was no time to cut through the fields. As they moved, Webb noticed a purple sack. “I bet this guy left us a little present,” he thought. “That’s probably a bomb.”

That’s when the thing exploded.

A thunderous boom rang out. A cloud of dirt engulfed the snipers. Webb fell forward. “I saw a white flash and stars, like I got hit in the face,” he says. Days later, he’s complaining of memory losses. Webb and several other members of the team have been diagnosed with concussions. But somehow, none of them were seriously hurt.

“That’s fucking it! Everyone back inside!” Rue shouted. In a daze, they stumbled back to the courtyard.

Not long after, a handful of infantrymen from a Marine platoon wandered into the compound. They were later joined by the rest of their squad, and a second unit from nearby Echo company.

The firefight continued. But now it was the Taliban who were outgunned. The Cobra and the Huey blasted thousands of rounds into the treelines and buildings that the militants were using as firing positions.

That allowed the sniper team a chance to exit the battle, nearly 12 hours after they had first slipped into that courtyard. Scampering along the side of a canal, they walked out as they entered — in silence.

Rue, for one, is still surprised they made it all back intact. “Being that close to the IED blast and everyone walking away — that’s a miracle,” he says. “Receiving such heavy fire down an exit point without getting shot — that’s a miracle. And two guys getting shot and not getting hurt. That’s in the category of a miracle, too.”

Echo company and the Taliban are still battling around those compounds, more than 36 hours after the sniper team’s initial attack. But the conflict has returned to its normal routine. The two sides are back to firing at each other from hundreds of yards away, not right up-close.

And the sniper team has been confined to base to recover from that harrowing morning.

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

Thank God for miracles and thank God for our troops.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (8)

September 06, 2009

U.S. Marines in Helmand 2009

Thousands of Marines have descended upon the Helmand River valley in Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold that is known for poppy growing.

LT. Col Christian Cabaniss

" 2nd Battalin Marines, we took terrible in WW11 we got to live up to that ..........I think we are all just trying to live in our big brothers shadow you know WW11, Vietnam and all that that's all its about, its about pride ,no one can else take that away from us. the hard work just began and we will do it every day for the rest of our deploymenrt. They'll know that they did something that they made a difference, you know when they are grandfathers, you know when they are grandparents when they are sitting around on the sofa and are talking to their grandkids 40 years from now, their grandkids wil ask them what they did in afghanistan in the summer of 2009 they will sit up a little bit straighter and talk about what they did how they had a part in a significant role in changing"

video ends there, but I tried to get as much as I could of what he said.... what an awesome man this is, a true leader.....an American Hero!!


Wild Thing's comment......

The video ends there, but I tried to get as much as I could of what he said.... what an awesome man this is, a true leader.....an American Hero!!

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:49 AM | Comments (4)

DEA "The FAST Team" in Afghanistan

Over a village in southern Afghanistan, an American helicopter circles and lands. Armed men jump out and huddle near a compound wall. A translator speaking through a megaphone announces a police action and says the men are coming in.

It's one of the most politically unstable corners of the world, but the men aren't on a typical mission for troops in Afghanistan. In fact, they aren't even soldiers, and, despite what it looks like, this is not a U.S. military operation. This is the American Drug Enforcement Administration.

"It's never just about seizing and destroying the drugs," team leader Frank Tarentino told "Nightline." "It's really more about the taking down, dismantling, the disruption of organizations. ... This operation will start to generate intelligence and information that will assist for following operations."

For nine years the DEA has quietly toiled away in Afghanistan to stop drug traffickers. But now the agency is at the center of the Obama administration's strategy in Afghanistan.

This elite group of DEA Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team members -- nicknamed the FAST Team -- has taken its drug-fighting expertise to Afghanistan because the country is the source of an estimated 90 percent of the world's heroin.

Money from that drug trade is believed to generate $125 million a year and fund the Taliban and the growing insurgencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as possibly al Qaeda.

Tarentino leads his men on four-month deployments in Afghanistan. Their mission is to collect evidence and build legal cases against drug dealers. Often, they target smaller dealers to build larger cases.

In compounds raided by the agents with "Nightline" cameras rolling, the FAST team seized opium, heroin, hash, weapons and evidence, and arrested several suspects.

In one case, suspects fled, leaving weeping women and children behind, and the tea they were drinking still warm.

In another case, agents arrested a man for possession of hash.

"I need for you to talk to the women, that they are placing the husband under arrest for illegal possession of narcotics," Tarentino told his translator as a suspect was handcuffed and a nearby woman and baby cried.

The arrested man spoke to his family in Pashto.

The interpreter explained that he told his distraught wife that he was only being taken away for questioning -- but Afghan drug laws are strict, and he was likely going to jail for 15 years. The suspect was blindfolded and put in a helicopter.

"We have successfully removed many Afghans, roughly eight, to the U.S. for prosecution," said Tarentino. "Most notably, the largest trafficker in all of Afghanistan is sitting in a U.S. prison right now."

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

This is the first I have heard about this.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:45 AM | Comments (4)

August 31, 2009

The U.S.Army Version of the Kite


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

This is sooooo amazing. Precision parachuting by army paratroops. I love things like this. What feat this is and the practice and timing it took to do such a thing.


....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 07:50 AM | Comments (9)

August 30, 2009

Marines Will Not Seek to Reinstate Charges Against Top Officer in Haditha Case

Colonel Chessani has been a scapegoat for 4 years now.


Mustang Captain Don Greenlaw has been a tireless advocate for the freedom of the 3/1 Marines - he is a great man.

MILITARY: No criminal charges in Haditha deaths for Marine officer

Case against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani will go before Board of Inquiry

North County Times

The Marine Corps has dropped its pursuit of criminal charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the highest-ranking officer accused of misconduct after 24 Iraqi civilians were slain in the city of Haditha in 2005.

Instead, Lt. Gen. George J. Flynn has decided to handle the matter administratively by appointing a three-member Board of Inquiry that will meet at Camp Pendleton this fall.

The board of Marine Corps officers will determine if Chessani should be reduced in rank if it finds he engaged in substandard performance of duty, misconduct and professional dereliction of duty.

Its finding will serve as a recommendation to the Secretary of the Navy, who will make the final decision.

At stake is Chessani's rank after he retires from the Marine Corps, a retirement that has been on hold pending a decision in the Haditha matter. Chessani's retirement pay will not be affected by any decision to reduce his rank, Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Roger Galbraith said Friday.

Chessani attorney Brian Rooney said his client, who remains on duty at Camp Pendleton as a base security officer, is happy the two charges of dereliction have been dropped.

"Colonel Chessani is relieved that the case is out of the criminal realm where it never belonged because he never did anything wrong," Rooney said. "In order to reduce him in rank, the board has to find there was misconduct and we don't believe it will."

Rooney said Chessani's other attorneys plan to call several witnesses they believe will show he reported the Haditha killings up the chain of command and was never directed by his superiors to order a full-scale probe into the events of that day.

"We expect to present a very robust case to the board," Rooney said.

Former Marine Corps judge and attorney Gary Solis said convening a Board of Inquiry to decide Chessani's fate is a rare step.

"This is beyond unusual," said Solis, who teaches military law at Washington's Georgetown University. "I have never heard of a senior officer being subjected to a Board of Inquiry. My guess is that at worst he will be found to have exercised substandard judgment and be admonished."

Chessani commanded Camp Pendleton's 3rd Marine Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, at Haditha when the civilians were slain after a roadside bombing that killed one Marine and injured two others on the morning of Nov. 19, 2005.

Several women and children were among the slain when troops led by Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich stormed several homes where they believed the people responsible for the bombing were hiding.

Military investigators later said none of the slain could be tied to the insurgency, prompting an international outcry that led to criminal charges against eight Marines ---- four triggermen and four officers accused of failing to investigate.

Last year, a military judge ordered the charges against Chessani dismissed, citing the appearance of unlawful command influence. A military appeals court later upheld the dismissal.

Solis said recommendations reached by a Board of Inquiry are generally followed by the Navy Secretary, a civilian appointee.

"I would be very surprised if Colonel Chessani is reduced in rank," Solis said. "This is a man who for 18 years has given great and good service to the Marine Corps and risked his life. I don't think his reward for all that will be anything too severe and he may even escape an admonishment."

As for the remainder of the men charged with criminal wrongdoing in Haditha, most of the cases were dropped before trial. The only defendant to see his case go to trial was found not guilty of lying to investigators and trying to destroy evidence.

With Friday's announcement regarding Chessani, the only remaining defendant is Wuterich, who led his squad on a deadly chase through several homes near the bomb site.

Wuterich's trial on multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter and related charges remains on hold while a military appeals court considers whether CBS News should be forced to turn over outtakes of a "60 Minutes" interview with Wuterich.

Wild Thing's comment......

This is great news that they won't try to reinstate the charges.

BUT it is unconsionable that they are even considering that travesty of a Board of Inquiry.

The Colonel DID NOTHING WRONG!!!! He shouldn't have to face the consideration of a reduction of rank. A promotion is in order, not a demotion.

And now they should HANG John Murtha for what he said and especially saying it while we are at war. Can't they do something when a person in goverment so obviously sides with the enemy during war time??? GRRRRRR

Only Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich is left and I'm sure his life is hell.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:49 AM | Comments (8)

August 26, 2009

GTMO's 'Floyd the Barber'

Air Force Tech Sgt. Ronald Comer, an information management specialist deployed here with the 474th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron in support of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, and Air Force Lt. Col. John Dulin, commander of the 474th ECES, admire a finished haircut at Camp Justice, July 13. Comer has been cutting the hair of fellow Airmen since day one of his deployment to JTF Guantanamo. JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released by a court. The JTF conducts intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination for the protection of detainees and personnel working in JTF Guantanamo facilities and in support of the War on Terror. JTF Guantanamo provides support to the Office of Military Commissions, to law enforcement and to war crimes investigations. The JTF conducts planning for and, on order, responds to Caribbean mass migration operations.


Air Force Tech Sgt. Ronald Comer, an information management specialist deployed here with the 474th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron in support of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, cuts Air Force Lt. Col. John Dulin's hair at Camp Justice, July 13. Comer has been cutting the hair of fellow Airmen since day one of his deployment to JTF Guantanamo. JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released by a court. The JTF conducts intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination for the protection of detainees and personnel working in JTF Guantanamo facilities and in support of the War on Terror. JTF Guantanamo provides support to the Office of Military Commissions, to law enforcement and to war crimes investigations. The JTF conducts planning for and, on order, responds to Caribbean mass migration operations.


by Sgt. Michael Baltz


Many people have nicknames, and Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ronald Comer is no different. He has earned the nickname of "Floyd the Barber," a character from the Andy Griffith Show.

Comer, an information management specialist with the 474th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, has been cutting the hair of fellow Airmen since day one of his deployment to Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

"I never cut hair before," Comer said. "The first night here, some guys wanted a haircut and I just started practicing. I now have over 40 customers."

Along with a table of magazines to read while people wait for a haircut, Comer has his own barber's chair, trimmers, razors and clippers.

"I don't charge anything, I am just helping out the guys," Comer said. "It builds morale. It keeps them within regulation and looking good. It also saves them the hassle of sitting in line and getting a haircut. I do get tips every now and then, but it isn't necessary."

Comer has evolved from day one; cutting more than 400 heads of hair since he has been here.

"I can do a fade," Comer said. "I am pretty picky about things, so I try to do a good job. I cut their hair to fit their head. I want them to be proud of it."

Comer is dedicated to keeping his clients looking sharp.

"I can't cut people's hair when they are busy, so I am pretty flexible," Comer said. "I usually cut hair when people have free time or in the evening or on the weekends. I did one last week at 7 a.m."

Comer doesn't claim to be perfect and admits to making mistakes along the way.

"I have put the wrong guard on before, but it all worked out," Comer said casually. "I just cut it shorter."

One person he is sure to take care of is the 474th ECES commander, Air Force Lt. Col. John Dulin.

"It is a great thing he is doing, it allows everyone to look good," Dulin said. "He gives a good haircut. We give him the time and ability to do it."

Dulin said there would not be any repercussions if Comer made a mistake.

"He hasn't messed up my hair," Dulin said. "Yet."

Unfortunately, the females haven't been able to enjoy Comer's haircuts.

"They won't let me cut their hair," Comer said gloomily.
"I am going to start cutting my wife's hair though; it will save me some money," Comer added jokingly.

As far as continuing his new role in the unit, it will not end anytime soon.

"My unit members] want me to keep on cutting their hair when I get home," Comer said. "I have already made a deal with a few of them to keep on doing it on drill weekends."

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (8)

Sister, Brother Reunite in Iraq

Chief Warrant Officer Heath Wieseler chats with his sister, Sgt. Andrea Wieseler, in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter on COB Speicher Aug. 13. Heath and Andrea spent a few days together after not seeing each other for more than two years.

Sister, Brother Reunite in Iraq


Deployments usually separate Soldiers from their families. However, for one Red Bull Soldier, it provided the chance to reunite with her brother.

Sgt. Andrea Wieseler, a telecommunications sergeant with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, hadn't seen her brother, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Heath Wieseler, in more than two years. Heath, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot, is deployed to Contingency Operating Base Speicher with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division.

Andrea's supervisors allowed her to take some time to meet up with her brother.

"I have been waiting for this since the day I arrived in Iraq," Andrea said.

Although Heath knew there would be a possibility Andrea would get the opportunity to come up and see him, she surprised him early. He was on a mission to drop off passengers at Camp Liberty in Baghdad. At the last moment, he was informed he was to pick up passengers to take back to COB Speicher, not knowing one of those passengers was his sister.

They flew to COB Speicher and after Heath landed the helicopter, they greeted each other with a hug and the emotions started to flow.

"It caught me by surprise when I looked back to see her get on the helicopter," Heath said.

It turned out they were able to spend a few days to catch up on old times and have some great laughs.

"Everything worked out perfect," said Andrea. "I was so happy to have him pick me up in his helicopter; he is a real hero to me."

Heath has traveled a lot in his 16 years of active duty. Military training and travel have prevented him from returning to his hometown of Howard Lake, Minn., to see his family.

"It was so great to have Andrea around," Heath said. "It was nice to be with family, someone you can share common things and talk about family back in Minnesota."

The two of them spent time talking, laughing and sharing events of the past two years. Heath talked about his wife Geri and sons Tyler and Trevor, while Andrea shared her experiences of the deployment so far and the friendships she has made.

"I was so excited; it was a dream come true," Andrea said. "I waited a long time for this."

Wild Thing's comment......

What a neat story, I am thrilled they got to see each other in Iraq. That time together will be special to them for the rest of their lives.

God bless Sgt. Andrea Wieseler and her brother Chief Warrant Officer Heath Wieseler.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:40 AM | Comments (5)

August 23, 2009

2/8 Marines Engage in Six-hour Firefight With Taliban Insurgents

Staff Sgt. James Simmons, a platoon sergeant with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, takes a quick pause during a seven-hour firefight as an U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber drops a 500-pound bomb on insurgent positions here, Aug. 13. Simmons is from Winter Park, Fla.

2/8 Marines Engage in Six-hour Firefight With Taliban Insurgents

by 1st Lt. Kurt Stahl


Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers departed their outpost on a combat patrol, Aug. 13, that turned into the largest firefight here since July 4.

The Marines of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, waged an intense six-hour battle with Taliban insurgents who opened fire on the patrol just after 8 a.m.

After moving only about one mile from their combat outpost, the Marines received a heavy volley of enemy gunfire from multiple directions. Without hesitation, the Marines and ANA returned fire to suppress the enemy positions, began maneuvering on the insurgents and call for fire support.

"We sent out the combat patrol anticipating contact," said Capt. E.A. Meador from Laurel, Miss., the company commander. "They always try to hit us in that area."

Within minutes, an AH-1W Super Cobra and a UH-1N Huey were on station overhead to help suppress and engage enemy targets. The Cobra fired several five-inch Zuni rockets into one of the compounds from which the patrol was receiving sustained fire.

The friendly forces maneuvered through thick corn fields with slippery mud while enduring temperatures that exceeded 120 degrees in the afternoon. The muggy heat rose from the corn fields as if it were a sauna, and the Marines sunk into the mud with each step making it feel like weights were attached to their ankles.

"I didn't think it was possible to move so fast through mud like that," said Lance Cpl. Timothy Daughtry, a squad automatic weapon gunner.

In addition to those already challenging conditions, each Marine carried no less than a 60-pound combat load to include body armor, ammunition and water at a minimum. Despite the potential distractions offered by these extreme conditions while under fire, the Marines executed sound judgment calls and made rational decisions without hesitation.

"At the squad and platoon level, the Marines are out there every day and do a phenomenal job," said Meador. "They come back beat and tired, but they are always ready to do it again the next day."

During the engagement, the squad leaders were encouraging and directing their Marines to ensure they were doing everything they could to stay effective and in the fight. No matter how tired they became as time wore on, the voice of experience could be heard across the battlefield.

"Push forward. Keep your dispersion," called out Sgt. Jonathon Delgado, a squad leader from Kissimmee, Fla., as his Marines pressed through the corn field to maneuver on one of the compounds hiding the enemy.

By 1 p.m. – five hours into the engagement – many of the Marines had run out of water. So, water and ammunition redistribution began from those who still had a reserve and continued throughout the remainder of the day as needed.

During the firefight, the Marines were successful in calling in several types of precision ordnance on the insurgent fighting positions, which included rockets fired by the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems based at Camp Dwyer 15 miles away; 81mm and 60mm mortars; and a 500-pound bomb from a U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber.

"We caught them by surprise with our indirect fire assets and inflicted heavier casualties than in the past," said 1st Lt. Kyle Kurtz from Greensborough, N.C., the company's executive officer.

The Marines and ANA eventually maneuvered up to and cleared the insurgent positions initially used to launch the ambush. One moment they were fighting in open fields, and the next they were clearing rooms the insurgents had used as fighting positions – two very different and challenging combat techniques. One squad, expecting to encounter some resistance, went to clear the western compound where the patrol had initially taken heavy fire. As they entered the compound, the only thing that was they found were brass casings and links from the enemy's machine guns.

"It was tense going through the compound," Daughtry commented. "You never know exactly what is coming around the corner."

Between the sprints across the corn fields under fire to clearing compounds, the Marines felt lucky to have made it through the day unscathed.

"I definitely think I have had an angel watching out for me at times," said Lance Cpl. Josh Vance, a team leader from Raleigh, N.C.

In past firefights here, insurgents have kept their distance when engaging the Marines, but things were different during this battle.

"This was the first time in a while that we were able to close with the enemy so effectively," Kurtz said. "We were within 50-75 meters – right on top of them."

The platoon-sized element that took the initial contact was only one surprise Company E had for the insurgents this day. When they started to run, a second platoon was sent out to meet them.

The Taliban militants displaced to another location they had used to launch attacks from in the past – a large wall. During the follow-on fight, the Marines were able to cut off the insurgents' escape route and deny them the ability to use the wall for effective future attacks.

"It was a very successful day for us," said Kurtz.

Wild Thing's comment......

God bless our troops and keep them safe.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (4)

Paratrooper-in-training John Michael, 7, Turns Out To Watch 82nd Airborne Paratroopers Arrive in Indy

Young Fans Turn Out to Watch 82nd Airborne Paratroopers Arrive in Indy


of Greenfield, Ind., shakes hands with Steve Frazer, President of the 82nd Airborne Division Association while waiting for the arrival of paratroopers from the Fort Bragg, N.C.-based 82nd Airborne Division at Mt. Comfort Airfield in Indianapolis on Aug. 20. More than 150 paratroopers landed at Mount Comfort in three C-130 Hercules aircraft to kick off off the 63rd National Convention of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, being held this year in Indianapolis....Photo by Sgt. Michael Pryor


Greenfield, Ind., native John Michael, 7, is dressed for the occasion as he watches a C-130 Hercules aircraft lift off after depositing paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Mt. Comfort Airfield in Indianapolis on Aug. 20. The arrival of the paratroopers kicked off the 63rd National Convention of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, being held this year in Indianapolis.

Greenfield, Ind. native John Michael, 7, is dressed for the occasion as he watches the progress of an inbound C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division about to land at Mount Comfort Airfield in Indianapolis on Aug. 20. The arrival of the paratroopers kicked off the 63rd National Convention of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, being held this year in Indianapolis.

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

Paratroopers Arrive in Indiy for 63rd Annual 82nd Airborne Div Association Convention

Paratroopers Arrive in Indianapolis for the 63rd Annual 82nd Airborne Division Association Convention

Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division run off the runway after landing at Mount Comfort Airfield in Indianapolis on Aug. 20. The Soldiers arrived to kick off the 63rd Annual 82nd Airborne Division Convention.

Joseph Viserta, from Port Jerbis, N.Y., stands with his grandson, Vinnie the Mt. Comfort Airfield in Indianapolis on August 20. Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division landed at the Airfield to kick off the 63rd Annual 82nd Airborne Division Convention. Joseph Viserta joined the Army in 1945.

Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division stand in formation after landing at Mt. Comfort Airfield in Indianapolis on Aug. 20. The Soldiers arrived to kick off the 63rd Annual 82nd Airborne Division Convention.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (2)

August 17, 2009

Puppy of Iraq War's Oldest Fallen Soldier Safe in States

Maj. Steven Hutchison adopted Laia, who was found on the base near Basra, Iraq. The two were inseparable.

His 11-man crew was running errands on an Army base near Basra when Hutchison ordered a lunch break.

The transition team, whose job was to train Iraqi police and soldiers, pulled their armored vehicles into the base's Subway restaurant and ordered sandwiches.

Hutchison paid, as was his wont, and gave the thumbs up to roll out, team members recall. But the logistics advisor threw back a thumbs down.

Soldiers had gathered around the back of one vehicle and were playing with a scrawny yellow puppy, one of the many strays that wander Iraqi streets.

New mission, Hutchison barked. He took the 1-month-old puppy back to his armored vehicle, fed her his turkey sandwich and gave her water from his bottle.


Maj. Steven Hutchison, 60, center, is the oldest U.S. casualty in Iraq. A Vietnam veteran, he was also a psychology professor.

Puppy of Iraq War's Oldest Fallen Soldier Safe in States

Paw Nation

We love happy endings, so when we read this heartwarming Los Angeles Times story about a soldier and the stray dog he came to love, we had to share it.

When Major Steven Hutchison was killed while serving in Iraq, he was, at 60, the oldest American casualty in either of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. His unit, who had come to love him like a father, devised a unique way to honor their fallen leader -- and it involved a puppy.

Why join the Army again?

Hutchison had enlisted in the Army in 1966, served two tours in Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star before retiring in 1988. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks he wanted to return to active military duty, but his wife Kandy Rhode wouldn't hear of it.

Married three times before, Hutchinson was devastated when Rhode died from cancer in 2006. "A part of him died," Hutchison's brother Richard Hutchison told the Huffington Post.

In July 2007, at the age of 59, Hutchison "signed up for the Army's Retiree Recall program," reports the Los Angeles Times. He was sent first to Afghanistan for a year and then onto Iraq where he joined the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

Finding puppy love

Though Major Hutchison vowed he'd never fall in love again after the death of his wife, the seasoned military man fell surprisingly hard for a stray yellow puppy his unit found while leaving an Army base near Basra. According to the Los Angeles Times, Hutchison scooped the puppy into his arms and took her to his armored vehicle.

Hutchison named the puppy Laia [sic] (for Princess Leia, according to Stars and Stripes) and snuck her back to the base. Stray animals in Iraq are typically euthanized the same day they are caught, reports the Los Angeles Times, and service members are not allowed to keep any strays as pets.

But, the major "was hooked," Sgt. Andrew Hunt later emailed to Hutchison's family, according to the Los Angeles Times. The military man allowed Laia to sleep with him at night and sit in his lap while driving around to visit the unit's Iraqi counterparts.

Honoring Hutchison

On Mother's Day, May 10, 2009 -- two days before he was to go on leave and one month shy of his 61st birthday -- Major Hutchison was killed by a roadside bomb while patrolling with his team in Al Farr, Iraq, near Basra. Laia was not with him that day; he had left her behind at the base. He was buried in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 19 and is survived by his mother, brother, half brother, half sister and two adult daughters.

As a tribute to Major Hutchison, Sgt. Hunt secured approval to send Laia to the United States and worked with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and SPCA International's Baghdad Pups to transport the lucky pooch to America and place her in a home, which costs the non-profit animal rescue group about $4,000.

Major Hutchison would be happy to know that the scrawny yellow puppy he rescued is now happily living in Michigan with the family of a special agent who worked with Hutchison's team in Iraq. Though Laia lost one of her legs to an infection, she is doing well.


Wild thing's comment........

I feel so badly Hutchinson was killled, I am glad though he and Laia met even for a short time to share in each others lives. The war stories from every war are always dotted with such awesome stories of animals our troops meet when deployed. The amazing thing is, that each life touchs the other, Laia was needed by Hutchinson even if he did not know it at the time. And Laia needed him as well. What a beautiful story.

PAW Nation is awesome.

....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 (6)

August 16, 2009

In Country With Our Troops ~ Afghanistan

U.S. Marines go door-to-door in Dahaneh, Afghanistan.( Taliban Stronghold )

FOX News' Greg Palkot is the only reporter traveling with a combined force of 500 Marines and Afghan soldiers as they carry out day two of air and ground assault Operation Eastern Resolve. The operation is aimed at liberating a key town in Northern Helmand province of Taliban and to secure a strategic More.. pass used by Taliban fighters. What follows is Palkot's latest report.

Day two of Operation Eastern Resolve is drawing to a close. We are with Golf Company, with the 2/3 Marines, they have had a pretty busy day. And camera man Mal James and I spent some time with the Marines in this very dangerous town. It got off to a little bit of a rough start.

We’ve been hearing Taliban fire all around us, coming into contact with the Marines. I can hear it right now.

These Marines are working with another squad, another platoon as they work their way down this village trying to clear this place. But the Taliban aren’t giving up.

The Marines are going house to house, they’re going compound to compound to make sure that there are no militants remaining and they’re doing it while the Taliban that the Marines didn’t kill yesterday try to kill these Marines today.

Morning patrols faced some fairly stiff resistance — the Taliban firing from positions in the mountains surrounding the town, as well as sniping positions in town as well.

Not an easy job, but they’re doing it, and the sense today is that a corner has been turned. Hot temperatures here today though, and some very tired Marines here tonight.


Gunfight and Airstrike in Korengal Valley

Photo by Sgt. Matthew Moeller

U.S. Army and Air Force personnel assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, return fire at insurgent positions in the Korengal Valley's steep hillside in Afghanistan's Kunar province, Aug. 13.

The 20 minute gun battle ended with 500 pound bombs, dropped by U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jets, destroying insurgent positions in the surrounding hills. No civilians were injured during the battle.

International Security Assistance Forces across Afghanistan have increased operations in recent months, in order to ensure safety and security during Afghanistan's second national election, scheduled for the end of August.

Obama's Afghanistan War Plan Faces First Major Test With Country's Election

FOX News

Obama's new Afghanistan war plan is facing its first major test, and it's not on the battlefield.

The president has called next Thursday's election the most important event all year in Afghanistan. The first phase of the reordered counterinsurgency strategy Obama announced in March is hinged to it, and the U.S. is taking no chances, pressing a new military offensive this week to make sure the voting comes off well.

The Taliban has warned it will disrupt the election, including threats of suicide bombings of polling places. Wide turnout would be a symbolic rejection of the insurgency, and the U.S. is hoping for more than token participation in districts recently under the Taliban thumb.

It's not about who wins the election, the White House says. Rather the voting is a test of the ability of U.S. forces to protect civilians -- the new top military priority -- and the willingness of voters to accept that help. The success of the revised strategy depends on winning the trust of civilians.

U.S. officials stress that the elections are being run by Afghans, hoping the country will embrace the results as homegrown rather than the result of foreign fixers. However, that could leave the Afghan government holding the bag if voters see the results as illegitimate.

Obama sent 17,000 additional combat troops to Afghanistan in the spring and summer to help blunt a resurgent Taliban ahead of the voting, and his administration is spending millions to help an underperforming Afghan government run a relatively safe and open election.

About 400 Marines opened a large offensive in southern Afghanistan just this week to uproot Taliban fighters, disrupt intimidation campaigns ahead of the voting and help provide protected passage to the polls.

Before the U.S. Marines arrived, insurgents had papered one dust-blown town with notes warning that voting would mean a slit throat.

Insurgent attacks are already rising in Afghanistan, which U.S. commanders attribute partly to efforts to derail the election and partly to the fact that U.S. and NATO forces are pressing farther into former Taliban sanctuaries.

Deaths among U.S. and other NATO troops have soared. With 74 foreign troops killed -- including 43 Americans -- July was the deadliest month for international forces since the start of the war in 2001.


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

God bless our troops!!!! Prayers for our troops, they sacrifice so much every day and work so hard with never enough appreciation. For those that do get to read this, you are in our thoughts every day and we are so proud of each one of you.

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:45 AM | Comments (6)

August 15, 2009

Obama Wants Air Force To BUZZ Taliban Before Bombing in Afghanistan

The A-10 is literally built around its 30-mm GE GAU-8 Avenger seven barrel cannon, the most powerful gun ever fitted to an aircraft of this class. It was designed for high-survivability with a titanium cover surrounding both the cockpit, ammunition and fuel tank. Placement of the engines decreases the infrared signature lowering it's vulnerablity to heatseeking missiles and ground fire.

Air Force may buzz before bombing in Afghanistan



The Air Force general in charge of the air war in Afghanistan says a new strategy means warplanes in some cases may be buzzing rather than bombing some insurgents.

Lt. Gen. Gilmary Hostage said Thursday that his job is to support the strategy of winning Afghan support as formulated by the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal. As part of that, McChrystal imposed restrictions on air power to limit civilian casualties.

Hostage told reporters at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina his forces can easily drop bombs with pinpoint accuracy.

But the three-star general said that at times, it may be better to fly low over enemy forces and disperse them with noisy warplanes that threaten with firepower but don't immediately unleash it.

ABC News

The first thing we do is fly over head, and the bad guys know airpower is in place and oftentimes that's enough. That ends the fight, they vamoose," said Hostage, who will direct the air battle over Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The A-10 has a very distinct sound. The cannon on an A-10 is horrifically capable and our adversaries know it. When they hear the sound of an A-10, they scatter."

HiFi A-10 1.3 (engine sounds)

Hostage says the Air Force can easily drop bombs with pinpoint accuracy. But in some cases, it may be better to fly over enemy forces with noisy warplanes to get them to disperse first, then try more force if that doesn't work.

Hostage said he supports the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who is shifting the philosophy toward irregular warfare.

"The challenge with irregular warfare is to empower and enable the people to the point where they don't allow the adversary to hide in amongst them," Hostage said. "It really is a long-term effort."
Hostage said McChrystal has told his forces, "If you are in a situation where there's a civilian at risk, he'd rather have us back away than pressing to engage the enemy and run the risk of damaging or hurting somebody."


Wild Thing's comment......

“Lt. Gen. Gilmary Hostage

Tell me that this is a joke. General Hostage is not interested in killing the enemy?

I will not believe these orders are directly from McChrystal. They come directly from Obama himself.

Next up, Marines will be ordered to fire 'warning' shots before firing on suspected Taliban. Embedded lawyers will ensure compliance. Soldiers shouting “BANG BANG” at terrorists. Plumbing new depths of stupidity every day since 1/20/09. Good Lord, we train these brave young men to win wars; not to die for the worst president ever in a war he doesn’t want to fight to win!

"...fly low over enemy forces and disperse them with noisy warplanes ..."

Why would you want to "disperse" people you presumably would want to kill?

Why is this President so insistent in having America give up it's single greatest tactical advantage - air dominance?

If soldiers get the idea that you care more about the enemy than you do the mission or the lives of the soldiers themselves, you may suddenly have problems staffing this mission.

Why don’t we just send the Thunderbirds and get them to like us through a display of our precision flying.

Hey, maybe the flyby will give the enemy the opportunity to calibrate their shoulder luanched missiles.

Hey Abdul, the Air Force just buzzed us as a warning! Get the SA-7’s out of the hut!

Are they channeling Robert McNamara? Here it comes, Vietnam stage two. Remember LBJ and McNamara in the Oval office picking bombing targets off a map? By the time the order got to the pilots, the bad guys had moved down the trail. That’s what happens when politicians run a war.

If we did this in WW2 we would all be speaking German or Japanese.

Whatever happened to the “Kill them all and let God sort them out” I like that one much better.

DAMN Obama!

......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 10:50 AM | Comments (18)

August 12, 2009

In Country Afghanistan With Our Troops

Insurgents Caught Planting Explosives

Helicopter gun camera video footage released today shows the deliberate steps International Security Assistance Force personnel took when countering the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) placed by two insurgents Aug. 5 along a road in southern Zabul province, Afghanistan. Scenes include an Attack Weapons Team of helicopters assigned to the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade of Task Force Pegasus observing and engaging two insurgents emplacing an IED, destroying them and eliminating the threat.


Patience Needed to Beat Taliban, McChrystal Says

The Taliban will not win the war in Afghanistan, the commander of NATO and U.S. forces there said in Kabul today.

"We will win. The Taliban won't win," Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal said during an interview on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition."

Still, he acknowledged, the struggle against the Taliban and their al-Qaida allies will be long and hard, with good and bad days, good and bad months, and the tragedy of civilian and coalition casualties.

The International Security Assistance Force is facing an aggressive enemy, NATO officials in Kabul said. The Taliban are employing complex tactics, and are gaining momentum in some parts of Afghanistan. "However, in those areas and others, insurgents face their own problems in terms of public support, cohesiveness and their ability to sustain their morale and fighting capacity," said Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, an ISAF spokesman.

The insurgents have achieved some momentum in recent years in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But recent ISAF operations in Helmand province have reversed some of these gains, officials said. Northern and western Afghanistan and the area around the capital of Kabul are relatively stable, he added.
"The fact that we've witnessed recent attacks in those areas underscores the fact that we cannot adopt a static approach to counterinsurgency operations against an adaptive enemy," Sholtis said. "We need to partner with the Afghan government to reinforce success in the areas we hold in order to build lasting foundations for stability. But we also need to be able to help the developing Afghan national security forces establish control of contested areas."
Patience is needed, as the effort in Afghanistan will take years, and one key to it is growing the Afghan security forces, McChrystal said. "This is a job that takes not only resolve, it takes patience and courage – it takes military and political courage to do this," he said.
The effort in Afghanistan will not be won by military force alone, and certainly won't be over by taking an enemy capital, the general noted. "You are actually fighting to convince people to support their government," he explained.
Afghan forces are key to the effort. Commanders in Regional Command South, an area of intense effort against the Taliban, want more Afghan soldiers. American, British and Danish forces are fighting alongside Afghan soldiers and believe they are doing well, McChrystal said.
The general also told NPR that he will delay the strategic assessment he's conducting for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates until after Afghanistan's Aug. 20 national election. "I asked to delay that so that I'd be informed of what happened in the elections, because I thought it was such a data point," he said. "My overall read of the situation here would be much better if I could have that in the rear view mirror to look at."
McChrystal also said he will look at areas where insurgents are setting up, or attempting to set up, shadow governments. Other "data points" include levels of violence, the growth of Afghan security forces, support for governance, the number of children in school, commerce and so on. "It's extraordinarily complex to try to put together a clear picture," the general said.


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

I wish with all my heart that our troops could have a different CIC.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:45 AM | Comments (7)

Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concert in Dallas, Texas with Billy Ray Cyrus

This video from the Freedom Concert in Dallas last week. Billy Ray Cyrus singing "Some Gave All" to 2 wounded warriors on stage.


Wild Thing's comment......

I have been to two of these concerts and they are more then worth it. All proceeds go the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund… this fund gives scholarships to the children of veterans who were killed or permanently disabled while serving in active duty military. The Founder and Honorary Chairman is LtCol Oliver L. North, USMC (Ret.)

Let freedom ring… God bless our troops and God bless America!

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:40 AM | Comments (2)

August 11, 2009

CIC Obama Calling it War on Al-Queda Now Facing Taliban Terrorism on Rise

US Commander: Taliban Winning in Afghanistan, Terrorism on Rise ........FOX News

U.S. soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade take position next to Sari Ghundi village as they patrol near the Pakistani border in Afghanistan.

Taliban Now Winning

U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Warns of Rising Casualties

The Wall Street Journal

The Taliban have gained the upper hand in Afghanistan, the top American commander there said, forcing the U.S. to change its strategy in the eight-year-old conflict by increasing the number of troops in heavily populated areas like the volatile southern city of Kandahar, the insurgency's spiritual home.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that means U.S. casualties, already running at record levels, will remain high for months to come.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the commander offered a preview of the strategic assessment he is to deliver to Washington later this month, saying the troop shifts are designed to better protect Afghan civilians from rising levels of Taliban violence and intimidation. The coming redeployments are the clearest manifestation to date of Gen. McChrystal's strategy for Afghanistan, which puts a premium on safeguarding the Afghan population rather than hunting down militants.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander, is making protection of civilians a priority over hunting Taliban rebels.

Gen. McChrystal said the Taliban are moving beyond their traditional strongholds in southern Afghanistan to threaten formerly stable areas in the north and west.

The militants are mounting sophisticated attacks that combine roadside bombs with ambushes by small teams of heavily armed militants, causing significant numbers of U.S. fatalities, he said. July was the bloodiest month of the war for American and British forces, and 12 more American troops have already been killed in August.
"It's a very aggressive enemy right now," Gen. McChrystal said in the interview Saturday at his office in a fortified NATO compound in Kabul. "We've got to stop their momentum, stop their initiative. It's hard work."



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

Any death of even one of our troops will be on Obama.

After this kind of thing, I doubt Obama care about any attacks by the Taliban.....

Obama wants to REACH OUT TO THE MODERATE TALIBAN" A Taliban spokesman, who said that the US president’s overture was a sign of weakness, poured cold water on the notion that “moderate” fighters could be easily turned. Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi said: “They say they want to speak to moderate Taliban, but they will not be able to find such people because we are united around the aim of fighting for freedom and bringing an Islamic system to Afghanistan.” He added that Obama’s comments were a reflection of the fact that the Americans had become tired and worried..........March 7 , 2009

Obama: "Victory" Not Necessarily The "Goal" In Afghanistan. ~ July 24,2009

"The President does not describe this as a 'war on terrorism,'" said John Brennan, head of the White House homeland security office, who outlined a "new way of seeing" the fight against terrorism.
The only terminology that Mr. Brennan said the administration is using is that the U.S. is "at war with al Qaeda." ....August 6,2009


....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 05:50 AM | Comments (20)

August 10, 2009

National Guard Recruiting for 'internment' Cops

Why is National Guard recruiting for 'internment' cops?

Ad campaign seeks workers at 'civilian resettlement facility'

By Bob Unruh

An ad campaign featured on a U.S. Army website seeking those who would be interested in being an "Internment/Resettlement" specialist is raising alarms across the country, generating concerns that there is some truth in those theories about domestic detention camps, a roundup of dissidents and a crackdown on "threatening" conservatives.

The ads, at the GoArmy.com website as well as others including Monster.com, cite the need for:

"Internment/Resettlement (I/R) Specialists in the Army are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility. I/R Specialists provide rehabilitative, health, welfare, and security to U.S. military prisoners within a confinement or correctional facility; conduct inspections; prepare written reports; and coordinate activities of prisoners/internees and staff personnel.

Some of your duties as an Internment/Resettlement Specialist may include:

Assist with the supervision and management of confinement and detention operations
Provide external security to confinement/corrections facilities or detention/internment facilities
Provide counseling and guidance to individual prisoners within a rehabilitative program
Prepare or review reports and records of prisoners/internees and programs

Advanced level Internment/Resettlement Specialist provides guidance, supervises and trains other Soldiers within the same discipline. As an advanced level I/R Specialist, you may be involved in:

Supervise and establish all administrative, logistical and food support operations, confinement/correctional, custodial, treatment, and rehabilitative activities
Responsible for all personnel working in the confinement/correctional facility, including security, logistical, and administrative management of the prisoner/internee population
Provide command and control, staff planning, administration/logistical services, and custody/control for the operation of an Enemy Prisoner of War/Civilian Internee (EPW/CI) camp
Provide command and control, staff planning, administration/logistical services, and custody/control for the operation of detention facility or the operation of a displaced civilian (DC) resettlement facility

The campaign follows by only weeks a report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warning about "right-wing extremists" who could pose a danger to the country – including those who support third-party political candidates, oppose abortion and would prefer to have the U.S. immigration laws already on the books enforced.

The "extremism" report coincided with a report out of California that the Department of Defense was describing protesters as "low-level terrorists."

The new ad says successful candidates will "provide external security to … detention/internment facilities" and "provide counseling and guidance to individual prisoners within a rehabilitative program."

Officials at the state and federal National Guard levels told WND they were unaware of the program, although one officer speculated it could be intended for soldiers trained in the U.S. and dispatched overseas to "detention facilities." From the national level, WND was told, officials were unaware of any such "internment facilities" at which there could be jobs to be available.

More of the article HERE

Here is the other ste that some more about this.

National Guard


Check this out the National Guard website page about this.

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

I would not even worry about this except that Obama is lurking in the White House.


....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 06:45 AM | Comments (4)

August 05, 2009

“‘The Bullet Magnet’ is back!”

Staff Sgt. Brandon Camacho, 22, shows off his 10th Mountain Division patch that was pierced by a bullet in a near miss in April. A month later, the squad leader with the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment,was shot in the same arm, earning him a fourth Purple Heart for combat wounds


Staff Sgt. Brandon Camacho (right), 22, receives a warm welcome from 1st Lt. Scott Davis when he returns to his unit on Friday after being shot in May, his fourth time wounded in combat.

‘The Bullet Magnet’ is back in the fight in Afghanistan

Stars and Stripes


Staff Sgt. Brandon Camacho was in a "pissing contest" with the enemy. He shot one guy, then another popped up.

He threw a grenade, but it bounced off the man and exploded in a ditch.

As the squad leader then zigzagged through a field, he felt someone tug at his shirt sleeve. Hours later, after the firefight, he’d discover that a bullet had whizzed right through it, narrowly missing his bicep. It tore a hole through his 10th Mountain Division patch and through a pack of cigarettes in his arm pocket, destroying all but one.

"So I pulled it out and had myself a cigarette," Camacho says, holding the patch over his arm. Then he lifts the patch to expose a scar. It’s not from that bullet in April, but from another one a month later, earning the 22-year-old his fourth Purple Heart for wounds in a war he just won’t quit.

Struck by shrapnel during heavy mortar bombardment in Iraq in 2003, Camacho has since been grazed by one bullet, hit in the shoulder with a tracer round and finally, in June, shot in the arm. His men call him "The Bullet Magnet" and joke that since all his injuries have been on his left side, if they just stand to his right, they’ll be fine.

The most Purple Hearts received by one person is eight, according to various sources, but receiving four remains a rare occurrence.

A soldier’s soldier with a penchant for military history, Camacho has risen from private to staff sergeant with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, through three deployments and four combat wounds. He’s been shot, mortared, came within seconds of being struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. He’s watched colleagues die.

“He’s the most experienced guy I know,” said Sgt. Daniel Hernandez, 23, of Odessa, Texas, who is in Camacho’s squad. “He can take any bad situation and use it in our favor. If we could fight this war and pick a dream team, I’d pick him.”

Camacho dreams of digging his toes in the sand and sipping a drink by the ocean in his native Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory. And while he toys with the idea of getting out next year, he’s still in awe of the U.S. Army.

“I remember when I was a private. I’d look at my squad leader and think, ‘Look at him. He’s a staff sergeant. No one can touch these guys.’ Now I think, ‘God, I am the same,’ ” he says.

He recites the names of the men who didn’t make it: Maj. Douglas Sloan, the company commander with a great sense of humor they used to call “Lunch Box” because he was always looking for snacks, killed by a bomb in Wygal Valley, Afghanistan, on Oct. 31, 2006; Pfc. Alex Oceguera, who was killed with Sloan in the blast; Sgt. Russell Durgin, who died on June 13, 2006, in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, when his unit took small-arms fire; and Sgt. Brandon Adams, Camacho’s first roommate at Fort Drum, who taught him how to clean his boots and was killed in Iraq. Adams died of injuries sustained Feb. 16, 2004, when a grenade exploded as he was clearing a house in Fallujah.

“You meet the best people in the world in the Army,” Camacho says.

His first combat wound came in 2003, when his Army base near Fallujah came under mortar fire. Shrapnel was screaming into flesh and lit the tents on fire.

While Camacho was running to the bunker, a shard of burning metal struck just above his left knee, and a rocket hit the structure. He headed for another bunker but fell. Sgt. Ryan Haskins, who is deployed with him again now in Afghanistan, picked him up and pulled him to safety.

It was a singed flesh wound and Camacho was back in his unit two weeks later.

The son of a Saipan-born father and a American-born mother, and grandson of a U.S. Navy World War II veteran, Camacho grew up understanding what it is to be an American in a bigger world. His uncle is a command sergeant major with the 101st Airborne Division.

He was born in Saipan but moved to the States as a teen, joining the Army at 18, straight out of high school. It was shortly after 9/11, and he knew he’d be going to war.

He knows he’s fighting “on the right side of this war,” and takes his responsibility for his men seriously.

His uncle yelled at him for being the guy on point.

“He said I shouldn’t be doing that anymore,” Camacho says.

He smiles.

“They tell me I need to go back to basic training and practice IMT (individual movement technique) a lot more,” he says. “A lot of people say I am unlucky. But I think I am pretty damn lucky.”

He notes wryly that everyone in his platoon who has gotten hit has been in his squad. But even they trust Camacho to lead them through battle.

“The way he trained us back in Drum, I don’t want to be with no one else,” said Spc. Devin Johnson, of Chester, S.C., who was hit with bullet fragments in both legs in May when insurgents fired at the turret of a truck where he was gunning. “If something happens, we know what to do.”

Camacho’s second and third Purple Hearts came during his next deployment in Afghanistan’s northeastern Nuristan province. He had just come off a tough year back home. His father suffered a stroke and his grandfather died.

In July 2006, a bullet grazed his fingers as he pulled himself over a rock while chasing the enemy. He was hit again in April 2007, this time with a tracer round, after their deployment got extended beyond March. Both times, he finished the fight before realizing he was wounded. And both times, he was back to work within weeks.

Finally, in June 2007, Camacho went home, two more Purple Hearts in hand.

When it came time to redeploy this year, Camacho was assigned a recruiting job, which would have kept him out of harm’s way.

But the soldier was having none of it. He was thrilled when a captain intervened to get him back to the front lines.

Last May, Camacho, now a squad leader, and his men were chasing insurgents through tall grass in Afghanistan’s Logar province when a gunman jumped up and sprayed gunfire. Camacho reached back to get a magazine and felt like he’d been hit in the shoulder with a baseball bat. He was bleeding heavily. His arm froze up. But he kept firing until he got too dizzy and stumbled out to mounted units in trucks.

Camacho got his fourth Purple Heart and a two-week leave to go back home.

When he returned in July, the men greeted him warmly.

The next day, 1st Lt. Scott Davis, Camacho’s platoon leader, was talking to villagers at a girls school in the province’s Charkh District when shots rang out. Camacho was already at the forward position, where his men were returning fire from behind an orchard wall.

When the exchange was over, the men slid down behind the wall, smoking cigarettes as the adrenaline subsided.

“Welcome back, Sergeant,” one of the men called to Camacho.
“Right back in the game, huh, Sergeant?” said another.

Then Hernandez chimed in.

“‘The Bullet Magnet’ is back!”

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

The bullet tore a hole through his 10th Mountain Division patch and through a pack of cigarettes in his arm pocket, destroying all but one. .......“So I pulled it out and had myself a cigarette.”- SSG Brandon Camacho

God bless this hero.

Prayers for his safety and for those serving with him.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (5)

US Army Strong Commercial

This commercial is reciting, line by line, of the soldier's creed which is for the US Army.


Wild Thing's comment.....

Fantastic! I love how they make these ads. They show them at the movie theatre's too. Then I get to clap and cheer for it....heh heh...before the film starts.

Thank you US Army active duty and Veterans!

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (2)

August 04, 2009

Happy 219th Birthday U.S. Coast Guard

Video Clips of the US coast guard Music by - Aerosmith

The United States Coast Guard, one of the country's five armed services, is also one of the most unique agencies of the federal government. The USCG traces their history back to August 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of the federal revenue. Known variously as the Revenue Marine and the Revenue Cutter Service, they expanded in size and responsibilities as the nation grew.

The service received its present name in 1915 under an act of Congress when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the Life-Saving Service. The nation now had a single maritime service dedicated to saving life at sea and enforcing the nation's maritime laws.

The Coast Guard began to maintain the country's aids to maritime navigation, including operating the nation's lighthouses, when the Lighthouse Service was transferred to the Coast Guard in 1939. Later, in 1946, Congress permanently transferred the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation to the Coast Guard, thereby placing merchant marine licensing and merchant vessel safety under The Coast Guard purview.


SEATTLE - A Maritime Safety and Security Team member conducts a vertical insertion demonstration from an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria, Ore., during Seattle Seafair on Lake Washington. Seafair is one of the Pacific Northwest's largest maritime festivals. Nearly 2 million Puget Sound residents attend the festival each summer. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Third Class Tara Molle)

NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 30, 2005) - USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Shawn Beaty, 29, of Long Island,
N.Y., looks for survivors in the wake of Hurricane Katrina here today. Beaty is a member of an
HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew sent from Clearwater, Fla., to assist in search and
rescue efforts. USCG photograph by Petty Officer 2nd Class NyxoLyno Cangemi

USCG Spencer Rescue, WWII

Happy 219th Birthday to U.S. Coast Guard

August 4 is celebrated as Coast Guard Day to honor the establishment on that day in 1790 of the Revenue Cutter Service, forbearer of today's Coast Guard.

While the equipment and technology have vastly changed, the Coast Guard's 'always ready' spirit remains the same.

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

Thank you to all serving in the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Aux.. Happy Birthday!!!

......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 04:50 AM | Comments (5)

August 03, 2009

Jack Webb Dragnet The D.I. Rare Extended Movie Trailer

Jack Webb Dragnet The D.I. Rare Extended Movie Trailer

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

Jack Webb's military service, U.S. Army Air Forces as a crewmember of a B-26 Marauder medium bomber during World War II. In reading his BIO, it said, his part as a Marine Corps drill instructor on Parris Island in the 1957 film The D.I , was his most famous role in any film he did, and the movie is a Classic.

....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 05:45 AM | Comments (6)

August 01, 2009

GEN David Petreaus Speaking To The Marine Corps Association in Arlington VA

GEN David Petreaus, Commander, CENTCOM speaks about the unique nature of Marines, before the Marine Corps Association in Arlington VA.

Principles, Innovation Reveal Marines’ Success, Petraeus Says



July 31, 2009

The secret to the U.S. Marine Corps’ success is a blending of bedrock principles with innovation, the commander of U.S. Central Command said here last night.

Using two examples from recent history -- the heroism of the last Marine Medal of Honor recipient and the turnaround in Iraq’s Anbar province, -- Army Gen. David H. Petraeus shared his view at an event hosted by the Marine Association Foundation.

“On the one hand, Marines display a stalwart resistance to change in those bedrock values that form the very foundation of what it means to be Marine,” he said. “On the other hand, Marines demonstrate a ready embrace of innovation that allows them to adapt to the environments in which they operate and to the enemies they face.”

Some of those timeless, unchanging truths that describe the Marine Corps include an unflinching devotion to one’s fellow Marines, a ready embrace of hardship and a universal emphasis on the skills and the spirit of the rifleman, he said.

Petraeus said these underlying principles are illustrated in the story of Marine Corps Cpl. Jason Dunham. In 2004, the 22-year-old Marine was killed in action in Karabilah, Iraq, when he used his body to cover a grenade and shield his fellow Marines from the ensuing blast.

Dunham became the 295th Marine to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, which is bestowed for gallantry in action. The Navy will christen a ship named in the fallen Marine’s honor -- the USS Jason Dunham -- next week during a ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine.

Petraeus said the Marines’ actions in Anbar province illustrate their ability to adapt their strategy to meet unique challenges.
In 2006, Anbar province was one of Iraq’s most contentious regions. It was a society that had collapsed under the weight of an endemic insurgency with an infrastructure dilapidated by years of infighting and neglect. But amid the surge of U.S. forces in 2007, al-Qaida operatives overplayed their hands in Anbar, alienating local residents. Meanwhile, the influx of U.S. Marines helped to tamp down violence and create political breathing room, which in turn allowed the forging of key alliances between local tribal sheiks and coalition operators.
“As a result, sheiks started coming forward to coalition forces to discuss an alliance to throw off al-Qaida,” Petraeus said. “And this was the opening we needed.”
The “Anbar Awakening,” a societal purging of extremism by Anbaris, and formation of a civilian security group known as “Sons of Iraq” ushered in a level of stability unprecedented since U.S. operations in Iraq began.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the Anbar Awakening helped alter the course of events in Iraq,” Petraeus said. “And I believe that generations from now, historians will continue to view it as a great example of the principled application of long-standing counterinsurgency principles.”

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

Gen. Petreaus is so good, I love the way he told this joke. He knew he would get a reaction heh heh

He has really shown how he cares about all our troops, in every branch of service they have really respected him and he has them as well.

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:45 AM | Comments (3)

July 31, 2009

Anthony H. Cordesman Says "This War Needs To Be Taken Seriously" Please Listen Obama!

Britain Will Stick with Afghan Combat Mission, says Envoy

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Wednesday that his country is determined to carry on with its combat mission in Afghanistan despite a rise in casualties and skepticism in domestic opinion polls. Miliband discussed the Afghan situation and related issues with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton here in Washington.

Miliband says the Afghan conflict is in a "tough phase," but that Britain intends to work through the difficulties, side-by-side with the United States as Afghanistan approaches historic elections next month.

"We know that this is a challenge that is not going to be easily resolved in a short period of time," said Hillary Clinton. "But we believe that we are pursuing a strategy, both military and civilian, that holds out promise for achieving our principle objective - that is to destroy, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida and their allies in the syndicate of terror that has unfortunately taken root in Afghanistan and spilled over into Pakistan."

Clinton and Miliband stressed the importance of the August 20th Afghan presidential election - for reaffirming the democratic ideals for which the war is being fought and opening the way for a new Afghan government to share more of the security burden.


Anthony H. Cordesman

This man, Anthony H. Cordesman, gave an awesome speech and much of it is in the article above. He really lays in on the line including the corruption in the government there and also says this war needs to be taken seriouisly.
I hope you get a chance to watch the video. It really is worth it. They do not have this particular one at YouTube so I can only put the link here for you to CLICK ON LINK HERE FOR VIDEO AS SEEN BELOW IF IT DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU.

I will try to post the embedded code for the video. If anyone has trouble with my blog let me know and I can take the video off. Sometimes videos that are not YouTube or Live Leak mess with the code of my blog. Thank you.

Anthony H. Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discusses the war in Afghanistan.

More US Troops May Be Needed in Afghanistan, says Pentagon Advisor

A member of the strategic assessment team working with the new U.S. military commander in Afghanistan says the U.S. government and its allies need to be more realistic about what is needed to win the Afghan war, and he says that may include more troops.

Senior Washington analyst Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says the United States and its allies need to take the Afghanistan war more seriously. He says they need to be honest about the security and development problems they have allowed to fester in recent years, and about the resources that will be needed to reverse the situation.

"This war has been fought without resources, but above all without realism," he said.

Cordesman is recently back from Afghanistan, where he joined other experts on a team advising the new U.S. commander, General Stanley McChrystal, on how to move forward. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Cordesman declined to speak directly about the strategic assessment team's deliberations, but he suggested he believes more U.S. troops are needed.

"If you don't provide those resources and additional brigade combat teams, if you do not, I think, effectively move the Afghan security forces toward doubling them. I think unless we're prepared to commit those resources. If we somehow believe that a civilian surge of 700 people and tailoring our force posture to the views of a completely different set of strategic priorities, this is going to win, the answer is no, it's going to lose," he said.
But Cordesman said policymakers in Washington should not limit General McChrystal's options in advance. Rather he says they should wait for the 60-day report the new commander will provide next month, based partly on the assessment in which Cordesman participated. He said the military experts are working hard on the question of how many U.S. troops are needed in Afghanistan. And he says it is particularly important to significantly increase the number of competent Afghan troops.
The analyst was sharply critical of the latest Pentagon report on the situation in Afghanistan, saying it does not provide an adequate assessment of the country's insurgency. He said U.S. intelligence services need to focus on that. In addition, he says the U.S. government needs to deal with what he called the corruption and power brokering in Afghanistan, and must bring integrity to the aid system and work with allies to get more military and civilian help from them.
Cordesman says some allies are not honest about their contributions or are not willing to recognize the seriousness of the situation and the need for more effort to fix it. He described the international aid effort in Afghanistan, now in its eighth year, as being conducted as if it were in its first year, and having little impact.
"What should be an integrated civil-military effort and a focus on winning the war in the field, is a dysfunctional, wasteful mess focused on Kabul and crippled by bureaucratic divisions," he said.


Wild Thing's comment.....

Well good for British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and shame on him too. The other day I posted how he said they wanted to pull out, they had 10 of their troops killed this last month and wanted to pull out. Now they have decided to stick it out and stay and fight along side our troops.

All of you at this blog and myself included have all been saying this war needs to be taken seriously and the enemy to be taken seriously. How even the wanting to rename it to some political correct name is BS and yet another way of not calling it like it is. and what this is all about.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (4)

In Country Afghanistan and IED Information

This one is from the NATO channel

The Kunduz Provincial Reconstruction Team has been under attacks from insurgents. Get an inside perspective with Soldiers from the PRT's Golf platoon as they go on a long-term patrol. July 12 For more videos check out NatoChannel.tv


Know your IEDs ( these are what our troops have to deal with ~ Wild Thing )

This information is to show the most probable type of IED you may see, and not necessarily how to defeat it. In keeping with protecting our troops and not giving the enemy the how to's of our awesome troops.
I would like to thank Afghan Lessons Leraned for Soldiers for this information and photos below. ~ Wild Thing

IEDs in Afghanistan are not as sophisticated as they typically are in Iraq but they tend to be much, much larger.

There are signs to look for on the side of the road, in the road and how to know what areas on the road are the highest risk.

I will talk about how you as a service-member may be traveling the roads could make a good guess as to what kinds of IEDs may be on the route you want to take.

There are several categories and sub-categories of IEDs. There are victim-initiated and command detonated.

Victim-initiated (VI) are dumb IEDs and the most dangerous. They don’t distinguish between local Afghans or coalition soldiers. They don’t require a triggerman or spotter. As the name suggests, they are triggered by the victim themselves. Good examples would be pressure plate IEDs or even a basic landmine.

Command Detonated (CD) IEDs are smarter than victim-initiated as in they require a trigger man to detonate. These triggers could be hardwired to the explosive or remote control detonated via a wireless signal of some type. There will always be a triggerman and these triggermen will almost always have “eyes on” the location of the IED so they know when to “trigger” it.

It is common to fine VI IEDs on routes that are not as heavily traveled by Afghans, and are usually on routes where the enemy can influence the locals to stay off of the route. The local areas can be informed of the threat so they don’t travel on the route. This raises the chance that only coalition forces will be the ones to initiate the IED. So this means you will rarely see VI IEDs on routes that have heavy traffic. For lack of a better term, these would be main supply routes (by Afghan standards).

Another example is that you can expect to see VI IEDs on routes which are one way (into a dead end of a valley, etc.), or on routes between small villages. This is why it is important to practice very good opsec and not allow your movement plans to leak out. If the enemy finds out you are planning to visit a particular location then it helps them know what routes they stand the highest chance of hitting you on.

CD IEDs will typically be found on high-traffic routes where any number of people could travel (jingle trucks, taxis, coalition forces, etc.) On these types of routes the enemy wants to be more selective of their target and hit the right target at the right time. While on these types of routes where there is a higher chance of seeing CD vs. VI IEDs you always want to have situational awareness of the area around you and in front of you to keep an eye out for the trigger man. There is also a slight chance to see VI IEDs on routes like this as I once experienced myself.

While on one mission, a part of our unit used a specific route that we were not aware of. Because of that and the fact that an IED cell was given an alert that we were heading down the road, they were able to hastily plant a standard anti-tank landmine with a modified tilt-rod. They did this as we rolled down the road and as we found out later, just barely got it installed before we came up on them. In fact the IED planter rode his bike right by my truck and even waved to me.

Command detonated IED hole that killed two and wounded two. This was a double-stack daisy-chain “pusher charge”


What a hastily planted anti-tank landmine will do to an Afghan Army Light Tactical Vehicle.


Hole left by Remote Controlled IED set off by a trigger man with bad timing. It blew right before the lead Humvee got to it. As you can see by the size of the hole, this was built for serious damage.


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

God bless all our awesome troops. This was such great information and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM

July 28, 2009

In Country With 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division

Relocated Army outpost draws fire from angry Taliban insurgency

Stars and Stripes


The attackers waited until dusk, then came at the yet-to-be fortified American outpost from three sides, armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

It was a surprise, the first attack on the newly established outpost near the Charkh District Center in nearly two months, said Lt. Col. Thomas Gukeisen, the squadron commander who monitored Friday’s brief, unsuccessful ambush from his base about 20 miles to the east. With the help of attack aircraft, up to 20 enemy fighters were repelled.

As soldiers from Company B, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, N.Y., struggle with the growing pains of setting up a post in the population hub in Charkh, they are contending with extremely primitive conditions while flushing out a rooted enemy.

"The enemy’s pissed off," Gukeisen said, noting that the attack and a roadside bomb ambush earlier in the day occurred just hours after 150 feet of perimeter security barriers known as Hescos were delivered to the district center.
“They hate the sight of Hescos. They know you are here to stay.”

Charkh — as well as Baraki Barak district to the north and Kharwar district to the south — is the battle space of the 3rd Squadron’s 71st Cavalry Regiment, which conducts surveillance and reconnaissance for the 3rd BCT. The units deployed to this region in January. Troops set up outposts in each district, getting to know the populations, the enemy and the lay of the land.

Company B of the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, which is attached to the 3-71 Cav, set up in Baraki Barak, then moved to Charkh in April, building its second outpost about seven miles from the district center.

Still in the raw stages, Combat Outpost Baugess had an Internet cafe and was about to get running water.

But Baugess was removed from both enemy forces and the civilians they operate within. It quickly became apparent that for the troops to do their jobs of separating the enemy from the people, helping to shore up local government and security forces, and ultimately winning the trust of the population, the outpost was in the wrong place.

They began using an abandoned school building adjacent to the district center as a launch post for patrols. And last week, soldiers packed up their rucksacks, dragged their cots, a generator and truckloads of sandbags, and headed there for good.

“Militarily, the outpost was great, but for the counterinsurgency, we had to commute to work,” Gukeisen said. “It’s hard on soldiers to tell them to pack up their stuff and move to a new location. But it’s the right thing to do because you have to be with and among the people. You have to have a persistent presence.”

It’s a complex and painstaking mission that falls to Capt. Jason Wingert, 29. He is trying to run two outposts at once.

The building the troops are squatting in is filthy. Once again, they are living without running water or electricity. Food consists of Meals, Ready to Eat. And the concrete roof tiles allow the weather and the dust to pass right through their seams.

Coming down with a bad bout of stomach bug has become a rite of passage at Charkh DC. Conditions were so bad that Gukeisen sent in a health team last week to address the situation.

“When I made the decision to do [the move], I knew I was asking a lot of these guys,” said Wingert, of Evans Mills, N.Y. “To start over again for this company, the third time this deployment, is a lot. But from where I sit, and my boss agreed, we are not here to make ourselves comfortable. We are here to support the government and the security forces and to protect the people.”

Just south of Kabul, Logar province has long been the heart of the insurgent activity targeting Kabul.

Desert conditions and rocky mountain terrain embrace lush green valleys where fruit orchards and wheat fields feed the capital. But a scarcity of water and the terrorizing reign of the Taliban have left the villagers poor, scared and often unwilling to side with an absentee government.

Until recently, Charkh’s district sub-governor refused to come to the district center, a U.S.-funded building that was blown up three times in recent years.

Only after Company B soldiers began launching regular patrols did a newly appointed sub-governor start showing up for work, though the Americans quietly question his family ties to a known top insurgent.

“Nine months ago, the enemy could walk around the DC,” said sub-governor Ghallam Farouq Hamayoon. “If the Americans weren’t here, we couldn’t keep the district center open.
“It would be better if it were Afghan National Army and police. Right now, we need the Americans.”

The U.S. forces see it the same way. When they aren’t building the Charkh outpost, one platoon trains a ragtag Afghan police force, while others push out on patrols to Charkh’s villages, from the bazaar just down the road to remote northwestern areas, getting to know friendly faces, and often, trying to win over ambivalent or even hostile villagers.

They take their police trainees with them, hoping to show people that this is not just an American mission but one that will ultimately give them the responsive government they’ve never known. And the troops try to develop local projects such as mosque repairs or rebuilding girls schools that are frequent targets of Taliban attacks.

“I think we are making progress,” said Spc. Adam Klodzinski, 32, a 60-mm mortar gunner from Buffalo, N.Y.
“They seem more open to us, more willing to accept our support,” he said. “I think people want to help, but they still fear the Taliban.”

When they first arrived, the soldiers were met with steady firefights.

Outgunned, the insurgents changed tactics, deploying more than 30 makeshift bombs since April, especially along the main road that runs from the district center south to COP Baugess and north toward Forward Operating Base Shank, the brigade’s headquarters. Though many struck their targets, soldiers in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles have all survived.

“When we first got to the bazaar, they’d shoot at us from the rooftops. Now, we are surrounded by kids,” said 1st Lt. Scott Davis of Seattle, whose 3rd Platoon has seen the most firefights in Charkh. “People were really skeptical initially. But when you walk up, put your Darth Vader garb and your guns down, there’s a pretty impressive change in the atmospherics.”

When they do get into firefights, the troops seek out residents to explain what happened and make reparations for property damage.

“I really don’t want to shoot anyone in Sheshquela,” Davis told a homeowner after a firefight last week in that northern village. “I want to arrest these guys. If I give you a phone number, will you call so we can come and arrest them without a firefight?”

Davis and others liken the insurgency to street gangs. The Taliban use fear tactics and lure younger teenagers with flashy promises.

A 15-year-old recently arrested for burying roadside bombs said that a man, Mullah Bashir, promised him sneakers and a cell phone, Davis said.
“It’s a lot of punk kids looking for identity and a couple of charismatic leaders,” he said. “They get to be the cool kids around school with the new outfit and cell phone.
“Going around killing kids who plant IEDs for cell phones isn’t going to help anything.”

Gukeisen breaks it down this way: Divided by a river running south to north down through the district, Charkh’s west side is controlled by Los Angeles-like gangs, while east bank insurgents are more mafia-like.

On Saturday, insurgents attacked workers widening the main road, nearly capturing three of them in an apparent attempt to shake down the U.S.-paid contractor, Gukeisen said.

Charkh Police Chief Allah Mohammad Mahsovidi said despite setbacks, he’s encouraged by improving security.

“The government belongs to the civilians and they need to choose their government,” Mahsovidi said.
“The civilians don’t want the Taliban because they are cruel. They’ve been burning schools for four years. ... The Taliban burned the [Malakay High School for Girls] three times.”

In Sheshquela last week, the platoon visited both a mosque and a girls school that needed repairs.

Then gunfire erupted. Twice in the next hour, the troops exchanged fire with insurgents who they said then broke contact and fled, with the soldiers in pursuit through the fields and orchards.

As they stood guard outside the last site of exchange, two men walked gingerly up to the troops.

Davis told the men he needs their help to stop such attacks. But Haji Amir Mahmad, 45, wasn’t so sure.

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

Prayers for our heroes and keep them safe. These guys have so much to deal with, the enemy, CIC they are stuck with and dealing with the people that are not the Taliban but still not sure they want to help our troops or not.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

July 27, 2009

Hillary Not Sure If US Should Be Assassinating Al-Qaeda Members ~ HUH?

Hillary Not Sure If US Should Be Assassinating Al-Qaeda Members

The US assassinated Saad Bin Laden, Osama's son, in a drone missile attack and several other top Al-Qaeda members in the past year.

Where has Hillary been?

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

We have got to have the most idiots in our government then ever before. LOL

Here we have our troops, heroes, giving their all and America is so blessed to have such brave Americans. Then people like Hillary, Obama, Barney Frank, Pelosi etc. What a HUGE difference. The contrast just gets broader by the day.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (6)

Marines at CAMP DWYER, Helmand Province, Afghanistan Build Iwo Jima Memorial

Lance Cpl. William Byrne, left, and Cpl. David Belling, right, field artillery fire controlmen with Regimental Combat Team 3, originally stationed in Okinawa, Japan, built an Iwo Jima memorial at the RCT-3 compound to help motivate and lift the spirits of the Marines and Sailors stationed at Camp Dwyer, Helmand province, Islamic Province of Afghanistan. Photo by Lance Cpl. Daniel Flynn


U.S. Marine Cpl. David Belling uses a saw aboard forward operating base Dwyer, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, July 21. Belling is a fire direction controlman with Regimental Combat Team - 3, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. RCT-3 is deployed in support of the NATO-International Security Alliance Forces counterinsurgency and Afghan national security forces mentoring mission in IRoA.

Marines Build Motivation With Recognizable Image

Story by Lance Cpl. Daniel Flynn 07.25.2009

CAMP DWYER, Helmand Province, Afghanistan

What is needed to get through a combat deployment? Some might say the answer is perseverance, determination and motivation.

Two Marines with Regimental Combat Team 3, deployed here from 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment based in Okinawa, Japan, have gone out of their way to help bring a little bit of motivation to their fellow Marines and Sailors.

Cpl. David Belling and Lance Cpl. William Byrne, field artillery fire control men with RCT-3, built a silhouetted Iwo Jima memorial at the RCT-3 compound here.

This particular memorial depicts one of the most recognizable photographs of World War II, taken by
Joe Rosenthal, of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on the fourth day of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

"I wanted to do what I could to help bring a little bit of motivation and help boost the morale of the Marines," said Belling, who is nine months into his deployment.

They started working on the memorial July 20, and it took about eight hours to complete it.

We worked on the project because we wanted to inspire others by reminding everyone of the history of our Corps, Byrne said.
Throughout the process of building the memorial, Marines and Sailors approached the Marines, shaking their hands and telling them "good job."
"The memorial just signifies what Marines are," said Petty Officer 1st Class Gustavo Ortiz, the religious program specialist with RCT-3. "It is things like this that make it such a privilege to serve with Marines."

In their efforts, Belling and Byrne have left an iconic image of pride and motivation so that those who travel past will remember the sacrifice Marines and Sailors have given.

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

I love it, what a great idea.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:40 AM | Comments (7)

July 26, 2009

Teen Medic Thrives on Aiding Others

Army Spc. Amanda Cleveland, a medic for the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade, describes the importance of pressure in stopping blood loss during first-aid training at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. Cleveland has trained nearly 1,000 soldiers in Task Force Keystone leading up to and during a nine-month deployment to Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Waltz

Army Spc. Amanda Cleveland, a medic for the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade, shows Army Sgt. Seth Cantler how to hold the needle while he “sticks” Army Spc. Christopher Leonard during combat lifesaver training at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Waltz

Teen Medic Thrives on Aiding Others

Army Sgt. James Waltz serves in the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade public affairs office


July 24, 2009

Army Spc. Amanda Cleveland is a self-described simple girl who is "not into drama." But it’s tough for an Army medic to avoid dramatic situations, especially during a deployment to Iraq.

Cleveland’s comrades say it is her ability to consistently help people -- not the drama -- that drives the Williamsport, Pa., native to excel at her job.

Cleveland graduated from high school in 2007 at 17 and immediately took on basic combat training and combat medical school.

"I really wanted to go into the medical field and wasn't sure how I was going to do it," she said. "A recruiter was able to get me into the health care field and give me a $20,000 bonus on top of it."

Cleveland was 18 when her six months of rigorous medical training began. She admits being a bit nervous.

"It was the longest time I had ever been away from my family," she said. "I don't know if I could have graduated if it had not been for a few older friends I had made who shared their previous experiences with me."

While at training, she learned the ins-and-outs of emergency medicine and basic medical skills. She recalled one exercise, which she called "blood lanes."

"We went through these blood lanes where we had to treat mock casualties in a stressful environment," she explained. "It was fast-paced training, and we had to deal with them screaming, among other things."

Cleveland went through similar training at the regional medical training site at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., in preparation for her nine-month deployment here, where she is serving with Task Force Keystone.

Leading up to the three-month, pre-deployment mobilization, she was one of several medics tasked with training 28th Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers in basic combat medical skills. The training allows each soldier to act as a bridge between an emergency and the arrival of a medic -- often the most critical time in ensuring a patient's survival.

Her supervisor, Army Sgt. 1st Class Collin Bowser of Indiana, Pa., said Cleveland is extremely proficient at medical training.

"She has done an excellent job teaching several hundred soldiers the basics of first aid," he said. "And these are mostly soldiers who are novices at this stuff and have minimal medical experience."
Cleveland is humble about her teaching ability, but is quick to acknowledge the importance of it. "I really enjoy teaching, but it's not always easy keeping a student's attention because I'm not a dominating person," she said. "I just keep reminding myself that what I am teaching these soldiers will not only affect them, but also the people they may have to save. I may be helping my students save a life."

Cleveland is the primary instructor of the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade’s first aid refresher course here, which is taught monthly to a rotation of soldiers. When she is not training, she is receiving clinical experience in her unit's medical clinic. She takes vital signs, screens patients, performs asthma treatments and stitches sutures.

During her 12-hour shifts, she uses downtime to write home. Many soldiers here use e-mail, but Cleveland prefers to put pen to paper.

"I like to physically write letters for two reasons. First, some of my family members are technologically impaired," she joked. "But really it just feels more personal. It feels good to have that letter in your hand, knowing there was more time and energy put into it."

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

What a great story about an amzing Army Spc. Amanda Cleveland.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (10)

Australian Army and USMC - Talisman Sabre

Australian DOD

The Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) in Townsville, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Darwin and B Squadron of 3/4 Cavalry Regiment along with combat engineers from the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment in Townsville join our USMC in Afghanistan.

They also will be providing security for Afghan elections next month.

MAJGEN Kelly also said that the expression of the democratic will of the people was a reminder to the Taliban insurgents that there was no place for oppression and intimidation in Afghanistan.

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

God bless these awesome troops and prayers for their safety.

....Thank you Lynette in Australia
for sharing this.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (7)

July 25, 2009

Angelina Jolie In Country With Our Troops Iraq

Angelina Jolie Visiting Troops in Baghdad

Actress and United Nations Good Will Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, spending some time visiting with troops today at the Cross Sabers monument in Baghdad's International Zone. She got a tour of the monument from troops with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team from the 1st Infantry Division. She also posed for pictures with troops from the 301st Chemical Company from the Kentucky National Guard. Jolie has visited Iraq several times to report on refugee camps for the UN High Commissioner for Refugee Camps. She told a military reporter that she is hopeful for the future of Iraq and is always glad to visit with the men and women who serve. Produced by Sgt. Frank Merola


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:49 AM | Comments (9)

In Country Our Troops in Afghanistan

Some News:

Afghan and US forces repelled coordinated Taliban assaults in two major cities in eastern Afghanistan. Suicide bombers armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles attacked government installations and a US base in the cities of Gardez and Jalalabad. Eight Taliban fighters and six Afghan security personnel were reported killed in the failed attacks. In Gardez in Paktia province, six suicide bombers, some wearing the full-length burkas worn by Afghan women, attacked government buildings, including the provincial intelligence office, but were gunned down as they attempted to storm the buildings. ( Bill Riggio)


Pennsylvania Brothers Provide Support From Above

Majs. William and Richard Bartolomea pose in front of a AH-1W Super Cobra, June 12. This is the first time the brothers have been deployed together. Photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Nasso

Story by Lance Cpl. Samuel Nasso Marine Air Group 40

Date: 07.23.2009

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan

Maj. Richard 'Bart' Bartolomea feels at home serving with his brother Bill in a operational environment.

"It's awesome," said Bart. "I brought the board games but haven't had the chance to break them out yet."

The officer-in-charge of the Scan Eagle detachment from Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron-2, Marine Aircraft Group 40, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, Bart was commissioned a Marine officer after earning a bachelor's degree at Pennsylvania State University in 1994.

Bill, known as "Chakka," is the director of the department of safety standardization for Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron-169. He also earned a degree from Penn State, but he graduated in 1995.

Before it all started, the brothers aspired to be professional athletes, like a lot of kids. However, once high school rolled around, Bart had aircraft posters covering his walls and became interested in aviation.

"When I was in high school, 'Top Gun' came out and I imagined what it would be like to be a pilot," said Bart.

The military already had a prominent role in the Bartolomea family. Their father, Richard Bartolomea, and their uncle, James Craft, joined the Marine Corps in 1967. Even though Craft wasn't related to the family at the time, he was a significant influence in why the boys joined the Marine Corps.

"Uncle Jim went to college with our father and encouraged him to join the Corps with him," said Bart, whose father was an infantry officer in Vietnam. "Twenty-six years later, our father retired as a lieutenant colonel, and here we are now in Afghanistan."

So when the time eventually came, the decision to join wasn't too difficult.

"After growing up in Quantico and observing my dad and his friends when I was younger, it was an easy decision when I actually thought about it," said Bill.
"Bill actually knew what he wanted to do," said Bart. "He didn't join because I did; he was enrolled in the Reserve Officers Training Course at Penn State for a while."

With their father working at Penn State as the director of sports camp and managing the ROTC program, it seemed military service was inevitable.

"After I got my degree I wasn't sure what I wanted to do so I went and talked to my father," said Bart. "I told him I didn't really want to pursue journalism and I wanted to go to law school. He told me that I would have to pay for it so that was out of the question. Then he asked me if I ever thought about the Marine Corps."

Both brothers were not only commissioned as Marine Corps officers, they both became pilots.

Bill started flying AH-1W Super Cobras in 1997, and Bart started flying CH-53Ds in the same year. Bart eventually transitioned into flying Cobras 10 years later and transitioned again to fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

"Flying UAVs is neat, but after flying a Cobra there's nothing really like it," said Bart. With different billets but the same line of work, it was just a matter of time until they encountered each other in the fleet.
"It is really cool," said Bart. "One day I was watching a few Cobras complete a mission with our UAVs and later that day I asked my brother if he was flying. He said he was and I told him I watched him with our UAVs. Even though I am not flying Cobras at the moment, I still get to operate with my UAVs and watch my brother fly his Cobra."

This is Bart's first deployment and Bill's fifth. When it comes down to it, the brothers are here to complete their duties as Marines.

"The reason why I am here is to provide air support for the grounds guys," said Bill. "Whether you're a grunt or with (Combat Logistics Battalion) or whatever, our mission is the same: to provide air support for all of our Marines."

The brothers are happy to be deployed at the same time and their families fully support them.

"Our mother was a Marine Corps wife for a while and she helps my wife and Bart's wife when they need anything," said Bill.

Although they may not be working side by side, the 'Bart Brothers' patrol the Helmand skies, flying topcover for MEB-Afghanistan's soldiers below supporting the local population to be freed from intimidation and aggression of insurgents.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM

July 24, 2009

Vietnam Veteran Re-enlists in Iraq

Army Sgt. 1st Class Hershel Mayfield, right, receives his re-enlistment certificate from Army Capt. Irvin Morris at Contingency Operating Site Marez East, Iraq, July 7, 2009. Mayfield has served 39 years in the Army, including 37 with the 158th Maintenance Company of the Alabama Army National Guard. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Martonio Patterson

Vietnam Veteran Re-enlists in Iraq



Army Sgt. 1st Class Hershel L. Mayfield is a Vietnam veteran with 39 years of service. But when he re-enlisted here earlier this month, his mind was on the future and the young people he serves with.

The Tallassee, Ala., native has served 37 years with the 158th Maintenance Company of the Alabama Army National Guard. He recently decided it was time to continue to serve his country for two more years.

"Everything I do today is done with the next generation in mind and how I can influence them to do the same for their nation," Mayfield said.

After serving on active duty in the Army for two years as an infantry soldier, Mayfield joined the Guard and reclassified as a light-wheel vehicle mechanic with a desire to continue serving his country. He said he appreciates the support he’s received throughout his military career from his wife of 30 years and his children.

"It is a way of life, and they've learned to live in it," he said, noting his family has dealt with his absence during three deployments and numerous training events. He was deployed to Vietnam in 1969, Kosovo in 1996, and to Mosul, Iraq, in 2008.
"I joined the military because the base was adjacent to my home, and in order to have freedom, someone has to do the job," he said. "It also provided me with benefits that no other civilian job has."

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

Thank you Sgt. 1st Class Hershel L. Mayfield and your service is appreciated.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (4)

July 23, 2009

‘Flying Tigers’ Take Mission to Afghanistan

Air Staff Sgt. James Irvin performs an air-cycle machine inspection on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, to ensure the A-10 Thunderbolt functions properly, July 20, 2009. Irvin is deployed from the 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Felicia Juenke


A pair of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, get their final weapons check before taking off on a close-air-support mission. The aircraft provide close-air support and airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for U.S. and coalition ground troops. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Lake

‘Flying Tigers’ Take Mission to Afghanistan


July 22, 2009

by Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Jung serves with the 455th Expeditionary Wing public affairs office

American volunteers flying shark-faced P-40 Tomahawks protected China during World War II, and their legacy has become a fixture in the war in Afghanistan.

In homage to the storied airmen of the past, the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., has the iconic shark’s face painted on the front of its A-10 Thunderbolt II's, lovingly nicknamed the "Warthog."

The Warthogs provide daily close-air-support and precision-engagement missions throughout Afghanistan in support of coalition ground forces.

The squadron has had at least two aircraft airborne and providing support to their warrior counterparts on the ground on every day of its deployment. But the 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit keeps the A-10s ready to fly.

"Just like the airmen that defended China in World War II, the 74th AMU is often short on resources, said Air Force Capt. James Schieser, officer in charge of the squadron’s maintenance unit. The maintenance airmen make do with what they have to maintain their aging aircraft, he added. "The strong leadership, dedication and perseverance of our noncommissioned officers, senior noncommissioned officers and officer corps, are what ensure every aircraft is fully mission-capable. The maintainers of the 74th AMU understand, with the Flying Tiger legacy they inherited, failure is not an option."

The Flying Tigers have broken records by flying more than 12,000 mission hours, expending more than 100 tons of ordnance since arriving in February. Sometime, though, all it takes is a show of force to end an engagement.

"We seek to avoid civilian casualties in all our operations - period," said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Victor Castillo, weapons section superintendent. "We have a variety of methods we use, including loading of precision-guided munitions, monthly updates of aircraft digital maps and daily maintenance of our targeting systems to ensure the safety of innocent civilians on the ground."

But when enemy combatants don't flee after a show of force, the Warthog can deliver a precise strike to protect coalition ground forces.

Army Spc. Jason Dorsey, Company C, 178th Infantry, saw firsthand the precision and power of the Warthog.

"The A-10s were a valuable asset to us on ground missions here in Afghanistan,” Dorsey said. “Their speed and precise targeting provided great support for us and kept the bad guys' heads down during firefights."
"We have so many soldiers coming in from the field to thank us - it's their stories of desperately needing air [support] and seeing an A-10 flying overhead providing cover for them that kept us energized and motivated," said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Thomas E. Moore, lead production superintendent for the maintenance unit. "It kept us working hard even when it seemed all we were doing was launching and recovering jets 24/7."

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

I am glad to see they are still around.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (8)

July 21, 2009

Gates Announces Army Being Increased By 22,000

A U.S. Army Soldier calls for an airstrike on the hills surrounding Barge Matal, during Operation Mountain Fire in Afghanistan

Gates announces Army being increased by 22,000



Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today announced plans to add up to 22,000 Soldiers to the U.S. Army's ranks.

The plus-up of active duty troops will take the Army from 547,000 to 569,000 forces in what Gates characterized as a temporary increase of the Army's "end strength" for three fiscal years.

"This is an important and necessary step to ensure that we continue to properly support the needs of our commanders in the field while providing relief for our current force and their families," the secretary told reporters during a Pentagon news conference.
Gates pointed to escalating violence in Afghanistan and an added U.S. presence there, political turmoil in Pakistan and elimination of the so-called "stop-loss" policy of involuntarily extending a soldier's length of service as reasons behind the decision.
"The cumulative effect of these factors is that the Army faces a period where its ability to continue to deploy combat units at acceptable 'fill rates' is at risk," he said. "Based on current deployment estimates, this is a temporary challenge which will peak in the coming year and abate over the course of the next three years."

Some 130,000 American forces are in Iraq and 58,000 are in Afghanistan, where an influx of deploying troops will bring the number to 68,000 by the end of this year, defense officials said.

"These additional forces will be used to ensure that our deploying units are properly manned, and not to create new combat formations," the defense secretary said, adding that the decision was made after consulting with the Army's top military and civilian leadership and with the backing of President Barack Obama.
Gates, who has described the defense budget as "zero sum," said the cost of the Army increase would be absorbed in funding already allocated in the budget for the next two fiscal years.
"We will take that money from someplace that isn't as high a priority as [adding] more Soldiers and taking some additional steps to relieve the stress on the force," he said. "This is a very high priority."

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared alongside Gates today, and also weighed in on the decision.

"I've grown increasingly concerned over the last year and a half about stress on the force and our ability to meet the demands out there," he said. "This temporary increase helps us address that concern. It will also help us get a better handle on [time at home between deployments] and boost the number of people we can deploy with the capabilities our commanders most need."

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

If he is going to add more troops, please God make him add more funding for the things they need. The way Obama is doing things this is insane to make cut backs to funding for our military.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (10)

July 20, 2009

Judges Don't Belong on the Battlefield

Judges Don't Belong on the Battlefield

Recent decisions have altered the way we're fighting in Afghanistan.

The Wall Street Journal

by David B. Rivkin, Jr., and Lee A. Casey

Earlier this year, a Washington D.C.-based federal court extended the constitutional right to habeas corpus to three foreign nationals detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The case, Maqaleh v. Gates, represents yet another step in the federal judiciary's transformation from Alexander Hamilton's "least dangerous branch" into a fully active policy maker.

Historically, the constitutional right to habeas corpus -- an ancient process permitting prisoners to challenge the legality of their confinement -- was available only to individuals present in the U.S., or to American citizens held by federal authorities overseas. In a leading World War II case, Johnson v. Eisentrager (1950), the high court decided, with "bright line rules," that habeas corpus is unavailable to foreign citizens held outside the U.S.

But last year, the high court reversed itself in Boumediene v. Bush. The court held, by a 5-4 vote, that foreign nationals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, also have a right to habeas corpus. Articulating a new, multifactor test for determining who can receive habeas corpus overseas, the court left open the possibility that aliens detained at any U.S. controlled foreign facility could sue the government for their release.

In Maqaleh the court concluded that three detainees, held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, but actually captured in other countries, have habeas corpus rights under the U.S. Constitution. It reasoned that permitting the president to move captured enemies from one location to another without judicial review would simply give the executive too much power.

What really is at stake is whether the president's actions overseas -- especially in military operations -- are to be subject to judicial supervision. In this light, the courts have never been so bold. Although the Maqaleh court denied it, the premise of its decision is that the Constitution permits judicial involvement in all U.S. actions abroad. While this particular ruling involves habeas rights in Afghanistan, there is in fact no principled limitation on the court's reasoning. The real test in any particular case is whether a federal judge believes the president is operating with insufficient constraints on his authority.

This new state of play has already affected U.S. military operations. American special forces, have now limited their activities in the Afghan-Pakistan border region -- where al Qaeda and the Taliban are now most active -- to avoid claims by enemy fighters that they were captured outside of Afghanistan, in Pakistan.

If those enemy fighters were captured outside of Afghanistan, then according to the Maqaleh decision, they are eligible for habeas relief. This provides a strategic sanctuary for Pakistan-based enemy operatives, who are now effectively immune from U.S. ground attacks.

This is obviously not the first time the courts have overstepped their proper constitutional bounds, seeking a political role for themselves. Notorious examples include the Supreme Court's efforts to preserve slavery in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) and its determination to oppose federal economic regulation during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. In each case, the judges have eventually been strong-armed back, through the force of the public opinion and political pressures, to a more appropriate role.

The sooner this process begins, the better. A good first step would be some questions for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor by the Senate. Senate members should determine her views on the proper role of judges in reviewing U.S. military operations overseas.

Justice Robert Jackson, writing in the Eisentrager case, explained why foreign enemies should not have access to American courts. "It would be difficult to devise more effective fettering of a field commander than to allow the very enemies he is ordered to reduce to submission to call him to account in his own civil courts and divert his efforts and attention from the military offensive abroad to the legal defensive at home." The question is: Does Ms. Sotomayor agree?

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

The Supreme Court's disastrous Boumediene decision is giving terrorists cover in Afghanistan. Why oh why can't everyone that is not boots on the ground Generals, our troops etc. stay out of how our troops are fighting this war.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (12)

Checking in With Our Military

Army Staff Sgt. Larry Kazmierzak, 3-338th Aviation National Guard Unit, is accompanied by his twin daughters, Ashley and Kari Kazmierzak, at Forward Operating Base Diamond Back, Mosul, recently. The Kazmierzaks, who are deployed with the same unit and work in the same department, are on a one-year deployment to Iraq. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Carmichael Yepez, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs.

U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Sommer, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, attracts local kids while giving out pens as leaders meet with a shaykh near Abu Asif, June 25. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Neil Stanfield.


U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum Virtual Tour

In June, CannonArtillery.com attended the 2009 Fires Seminar and Trade Expo. While there, Gordon A. Blaker, director and curator of the new U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum, was kind enough to show the CannonArtillery.com team around 234 years worth of Army artillery artifacts. View this week's video featuring the experimental mule-cannon display below.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (4)

July 19, 2009

UPDATE About Captured American Soldier ( VIDEO)

In case you missed it on July 2nd, I posted this:

US: American Soldier Captured in Afghanistan

That same day I also post this: ( note the name Haqqani network, it will be in the article further down as to who might have our captured soldier)

Haqqani Network In Afghanistan
Haqqani network, the most deadly US foe in Afghanistan. All are members of Afghanistan's most lethal group, the Haqqani network, a shadowy outfit that many officials consider to be the biggest threat to the American presence in the country. The network is better connected to Pakistani intelligence and Arab jihadist groups than any other Afghan insurgent group, according to American intelligence officials.

This video frame grab taken from a Taliban propaganda video released Saturday, July 18, 2009 shows an American soldier who went missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan June 30 and was later confirmed captured. The soldier, whose identity has not yet been confirmed by the Pentagon pending notification of members of Congress and the soldier's family, says his name, age and hometown on the video, which was released Saturday on a Web site pointed out by the Taliban. Two U.S. defense officials confirmed to The Associated Press that the man in the video is the captured soldier.
(AP Photo/Militant Video)


AP sources: Taliban video shows captive US soldier

The American soldier who went missing June 30 from his base in eastern Afghanistan and was later confirmed to have been captured, appeared on a video posted Saturday to a Web site by the Taliban, two U.S. defense officials said.

The soldier is shown in the 28-minute video with his head shaved and the start of a beard. He is sitting and dressed in a nondescript, gray outfit. Early in the video one of his captors holds the soldier's dog tag up to the camera. His name and ID number are clearly visible. He is shown eating at one point and sitting on a bed.

The soldier, whose identity has not yet been released by the Pentagon pending notification of members of Congress and the soldier's family, says his name, age and hometown on the video, which was released Saturday on a Web site pointed out by the Taliban. Two U.S. defense officials confirmed to The Associated Press that the man in the video is the captured soldier.

The soldier said the date is July 14. He says he was captured when he lagged behind on a patrol.

He is interviewed in English by his captors, and he is asked his views on the war, which he calls extremely hard, his desire to learn more about Islam and the morale of American soldiers, which he said was low.

Asked how he was doing, the soldier said on the video:

"Well I'm scared, scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner."

He begins to answer questions in a matter-of-fact and sober voice, occasionally facing the camera, looking down and sometimes looking to the questioner on his left.

He later chokes up when discussing his family and his hope to marry his girlfriend.

"I have my girlfriend, who is hoping to marry," he said. "I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America. And I miss them every day when I'm gone. I miss them and I'm afraid that I might not ever see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again and I'll never be able to hug them."

He is also prompted his interrogators to give a message to the American people.

"To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it's like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home," he said. "Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country. Please bring us home. It is America and American people who have that power."

The video is not a continuous recording — it appears to stop and start during the questioning.

It is unclear from the video whether the July 14 date is authentic. The soldier says that he heard that a Chinook helicopter carrying 37 NATO troops had been shot down over Helmand. A helicopter was shot down in southern Afghanistan on July 14, but it was carrying civilians on a reported humanitarian mission for NATO forces. All six Ukrainian passengers died in the crash, and a child on the ground was killed.

On July 2, the U.S. military said an American soldier had disappeared after walking off his base in eastern Afghanistan with three Afghan counterparts and was believed to have been taken prisoner. A U.S. defense official said the soldier was noticed missing during a routine check of the unit on June 30 and was first listed as "duty status whereabouts unknown."

Details of such incidents are routinely held very tightly by the military as it works to retrieve a missing or captured soldier without giving away any information to captors.

But Afghan Police Gen. Nabi Mullakheil said the soldier went missing in eastern Paktika province near the border with Pakistan from an American base. The region is known to be Taliban-infested.

The most important insurgent group operating in that area is known as Haqqani network and is led by warlord Siraj Haqqani, whom the U.S. has accused of masterminding beheadings and suicide bombings including the July 2008 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul that killed some 60 people. The Haqqani group also was linked to an assassination attempt on Afghan president Hamid Karzai early last year.

On Saturday, a U.S. military official in Kabul, Col. Greg Julian, said the U.S. was "still doing everything we can to return him safely."
Julian said U.S. troops had distributed two flyers in the area where the soldier disappeared. One of them asked for information on the missing soldier and offered a $25,000 reward for his return. The other said "please return our soldier safely" or "we will hunt you," according to Julian.

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

I wish Obama would let our military be unleashed, and the rules of engagement, and the terrorists’ so-called miranda rights, need to be tossed in the trash. Our foreign policy needs to follow this philosophy: Those that don’t love us must respect us; those that don’t respect us must fear us. The taliban fall in to the last category; fear will come when a bunker-buster sends them to their 72 virgins in hell.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (8)

July 17, 2009

Navy F18 Streaks Past Apartment Building

A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet crew got permission for a low-level demonstration flight, as part of the opening ceremony for a speedboat race on the Detroit River, last weekend. This is what it looked like, for Motor City residents.

[Photo: AP/The Detroit News, Steve Perez. Originally spotted at the Daily Mail]

Now that's what I call a fly-past: US Navy F18 streaks past apartment block

This is the moment a a US Navy pilot gave a shocked resident a very close look at his F18. The fighter/bomber streaked past an apartment block on the banks of the Detroit River at the weekend.

It was part of a tactical demonstration fly-past to open a speedboat race in the North American city.

Officials waived rules to allow the Navy flyers to swoop under 100ft along the waterway

One resident said: 'I couldn't believe how low they flew and how close they came to our building - I'm sure the pilot waved at me.'

The jets had flown in from the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia to put on a spectacular show for thousands of spectators.

The Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Gold Cup race was won by speedboat ace Dave Villcock.

'We danced with the devil at every turn,' said Villwock, 55, who demolished the field on his way to his seventh Gold Cup win.
'We were either going to win it big or lose it big.'
He couldn't match the F15s for speed, although his average of 141mph for the five-lap final remained impressive.

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

Totally cool, I would love to have been the person standing on the balcony. heh heh

How fantastic is that!

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (6)

In Country Afghanistan

The Department of Defense announced today the deployment of two units to Afghanistan.

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, from Fort Campbell, Ky., and the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Vicenza, Italy, have been alerted to replace forces currently deployed in Afghanistan, in order to maintain the capabilities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, will deploy with approximately 3,800 troops to Afghanistan in late fall 2009. The 173rd Brigade Combat Team, with approximately 3,700 troops, will deploy to Afghanistan in the winter of 2009-2010. Both units will conduct the full spectrum of combat operations.

The United States continues to be NATO-ISAF’s largest troop contributor, and remains committed to leading the offensive in counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan, training and equipping the Afghan national security forces and assisting with reconstruction. Force levels in Afghanistan are conditions-based and will be determined in consultation with the Afghan government and NATO.


Army Capt. Christian Lightsey, of Jacksonville, Fla., looks out over the village of Sarhani during a patrol, June 30th. Lightsey, and fellow Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, have been patrolling Afghanistan’s volatile Kunar Province since arriving in early January. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew C. Moeller, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Gun Battle During Operation Mountain Fire in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan

A U.S. Army Soldier with 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, fires at anti-Afghanistan forces attacking from the hills surrounding the remote village of Barge Matal during Operation Mountain Fire in Afghanistan's Nuristan province, July 12. During the operation, U.S. and Afghan national security forces quickly secured the tiny mountain village, which was overwhelmed by AAF several days prior.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:40 AM | Comments (5)

July 16, 2009

Pentagon Won't Ban War-zone Smoking

Tour of Duty, " Born To Be Wild " by Steppenwolf

War is not golf Obama, you don't get creidt for allowing our troops to smoke now if they want to, you should have put a stop to the ban to begin with. ~ Wild Thing

Pentagon won't ban war-zone smoking, despite study


Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

The Pentagon reassured troops Wednesday that it won't ban tobacco products in war zones. Defense officials hadn't actually planned to eliminate smoking — at least for now. But fear of a ban arose among some troops after the Defense Department received a study recommending the military move toward becoming tobacco-free — perhaps in about 20 years.

An advocacy group, however, is strongly condemning the push by Pentagon health experts to ban the use of tobacco by troops and end sales of tobacco products on military property. Brian Wise, executive director of Military Families United, decried even the discussion of such a ban.

"With all the issues facing our military today and the risks our troops take to protect our freedom, banning smoking should not even be on the radar screen," Wise said in a written statement Wednesday.
"Nobody doubts the effects of smoking, but it is not an illegal substance and should not be banned," he said. "Our troops make enough sacrifices to serve our nation. They give up many of the freedoms civilians enjoy already without being told they cannot partake in yet another otherwise legal activity. Perhaps more than anything, smoking in the field is more about comfort and coping with an often hostile environment."

Press secretary Geoff Morrell pointedly told a Pentagon news conference that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is not planning to prohibit the use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco or other tobacco products by troops in combat.

"He knows that the situation they are confronting is stressful enough as it is," Morrell said, noting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I don't think he is interested in adding to the stress levels by taking away one of the few outlets they may have to relieve stress."

Criticism of the proposals spread across the Internet and among troops.

"Our troops make enough sacrifices to serve our nation," said Brian Wise, executive director of the advocacy group Military Families United. "They give up many of the freedoms civilians enjoy already without being told they cannot partake in yet another otherwise legal activity."
Spc. Charles Rodriguez, 23, said he started smoking long before he joined the Army and that his pack-a-day habit doesn't affect his physical fitness.

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

The idea that they are even considering this speaks volumes as to how they don't have a clue about combat. Or if they do could care less about our troops.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (10)

July 13, 2009

Obama Orders Review of Alleged Slayings of Taliban During Bush Era vs. Horse Soldiers

Obama orders review of alleged slayings of Taliban in Bush era


Obama has ordered national security officials to look into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA-backed Afghan warlord over the killings of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001.

"The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention," Obama told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview during the president's visit to Ghana. The full interview will air 10 p.m. Monday, tonight.
"So what I've asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known, and we'll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all of the facts gathered up," Obama said.

The inquiry stems from the deaths of at least 1,000 Taliban prisoners who had surrendered to the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in late 2001.

The fighters were in the custody of troops led by Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a prominent Afghan warlord who has served as chief of staff of the country's post-Taliban army.

Dostum, a former communist union boss and militia leader who fought against the U.S.-backed mujahedeen in the 1980s, is known for switching sides as Afghanistan's political conflict has evolved. When the United States invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, Dostum sided with the Americans and received military and CIA support to battle the Taliban.

At the time, the Boston, Massachusetts-based group Physicians for Human Rights said it found a mass grave in nearby Dasht-e Leili, where witnesses said the bodies of Taliban prisoners were buried. The finding prompted U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, who led the invasion of Afghanistan, to support an investigation into the allegations.

But The New York Times, citing government officials and human rights organizations, reported Friday that the Bush administration "repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode."
When asked by CNN about whether Obama would support an investigation, the president replied, "I think that, you know, there are responsibilities that all nations have, even in war. And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that."

If you have read Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan you will be outraged by the statement that Obama intends to investigate the actions of General Dostum in the death of 1,000 Taliban prisoners, while also investigating the Bush administrations unwillingness to press charges of some sort at the time.

You may not know, but Dostum is a colorful General in the Northern Alliance, working on various sides of various issues and often for himself, as warlords do. This event is with respect to the prison riot that erupted after the Taliban started to collapse in the fall of 2001. That is the prison riot where an American CIA agent was killed by the Taliban prisoners.

For background, a small team of US special forces and CIA agents went into Afghanistan in the fall of 2001, right after 9-11 and teamed with what was left of the northern alliance (Dostum and others) to take down the Taliban. They fought against the Taliban in some of the most unconventional ways - taking on Taliban Tanks while Dostum's guys and CIA were on horse back, calling in JDAM GPS guided weapons from B52s built in the 60's, using a satellite hand held radio. Special Forces, CIA, and the Northern Alliance did what the Russians had failed to do, take over Afghanistan. And they did it in months.

Franks and others had wanted to delay 6 months and deploy 50k-100k troops to do what these guys accomplished in a short time before winter came. Under the Franks plan thousands more would have died, on both sides.

The Horse Soldiers, as they were called, exhibited the best traits, true American spirit, working closely and respectfully with local leaders like Dostum to adapt to the regional realities. The book contrasts the success in Afghanistan to the difficulties in Iraq, where our policies were less integrated with regional politics and realities. Afghanistan and taught us that working with marginal characters like Dostum is a lesson in respecting others. Isn't it Obama that keeps telling us to think about other people and their cultures? I suspect the Bush team understood that, and that's why Bush did not investigate the deaths related to the prison riot in greater detail.

So the prison story goes a bit like this...

There are two types of Taliban, Afghan and non Afghan. When an Afghan Taliban gives up he pledges allegiance to the Northern Alliance, and won't switch sides unless there is some other lost battle. The non Afghan Taliban will never surrender. So, Dostum beat the hell out of a key Taliban leader on the battle field. The Taliban surrendered. So Dostum had to take the radicalized non-Afghan Taliban and stick them in a prison (Because its easy to find a prision for 1,000 people in the middle of a bombed out country). The Afghan Taliban were all let go after pledging allegiance to Dostum. Well it appears, this surrender was actually a ploy of sorts. The non-afghan Taliban prisioners all kept their weapons (long story, read the book). And after some time staged an uprising to take over the prision. Dostum was not fully prepared. His troops shot their machine guns from the prison turrets and killed hundreds of prisioners, but they kept coming. The Taliban had no intention of surrendeirng. The fight lasted several days. Ultimately they had the last of the Taliban cornered in a lower level, pooring kerosene in to burn them out. When that did not work they redirected an irrigation system to flood them out. Something like 35, of more than 1,000 killed, were still alive and surrendered. One of those was that jerk John Walker Lynn.

This was a war. Dostum is a questionable character, but in a Jack Bauer kind of way. Hell Jack was probably there.

More importantly, if you listen to the guys who were in the book, you get a much better insight into what wars of the future might be like and how we need to work with local factions to achieve victory without putting 100k troops at risk. This is a dumb investigation. It works against the the lessons from the battle. Some things should just never be investigated. There is no way to judge the actions of someone in the battlefield 8 years after the fact. And for those that talk about civil rights, what about the rights of the 10,000 troops that would have died through a conventional American invasion?

I suspect there are other reasons for the investigation, as a matter of fact all the new investigations (Dostum, CIA, unwarranted this or that). If your poll numbers start going down, take on the the other guy (Bush) and start blaming him. Economy not doing well, can't blame Bush its the Obama plan. But you can go after Bush about war Crimes.


Wild Thing's comment......

Obama has lost what little mind he has if he’s even thinking of a prosecution about this. Obama to stir up a “war crimes” is bad enough and WRONG, then add in that the surge he just ordered has just begun and our brave men are dying over there mostly because of his ROE not to shoot at the Taliban if one civilian could be hit. When we know the Taliban hide behind them, dress in Burqas and hide among children and in homes of civilians. He is also giving the Taliban a morale boost and some propganda support on top of that!

With declining poll numbers threatening his governmental take over of our country and all of it's citizens lives, he props himself the only way he knows how, which is by attacking President Bush. And he chooses to villainize and stigmatize the one group of Americans he and Bill Ayers so jealously hate...our precious U.S. Military.

Obama doesn't have a clue what war is, what our military go through, sacrifice, put up with, are in danger every second 24/7. Not a clue!!! This would fall under his BIGGEDT apology ever in the sickest way possible. Next Obama will be calling for NATIONAL Day of Mourning for fallen Taliban by U.S. Forces. And what the hell is wrong with killing the Taliban anyway!

Dostum may be a questionable character, but he, the CIA, and our awesome Special Ops guys did what had to be done. This investigation is nothing but cover for the Obama Admin.

The fall of the Taliban government in Kabul to the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan was a fantastic achievement for our Special Forces, Bush /Cheney ( I still think Cheney had a lot to do with it in the background he is a take no prisoner kind of guy) and Rumsfeld.

The media was doing their propaganda machine on it and mostly only wanted to point out they still did not get Bin Laden.

* What you can do for your country

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (13)

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare Sails To Western And Central Africa

The Portsmouth, Va.,-based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare sails past Naval Station Norfolk, July 1, en route western and central Africa. Under the direction of the commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Legare will support the Navy's 6th Fleet by serving as the primary APS platform, conducting activities and exchanges that bolster maritime safety and security as part of an ongoing support mission made up of multinational governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Photo by Lt. Rob Wyman


Wild Thing's comment.....

Saw this photo and loved it. I sat here for a little while just looking at it, beautiful I think. Love our Coast Guard!

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (3)

U.S. Air Force Rescue Aids in 'Golden Hour' Recovery

As dust kicks up from the rotor wash of an HH-60G Pave Hawk, Senior Airman Clint Lentz, pararescueman with the 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, prepares for the landing June 26, Hemland province, Afghanistan. Airman Lentz and the rest of the crew are responding to a medevac request to aid personnel conducting combat operations further down range.

From the side of an HH-60G Pave Hawk, Senior Airman Noah Landwerlen, pararescueman with the 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, watches for any potential dangers prior to landing June 26, Hemland province, Afghanistan. Airman Lentz and the rest of the crew are responding to a medevac request to aid personnel conducting combat operations further down range.

Staff Sgt. William Lawson, pararescueman with the 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, comforts a wounded Afghan national army soldier, Hemland province, Afghanistan. Lawson will provide care to the injured soldier until they can safely deliver him to a hospital.

U.S. Air Force Rescue Aids in 'Golden Hour' Recovery of Coalition Forces

by Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary

Racing against the clock, rescue flights launch into action to retrieve wounded service members and other battlefield casualties. As the helicopters hover over a hostile area, the Guardian Angel team rushes out to retrieve the wounded - often risking their own lives "so that others may live."

The 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron here responds to emergency medical evacuation calls within Helmand province. The detachment covers the dual role of providing casualty evacuation and personnel recovery/combat search and rescue in the Helmand province. They support Regional Command South, responding to calls for U.S. and coalition forces as well as Afghan national security forces and local nationals.

"As Air Force rescue crews, we use our personnel recovery and combat search and rescue skill-set to conduct CASEVAC quicker and better than anyone in theater," said Maj. Matt Wenthe, 129th ERQS detachment commander.

The rescue squadron is made up of more than 60 personnel and HH-60G Pave-Hawks. The rescue flight consists of two helicopters, each with a pilot, co-pilot, aerial gunner, flight engineer and two pararescuemen or combat rescue officers.

The Air Force rescue teams hold true to their motto: Those things we do so that others may live. They are often identified through the Jolly Green Giant patches seen worn on their right shoulders.

"Our entire mindset is to bring an emergency medical platform, combined with offensive security capability, to the site for quick and successful extraction of those who need us," Wenthe said.

The area has recently seen an increase of insurgent activity as more coalition forces are moved into Afghanistan. As such, more calls come over the radio requesting rapid recovery of injured servicemembers, or innocent bystanders in locations that are extremely hostile. This type of mission demands a response team specialized in rapid insertion to and egress from aggressive and risky environments.

"The CSAR mission requires us to train going into hostile environments," the major said. "That training allows us to execute medical evacuations in areas other units cannot get into."

The rescue crews are trained to extract personnel in any environment.

"We can go into any mission-set to recover someone, regardless of the terrain," said Capt. John, 129th ERQS CRO. "Whether they are Marines entrapped in an MRAP [mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle] or hanging from a 10,000 ft. cliff, my men can get to them and get them to safety."

The rescue teams must remain on high alert during their 12-hour shifts. When a medical report drops, the teams need to be ready immediately.

"Things happen quick and the men have to be ready to move at a moment's notice," Wenthe said. "Our guys can be asleep or playing video games and 15 minutes later, flying into a hot zone recovering a seriously injured Soldier."

As per Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, teams need to respond within 60 minutes from the time a 9-Line medical alert drops, to wheels down and transferring a patient to a higher level of medical care - a concept commonly referred to as the "Golden Hour."

"Speed is what's saving lives," the major said. "Getting the Soldiers who are injured picked up quickly and to the higher care they need. If we are able to get to someone within the 'Golden Hour,' then survival is pretty certain for someone."

Recently, a Marine on a foot patrol in the Helmand province was seriously injured from the blast of an improvised explosive device.

"If our CSAR guys hadn't gotten to the Marine when they did and start medical care on him, he wouldn't have survived - it's that simple," said Capt. Jac Solghan, Camp Bastion Role 3 Hospital Aeromedical Evacuation Liaison Team flight clinical coordinator. "Following the 'Golden Rule' is giving people a chance who otherwise would have had none and [the CSAR] guys are giving us that hope for survival. Without them, countless people would now be dead."

Constantly on the move, the teams receive upwards of five calls per shift. They respond to all types of calls requiring care for anyone affected by the war.

"Per our creed, our role is to save a life in any condition," the CRO said. "With so many customers on the line who need our help, it's not a burden but a welcome opportunity to go out there and help the people who need us most. Through our men, lives are being saved. There's no better reward than knowing someone will get to go home alive."

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

Wow, God bless these awesome people.......thank God for each one of them.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:44 AM | Comments (1)

USS Ronald Reagan Launches First Sorties in Relief of USS Eisenhower

USS Ronald Reagan Launches First Sorties in Relief of USS Eisenhower


The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group relieved the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group today in command of Task Force 50 and launched its first sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 14 departed the decks of the strike group's flagship, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, bound for Afghanistan to support coalition ground forces.

"I'm excited to get this started, because in essence, what we're doing is saving American and coalition lives," said Navy Capt. Kenneth Norton, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer. "The Eisenhower strike group did a fantastic job in theater, and we're ready to continue that level of support. We have a lot of experience on board Ronald Reagan and with the air wing. Our crew knows how to execute this mission effectively."

While Ronald Reagan and Carrier Air Wing 14 are returning to a mission they performed a year ago, they understand that conditions in Afghanistan have changed, officials said, with stricter guidelines in place to minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage in Afghanistan.

Navy Rear Adm. Scott Hebner, the strike group's commander, said the group's more than 7,500 sailors are eager to carry out their mission.
"Our sailors are focused and serious-minded about what is ahead," he said. "They know the Navy and our country is counting on them. They are ready to demonstrate their impressive capabilities across the spectrum of our maritime strategy."

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group had operated in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations since March.

"Our preparations last fall allowed us to deliver exactly what the fleet commander asked for: persistent U.S. naval power in perfect partnership with our joint and coalition partners [and] delivering security and stability for the good of all mariners in this vital area of the world," said Navy Rear Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, commander of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.

Eisenhower's embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 7, flew more than 2,000 sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Ships of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group also were vital in counter-piracy operations, including the USS Bainbridge's direct role in the rescue of Richard Phillips, captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama.

"I am extremely proud of the 4,500 men and women on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. They have performed magnificently this entire deployment," said Navy Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, Eisenhower's commanding officer. "They supported coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan with utmost professionalism while providing regional security and stability. Without question, their service made a difference."

USS Ronald Reagan is joined by the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville. Other Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group ships will support maritime security operations while deployed to the region. The guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur, USS Howard and USS Gridley and the guided-missile frigate USS Thach will help to deter destabilizing activities and ensure a lawful maritime order in the Persian Gulf, Persian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, officials said.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is on a routine deployment to the region. Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations are focused on reassuring regional partners of the U.S. commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity, officials said.

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

I love that they are out there, Land, sea and air, all of it protecting us and working together to absolutely positively destroy every breathing terrorist.......... well that would be great! heh heh

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

July 12, 2009

Obama Cuts Funding For Gear and Armored Vests & Armored Vehicles


White House cuts funding for (Soldier) gear (Armored vests & armored vehicles)

Stars and Stripes


House lawmakers on Thursday blasted a White House decision not to provide money next fiscal year for upgrades to combat-worn equipment, and promised a fight to put billions back into the defense budget.

The House version of the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill already contains about $20 billion for the repair of equipment worn down by desert conditions and purchase of new gear to replace items destroyed in combat. About $11 billion of the total is for the Army alone.

But that’s down more than $2 billion from previous years’ requests, and doesn’t include any funds for things like vehicle armor improvements, new communications equipment or other upgrades.

Officials from the Office of Management and Budget said money for those improvements will come from the Army’s base budget, and not from the extra overseas contingency funds meant to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli said Tuesday that the directive outlining the funding change effectively cuts any such recapitalization work next year.
"For the most part, adding on upgrades to equipment won’t be allowed in FY2010," he said. "I think it makes a lot of sense to upgrade when we can. But the new rules are that we can’t do that."

In a statement OMB officials said the move "is part of a long-overdue attempt to rationalize how the Administration requests funding for war, versus non-war programs, forces and activities."

But news of the policy upset lawmakers, who said they were unaware of any limits on equipment reset for next year and were concerned about shortchanging the services.

"If we’re going to do this on the basis of ... a budget number, as opposed to our obligation to provide what [the services] need, then I have a real dilemma here," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii. "I can’t say we’re giving a number that really provides for the military’s necessity."

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., said OMB may have overstepped its boundaries in the directive by limiting how the reset fund can be spent, and said he believes the Army and Marine Corps should receive the money they need for critical readiness upgrades next year.

OMB officials did not provide comment by deadline, but service officials confirmed the overseas contingency operations directive was provided to the Pentagon as part of the budget process earlier this year.

Congress has authorized nearly $70 billion for reset and upgrades of equipment since 2006, money that doesn’t include funds to fast-track production of combat necessities like Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles.

Army and Marine Corps officials have said throughout that shortfalls in equipment and repair funding would not endanger troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, since they’re constantly supplied with the best-conditioned vehicles and gear available.

But units training in the States, or those in noncombat units based overseas, have been stuck with older equipment and faced shortfalls in getting up-to-date training equipment.

Chiarelli said he’s confident the $11 billion the Army requested for fiscal 2010 — about $8 billion for logistics costs and depot maintenance, and $3 billion for procurement and repair — is enough to keep missions and training operating smoothly.

"We are able with the funds available to reset equipment," he said. "We understand the tremendous fiscal crisis our country has gone through. As long as we can reset our equipment, we understand that because of fiscal requirements it may be in the best interest of our country as a whole to cut back on recapitalization."

The Marine Corps is expected to receive about $2 billion in reset funds, and the National Guard and Reserve another $7 billion.


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

The RATS need all of those funds to push their commie agenda. Obama and the left have no respect for the troops or their families

They are determined to destroy our military and to leave them minimally equipped right in the MIDDLE of a war with 2 fronts.These people are systematically deconstructing America. Damn the traitors Obama really is evil. Debilitating our military while at war with radical Islamic jihadists is NOT a good idea. TREASON!

So this means the troops themselves will have to buy the armor gear for themselves out of their pockets. OMG!

Obama is putting our Troops in harm’s way.......on purpose. OBAMA how can you do this, PLEASE stop messing with our troops!!!!!

Muslim breath Barack Hussein Obama military policy so far:

* Miranda Rights for Terrorists / Terrorists Captured on Battlefield Have Constitutional Rights (Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said that the Obama administration's policy of reading Miranda rights to terrorists captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan is "outrageous." )
* Gays ask and tell
* Fight Taliban with hands tied
* Don’t shoot back at Taliban Terrorists!
* And don’t bother the women and men in burqas!
* Cancel F-22 and Missile Defense
* Watch out for the Poppy Fields, don't disturb the poppies
* Implement ban on smoking who cares how slow they do it the fact it is in the works is anti-troops
* Cancel Body armor and vehicle funding.

Soooooo what is next, tanks made of plastic or something????

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (16)

Senior Airman Nicholas Barker Defuses Commercial Airline Incident

Col. Thomas Kauth, Logistics Assessment Branch chief, presents Senior Airman Nicholas Barker, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, a certificate of appreciation for his excellence during Dover Air Force Base’s Logistics Standardization and Evaluation Program inspection. Two months later, Barker showed his excellence again by subduing an irate man on an international commercial flight. U.S. Air Force photo by Tom Randle

Face of Defense: Airman Defuses Commercial Airline Incident

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kevin Wallace, Special to American Forces Press Service


June 29, 2009

It was enough to make even the calmest airline passengers nervous: an irate man pacing the aisles of a commercial flight shouting, “I want to slit the captain’s throat!”

However, in the face of this peril on a June 9 U.S. borne flight to Italy, a Dover mechanic came to the rescue.

Though Senior Airman Nicholas Barker, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, looked like the many other passengers, by the end of the flight it was apparent he was different – he was a hero.

Barker was headed to Naples, where he was to report for maintenance readiness training. However, fate had a different plan for the crew chief that day and he soon found himself in a perilous situation, strong-arming and securing an enraged man speaking Italian.

“He was pacing up and down the aircraft almost as he was looking for something,” explained the Plymouth, Mich., native. “I wasn’t the only person to notice his strange behavior. People all around were looking at him as if he was drunk and the crew was trying to calm him down.”

Since Barker doesn’t speak Italian, he did not know the severity of the situation at first, but recalled the state of affairs leading up to his intervention.

“The aircraft’s captain came to our section of the plane to try to get the guy back to his seat,” Barker said. “One of the flight attendants looked at me and said, ‘We may need your help.’”

Barker stood up, but the situation seemed to calm and the passenger seemed to be heading to his seat. Barker returned to his seat as well. A little while later, a voice came over the airliner’s public announcement system asking if anyone had law enforcement or military training.

Barker made his way to the rear of the plane to see what he could do to help. What he found in the plane’s rear was the same guy, more irate than before, saying he hoped the engine would catch fire and that he wanted to slit the captain’s throat. The situation required immediate action.

“A crew member handed me a pair of plastic hand cuffs,” Barker recalled. “As I began to walk over to the passenger, he saw the cuffs and started to resist. I then gave the cuffs to a flight attendant so that I could restrain him.”

Barker, along with the many other passengers that day, found themselves in a situation that could have gone downhill fast. Barker knew he had to act.

“I grabbed the guy’s forearm, put my elbow into his shoulder and held him by his throat,” he explained. “I wasn’t choking him, but applying enough pressure that he knew I could if I needed.”

With the man subdued, a flight attendant was able to cuff his hands and feet. After that, Barker situated the man upright in his seat, buckled him in, and tied his cuffs to his seat belt. After he was secure in his restraints, Barker returned to his seat near the front of the aircraft.

It soon became apparent that the man was trying to free himself from his restraints, and Barker was summoned again.

“I just took a seat adjacent to him to keep an intimidating eye on him – it kept him calm,” he said. There was not any more trouble for the remainder of the flight.

Afterward, Barker reflected on his training and the fact that being in the military gave him a leg up in the situation.

“Servicemembers know to not freeze up under pressure,” said Barker, adding that most servicemembers willingly sacrifice their safety for that of others. “I didn't have time to think. I knew this guy was a possible threat and this just had to be done.”

The 436th AMXS commander, Maj. Stephanie Halcrow, was not surprised by Barker’s actions.

In fact, excellence seems to be a Barker trademark. He was recognized by Air Mobility Command’s Logistics Standardization and Evaluation Program inspection team for his superior performance during an April inspection.

Halcrow reacted to Barker’s recent heroism in five simple words, “Senior Airman Barker – our hero!”

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

Thank you Senior Airman Nicholas Barker.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (8)

July 11, 2009

‘Camouflage Angel’ Spends Last Moments With U.S. Combat Casualties

Army Sgt. Jennifer Watson, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the Casualty Liaison Team at Joint Base Balad, stands in Hero's Highway. Each patient brought via helicopter to the Air Force Theater Hospital passes through Hero's Highway. Watson, a native of Peru, Ind., is deployed here from Fort Campbell, Ky. Photo by Staff Sgt. Dilia Ayala, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing.


‘Camouflage Angel’ Spends Last Moments With U.S. Combat Casualties


By Staff Sgt. Dilia Ayala, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing

The emergency-room trauma call and the medical staff's immediate action upon his arrival is only a memory to her now; sitting quietly at the bedside of her brother-in-arms, she carefully takes his hand, thanking him for his service and promising she will not leave his side.

He is a critically injured combat casualty, and she is Army Sgt. Jennifer Watson of the Casualty Liaison Team here.

Although a somber scene, it is not an uncommon one for the Peru, Ind., native, who in addition to her primary duties throughout the last 14 months, has taken it upon herself to ensure no U.S. casualty passes away alone. Holding each of their hands, she sits with them until the end, no matter the day or the hour.

"It's unfortunate that their families can't be here," said Watson, who is deployed here from Fort Campbell, Ky. "So I took it upon myself to step up and be that family while they are here. No one asked me to do it; I just did what I felt was right in my heart. I want them to know they are heroes.
"I feel just because they are passing away does not mean they cannot hear and feel someone around them," she continued. "I talk to them, thanking them for what they have done, telling them they are a hero, they will never be forgotten, and I explain my job to them to help them be at ease knowing the family will be told the truth."

In general, Watson explains to the patients that the CLT works within the Patient Administrative Department here, acting as a liaison for all military and civilian patients in-theater and initiating the casualty-notification process to the patient's next-of-kin.

Upon their arrival at the Air Force Theater Hospital, Watson speaks with each combat casualty getting as accurate information as possible about the incident. Once the doctor gives their diagnosis and severity of the patient's injuries, Watson and her team complete and send a Defense Casualty Information Processing System folder report to the Department of the Army or the patient's respective service so that their next-of-kin can be notified.

"I make sure we tell their family everything they want to know, so they know everything that's going on," said Watson. "[Through the report], we'll tell the families everything that is going on with their family member ... so that they don't have any questions."

Furthermore, once the initial report has been sent, the CLT and Watson make hourly rounds to the intensive-care ward or unit to check on the patient's well-being, or, for the more critical patients, to check on their stability.

"We are constantly communicating and making sure the family knows everything we know," said Watson. "We want to put the families at ease and let them know that everything is being done for their loved one. From the moment a servicemember is brought in through Hero's Highway, they are never alone."

Each month, the AFTH, the equivalent of a U.S. Level-1 trauma center, treats more than 539 patients; more than 101 are trauma cases in the emergency department. Although Watson can never predict if and when her fellow brothers- or sisters- in arms may need her, she is always available here.

"The hospital staff is wonderful," said Watson. "They know how important it is for me to be there with them and if they know it's time, someone will come and get me no matter where I'm at.
"I see it as a form of closure, not just for me, but for the families so that they know that somebody was there with their son or daughter," she added. "My heart goes out to every patient that comes into the hospital, especially my wounded in action Soldiers. I feel like everyone who comes through the door is my brother or sister."

Not surprisingly, Watson's dedication to duty and her hard work have not gone unnoticed. She has touched the lives of all those who she has come in contact with, to include the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group commander, Col. Mark Mavity.

"Sgt. Watson's story is one of the most compelling here in the Med Group," said Mavity. "She is a Soldier's Soldier who combines an unparalleled level of compassion and commitment to our most grievously wounded warriors with amazing professionalism each and every day.
"What is truly incredible is that she is a personnelist by training but with the heart of a medic who has taken it upon herself to hold the hand and keep a bedside vigil with every mortally wounded Soldier who has spent their last hours within the AFTH," continued the colonel. "She will not let her brave brothers or sisters pass alone. This is a heavy burden to bear and at great personal emotional cost to Sgt. Watson, but she is unwavering in her final commitment to these Soldiers. You don't have to look any further than Sgt. Watson to find a true hero."
"Angel" and "hero" are only two of the many titles Watson has been given since arriving at JBB; although she is appreciative of the kind words, she remains humble.
"I am far from an angel," said the sergeant with a smile. "I just do what is in my heart. I guess for me, I think about the family and the closure of knowing the Soldier did not pass away alone. To say I'm a hero ... no. The heroes are my guys who come in [through Hero's Highway]."

Reflecting on her time here, Watson said she is extremely thankful for the opportunity she has had to work side-by-side with the Air Force.

"The staff of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group has done an amazing job since I have been here," she said. "They are incredible. They have done procedures and saved the lives of the most critically injured Soldiers, and have been some of the most professional people I have ever worked with.
"I want the families to know that their servicemember was a hero," Watson concluded. "They made the ultimate sacrifice, but before they passed on, they received the best medical treatment, and the staff did everything they could -- they were not in pain and they didn't die alone."

Wild Thing's comment......

Prayers for this soldier and those she helps. This is not even her assigned duty, she an administration clerk. This is just something she started doing because she's an angel full of love and everyone else in the unit not only accepts it, they encourage it.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (14)

“Held Down” Under Heavy Fire: Echo Company Marines From 2/8 Battle To Hold Position

“Held Down” Under Heavy Fire: Echo Company Marines From 2/8 Battle To Hold Position


Troops from a US Marine company in Afghanistan have been under almost constant fire since entering the country with 4,000 other troops during the week.

Since flying in by helicopter to Mian Poshteh in Helmand province, troops from the 2/8 infantry battalion have been held down by insurgents.

The 200 Marines are still fighting to hold position and have had to call in helicopter gunships for assistance.

Taliban fighters have been using small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and rockets against the Marines

One Marine was killed in the hostile fire in the first day of the battle, while others are succumbing to the intense heat in the area and are being evacuated to medical facilities.

The Marines are in an area which is criss-crossed by canals and irrigation ditches which were built by the US in the 1950s and 1960s to aid agriculturalists in the region.

Opium has become the mainstay on local farms, where the owners have been forced by the Taliban insurgency to grow the crop.

Agencie France Presse:

US Marine Corps

Pat Dollard

GARMSIR, Afghanistan


Since 4,000 US Marines pushed into Taliban-controlled areas of southern Afghanistan on Thursday, one company has been in a constant firefight with the insurgents, the military said.

Troops from Echo company of the 2/8 infantry battalion flew in by helicopter to Mian Poshteh, a key canal and road junction in Helmand province, as part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to finally defeat the Islamist militants.

The 200 Marines fighting to hold the position arrived at dawn on Thursday, and they were still engaged in fierce combat through the weekend, Major Dan Gaskell told AFP at nearby Camp Delhi.

“Echo company landed by the canal intersection and set up shop,” he said late Saturday. “They have been fighting to hold that position.
“The enemy really wants it back, and have been doing everything they can to dislodge Echo. That continues.”
The US has called in helicopter gunships three times to help the Marines, Gaskell said, including one attack using a Hellfire missile.
He said about 40 Taliban fighters were using small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and rockets against the Marines, who have based themselves in a walled compound.
“The enemy tactic is to conduct a feint attack from one compass direction, then fire from a second direction, and follow up with a proper attack from a third,” he said.
“They have shown the ability to switch back and forth, so the combination may come from any angle.”

One Marine was killed by hostile fire in the first day of the battle, while at least two others have suffered chronic heat exhaustion in the scorching temperatures and had to be evacuated by helicopter.

“Mian Poshteh is the most difficult situation in the current operation,” Gaskell said of the site 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of Camp Delta in the Garmsir district of Helmand.
“The enemy are against a 200-plus Marine company, which is the most feared thing in the world. But we have rules of engagement and destroying everything in the area is not our intent. We fight back in a proportional way.”

The Helmand River valley is criss-crossed with canals and irrigation ditches built by the US in the 1950s and 1960s to promote agriculture in the region, but the main crop is now opium which funds much of the Islamist insurgency.

“The terrain is pretty tricky and easy to get bogged down in, especially with the weight of gear that Marines carry,” Gaskell said.

“The Hellfire missile was fired after the company commander had spent eight hours trying to manoeuvre in on one pocket of resistance. We knew from live aerial video there were no civilians there.”

He said another air attack, on Saturday afternoon, was “a helicopter rocket and gun run” that had either killed those targeted or forced them to flee the tree line from where they were firing on the Marines.

Operation Khanjar, which involved thousands of Marines moving into the Helmand valley to extend the reach of the Afghan central government, has faced generally light resistance.

But US commanders say they expect their troops to soon be hit by counter-attacks.

“The enemy assumes that within several days we’ll be leaving but we’re not going anywhere,” Lieutenant Colonel Christian Cabaniss, in charge of the US operations around Garmsir, said.
“We’ve picked good ground, close to the population centres, and we’re going to stay.
“But we do want to know why the enemy have chosen to fight at Mian Poshteh. Perhaps there’s a high value commander there.”

The military’s plan is to improve security in Helmand so that locals reject the hardline Taliban in favour of the central government, allowing international troops who have been in the country since 2001 to eventually withdraw.

The area south of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, is the world?s biggest opium-growing region and a route for Taliban fighters joining the insurgency from across the Pakistan border.


Footage of Marines from Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines conducting Operation Strike of the Sword. Scenes include Marines waiting then boarding helicopters and on patrol in Sorhduz. Provided by NATO TV.


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

God's speed to our troops and protect them.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (4)

July 10, 2009

Helping The Enemy Obama?? ~ "Ban on tobacco urged in military "

This is a photo of a soldier in the Vietnam War. I met him while I was there. The treatment of our troops back then and now, anything that is not a help to them should be considered coming from a traitor to our country. ~ Wild Thing

DOD considering banning smoking, regardless of social experiment's effect on morale and cohesion

Ban on tobacco urged in military



Pentagon health experts are urging Defense Secretary Robert Gates to ban the use of tobacco by troops and end its sale on military property, a change that could dramatically alter a culture intertwined with smoking.

Jack Smith, head of the Pentagon's office of clinical and program policy, says he will recommend that Gates adopt proposals by a federal study that cites rising tobacco use and higher costs for the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs as reasons for the ban.

The study by the Institute of Medicine, requested by the VA and Pentagon, calls for a phased-in ban over a period of years, perhaps up to 20. "We'll certainly be taking that recommendation forward," Smith says.

A tobacco ban would confront a military culture, the report says, in which "the image of the battle-weary soldier in fatigues and helmet, fighting for his country, has frequently included his lit cigarette."

Also, the report said, troops worn out by repeated deployments often rely on cigarettes as a "stress reliever." The study found that tobacco use in the military increased after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said the department supports a smoke-free military "and believes it is achievable." She declined to elaborate on any possible ban.

One in three servicemembers use tobacco, the report says, compared with one in five adult Americans. The heaviest smokers are soldiers and Marines, who have done most of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the study says. About 37% of soldiers use tobacco and 36% of Marines. Combat veterans are 50% more likely to use tobacco than troops who haven't seen combat.

Tobacco use costs the Pentagon $846 million a year in medical care and lost productivity, says the report, which used older data. The Department of Veterans Affairs spends up to $6 billion in treatments for tobacco-related illnesses, says the study, which was released late last month.

Along with a phased-in ban, the report recommends requiring new officers and enlisted personnel to be tobacco-free, eliminating tobacco use on military installations, ships and aircraft, expanding treatment programs and eliminating the sale of tobacco on military property. "Any tobacco use while in uniform should be prohibited," the study says.

The military complicates attempts to curb tobacco use by subsidizing tobacco products for troops who buy them at base exchanges and commissaries, says Kenneth Kizer, a committee member and architect of California's anti-tobacco program.

Seventy percent of profits from tobacco sales — $88 million in 2005 — pays for recreation and family support programs, the study stays.

Strong leadership could make the military tobacco-free in five to 10 years, Kizer says. President Obama, he says, could set an example for the military by ending his own smoking habit once and for all. Last month, Obama said he is "95% cured" but "there are times when I mess up" and smoke.

Wild Thing's comment......

OH I see it's ok for the Commander in Chief to smoke but not the front line soldier. Obama's hate for our military knows no bounds.

He wants to force troops with high powered weapons, under a great deal of stress in the field, to quit nicotine? I would SO want to see him try to relieve one of our soldiers of his Marlboros, or of his chew.

So what is Obama hoping for the recruiters close up shop?

Tobacco keeps you alert when you are exhausted. It is a stimulant in extreme conditions and heightens your senses. GIs smoked in every war we have been in . . . What a crock of shit. What an absolute crock!!

Just think, if they were in prison, they’d be able to smoke! What are we, nuts, or what!!!!!

One of the physiological effects of nicotine is the constriction of the peripheral blood vessels--which can give the impression of offsetting the effects of alcohol, but can also slow the progress of shock. Which is why so many tobacco consumers want a smoke or a chew in times of extreme stress or after a traumatic experience.

Go ahead, demoralize and screw with the morale of 1 in every 3 military Troops. I mean, it’s only 120 degrees where they are fighting for your filthy dumb ass Obama and they could use some more stress.

These men are facing possible death every single day as they protect our country. If they want a cig before or after a battle..the country should not only ‘allow’ it, but provide them!!

I have so had it with Obama, he just won't stop hampering our military.

What is next, cussing, sugary drinks, gum?

CIC Obama forcing troops to be on their mission with their hands tied.

Marines must not return enemy fire for fear of killing an Afghan non-combatant.Don’t shoot back! IF there is any possibility there are civilians around. Especially the women ( Taliban cross dressing in Burqas)

"ABC Correspondent Mike Boettcher, who is embedded with Golf Company, reports that the young Marines, when ambushed by Taliban forces with automatic weapons, were ordered to shoulder their rifles. Their command, Boettcher writes, warned them that “one civilian casualty could negate the No. 1 objective of this operation – – winning the trust and respect of the farmers of the Helmand River Valley.”

Be careful of the Poppy Fields.

And now the very possible BAN on smoking.

God Save the United States of America — from itself !!!

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 PM | Comments (26)

Texas Band Flyleaf Delivers High Spirits to Troops Overseas

Flyleaf vocalist Lacey Sturm performs in front of hundreds on Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, July 6, wrapping up their first overseas tour for troops. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Michael Greenberger)

Flyleaf vocalist Lacey Sturm unleashes a vocal torrent during a show on Bagram Air Field July 6. The band performed 15 songs and signed nearly 1,000 autographs on the 2nd largest military base in Afghanistan. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Opal Hood, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)


by Army Capt. Michael Greenberger
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment


Nearly a thousand service members were treated to a healthy dose of hard rock July 6 thanks to the Texas-based band Flyleaf.

On a tour sponsored by AKA Productions, the band arrived at Bagram Air Field just in time to take the stage in the Morale, Recreation, and Welfare “clamshell” tent, somewhat late from a previous show at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in southern Afghanistan.

While waiting for Flyleaf’s arrival, the band’s opening act consisted of a group of service members playing the videogame Rock Band. Projected on a massive screen, people took turns singing and playing on guitar and drum game controllers while the crowd howled for more.

“The Rock Band part was fun,” said Army Pfc. Jessica Kimball. “They should do that more often. It’s a good way for people to interact with each other.”

The warm-up act starred a “band” that won a Rock Band competition on Bagram just weeks prior. Many of the service members who took the stage participate every Wednesday in a weekly get-together for, what else, Rock Band night.

“Rock Band is important because it’s the closest thing on BAF to a party,” said Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Miller. “It’s a great social event and anybody can be a rock star for an evening.”

Flyleaf got into the electronic gaming world with one of their songs, “I’m So Sick” appearing on the Rock Band video game.

After two hours of jamming, the “Rock Band night” regulars relinquished the stage to the newly arrived Flyleaf, who took the stage to a mass of cheering people.

First up in their hour-long set was a new song titled “Justice and Mercy”.

“This first song was written with all of you in mind,” said vocalist Lacey Sturm as she greeted the crowd.
In the lyrics, the words “The living and dying, surviving, we’re trying to breathe in safety – come home safely” were written for Soldiers, said tour manager Kat Hartmann.
“The song is about respect for the troops,” Hartmann went on. “We respect everything they’ve done like putting their lives on the line, which is also in the lyrics to the song.”

As the musical set began, the intensity of the crowd was audibly carried up a notch when Sturm’s lyrical voice turned to primal scream in the middle of “Breathe Today”, a song off their debut, self-titled album “Flyleaf”.

We’ve travelled overseas to Europe and other places before,” said Hartmann. “But we’ve never gone into a war zone.”

Their first ever tour for the troops took them from Qatar to a remote outpost called FOB Baylough in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.

“The FOB is a really rough place,” said Sturm. “They just have the bare essentials and the guys there said no one had been out to see them in years, so we were really excited to get out to see them.”

According to Sturm, Flyleaf had wanted to come see the troops for a while and the band got lucky when another group cancelled its tour.

Travelling light, Flyleaf performed their shows acoustically, which is something they’re not used to doing. In addition to a light equipment load, two members of the band couldn’t make the tour. Bass player Pat Seals and guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya stayed behind for personal reasons while lead singer Sturm’s husband Josh stepped in to play guitar for the duration of the tour. But in true wartime fashion, Flyleaf did the very best with what was available.

They did a great job with what they had,” said Army Pfc. Michael Langford. “The show was great and it’s nice to know that people actually do care about us.”

And care they do. Flyleaf got their start in Belton, Texas, a “stone’s throw” from one of the largest military bases in America, Fort Hood.

The band played lots of shows near Fort Hood, Sturm explained. “But this was our first time out playing to a completely ‘military’ audience,” Sturm said. “It was just overwhelming to look out into the crowd and see nothing but uniforms.”

The Flyleaf show was full of special treats for the troops. According to Hartmann, the group played their new songs “Chasm” and “Circle” from their upcoming album “Memento Mori” for the first time live. The band also stuck around and signed autographs for anyone who wanted them, a process that took the rockers well past 2 a.m.

“I think that after being exhausted from flying all day and performing multiple concerts, the fact that they offered to stay, sign autographs, and take pictures with the troops really exemplifies how down to earth and selfless they really are,” said Army Staff Sgt. Charlene Fick. “They stated during the show how proud they were of us, but I am proud of them for thinking of us and jumping at the opportunity to come to a somewhat dangerous area to perform for us.”
“This was our first tour for the troops,” said Sturm. “I hope we can come back and do it again.”


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

Lacey Sturm has a great attitude and I love how she really lets you know she wanted to be there and support our troops.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:40 AM | Comments (4)

July 09, 2009

In Country With Our Marines 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co

Marines Call in JDAM on Sniper

“You’re going to change the world this summer and it starts this morning. The United States and the world are watching. Their expectations are enormously high during this summer of decision,” Lieutenant Colonel Christian Cabaniss, commander of the 2nd battalion, 8th Marines, told the Marines before they boarded helicopters to be part of Operation Khanjar, or Strike of the Sword. The southern offensive was launched shortly after 1 a.m. (4:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday), as thousands of Marines poured from helicopters and armored vehicles into Taliban-controlled villages along roughly 20 miles of the Helmand River in Helmand province, the world’s largest opium poppy-producing area. The goal is to clear insurgents from the hotly contested region before the nation’s Aug. 20 presidential election. (AP)

Denver Post


U.S. Marines from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. run off the back of a helicopter during the start of Operation Khanjari on July 2, 2009 in Main Poshteh, Afghanistan. The Marines are part of an operation to take areas in the Southern Helmand Province that Taliban fighters are using as a resupply route and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A U.S. Marine from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. takes up a fighting position after off loading from a helicopter during the start of Operation Khanjari on July 2, 2009 in Main Poshteh, Afghanistan. The Marines are part of an operation to take areas in the Southern Helmand Province that Taliban fighters are using as a resupply route and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. Marines from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. take up defensive position as more are flown in by helicopter during the start of Operation Khanjari on July 2, 2009 in Main Poshteh, Afghanistan . The Marines are part of an operation to take areas in the Southern Helmand Province that Taliban fighters are using as a resupply route and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

US Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade make preparations as they wait for helicopter transport as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 2, 2009. US Marines launched a major offensive into the Taliban heartlands of southern Afghanistan before dawn as President Barack Obama’s new war plan swung into action. With dozens of aircraft ferrying out troops from various bases, the assault aimed to insert forces into insurgent strongholds in Helmand province in what officers said was the biggest offensive airlift by the Marines since Vietnam. Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword), involving nearly 4,000 US forces as well as 650 Afghan police and soldiers, would bring security to the Helmand River valley ahead of presidential elections on August 20, commanders aid. (MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images)

US Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade wait to get onto a helicopter as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 2, 2009. (MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images)

US Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade prepare to board helicopter transport as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 2, 2009. (MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images)

US Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade walk towards helicopter transport as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 2, 2009. (MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images)

US Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade wait for helicopter transport as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 2, 2009. (MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Marine Captain Eric Meador from Laurel, Mississippi of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. gives his Marines a pep talk before loading up on helicopters during the start of Operation Khanjari on July 2, 2009 in Main Poshteh, Afghanistan. The Marines are part of an operation to take areas in the Southern Helmand Province that Taliban fighters are using as a resupply route and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A U.S. Marine from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Fox Co. prepares to load up on a helicopter during the start of Operation Khanjari on July 2, 2009 in Main Poshteh, Afghanistan. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. Marines from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. prepare to search a building during the start of Operation Khanjari on July 2, 2009 in Main Poshteh, Afghanistan. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S Marines from the 2nd MEB, 1st Battalion 5th Marines wait at Camp Leatherneck to board helicopters for a night air assault in Afghanistan’s Helmand province Thursday July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (2)

July 07, 2009

A Life of Worth, Overlooked


Brian Bradshaw, KIA/Afghanistan
Lt. Brian Bradshaw, 24, died in Kheyl, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

A Life of Worth, Overlooked

The Washington Post

by Martha Gillis

My nephew, Brian Bradshaw, was killed by an explosive device in Afghanistan on June 25, the same day that Michael Jackson died. Mr. Jackson received days of wall-to-wall coverage in the media. Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week? There were several of them, and our family crossed paths with the family of another fallen soldier at Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies come "home." Only the media in Brian's hometown and where he was stationed before his deployment covered his death.

I remember Brian as a toddler wandering around in cowboy boots and hat, not seeing the need for any other clothing. He grew into a thoroughly decent person with a wry sense of humor. He loved wolves and history. Most Christmases, I gave him a biography or some analysis of the Civil War. He read such things for pleasure.

He had old-fashioned values and believed that military service was patriotic and that actions counted more than talk. He wasn't much for talking, although he could communicate volumes with a raised eyebrow.

He was a search-and-rescue volunteer, an altar boy, a camp counselor. He carried the hopes and dreams of his parents willingly on his shoulders. What more than that did Michael Jackson do or represent that earned him memorial "shrines," while this soldier's death goes unheralded?

It makes me want to scream.



Relatives of Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Decry Lack of Coverage Amid Jackson Spectacle

FOX News

A day before New York Rep. Peter King called Michael Jackson a “pervert” unworthy of nonstop media coverage, the aunt of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan on the same day Jackson died asked why her nephew's death went virtually unnoticed while the King of Pop got memorial shrines across the country.

"Mr. Jackson received days of wall-to-wall coverage in the media," Martha Gillis wrote to the Washington Post. "Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week?"

Gillis' nephew, Lt. Brian Bradshaw, 24, died in Kheyl, Afganistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Bradshaw, of Steilacoom, Wash., was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was one of at least 13 U.S. soldiers to die in Afghanistan since Jackson's death on June 25.

Bradshaw's mother, Mary, said she agreed with Gillis, saying the nonstop coverage of Jackson's death has become "totally ridiculous" and laughable.
"I can watch the news many nights and there's no mention of what's going on in Afghanistan or Iraq and there's boys dying over there," Bradshaw told FOXNews.com. "Oh God, I can't talk."
Gillis, of Springfield, Va., could not be reached for comment. In her letter to the Washington Post, she described Bradshaw as a "thoroughly decent person with a wry sense of humor" who loved history, particularly the Civil War.
"He had old-fashioned values and believed that military service was patriotic and that actions counted more than talk," Gillis wrote. "He wasn't much for talking, although he could communicate volumes with a raised eyebrow."

Bradshaw, who graduated from Pacific Lutheran University, was the product of a military family. His father, Paul, is a retired National Guard helicopter pilot, and his mother is a retired Army nurse. Bradshaw was buried Monday following a service at St. John's Bosco Church in Lakewood, Wash.

"He was a search-and-rescue volunteer, an altar boy, a camp counselor," Gillis' letter continued. "He carried the hopes and dreams of his parents willingly on his shoulders. What more than that did Michael Jackson do or represent that earned him memorial 'shrines,' while this soldier's death goes unheralded?"

Gillis said the only media outlets that covered Bradshaw's death were in his hometown of Steilacoom, Wash., and those where he was stationed before his deployment in March.

Gillis' sentiment echoes that of King, the Long Island, N.Y., congressman who called on society to stop "glorifying" Jackson in a YouTube video posted on Monday.

King said Jackson had been excessively praised in the days after his death while society ignored the efforts of teachers, police officers and veterans. In the two-minute video, King called the "day in and day out" coverage of Jackson's death "too politically correct."

"Let's knock out the psychobabble," he said in the video, which was taped outside an American Legion Hall in his district. "He was a pervert, a child molester; he was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? I just think we're too politically correct."

King, who is among the possible Republican contenders to run against Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, acknowledged that Jackson "may have been a good singer" and "did some dancing," but he blasted the King of Pop as someone who could not be trusted around children.

"There's nothing good to say about this guy," King continued. "But the bottom line is, would you let your child or grandchild be in the same room as Michael Jackson?"

The deaths of seven U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Monday received just 1/20th of the network television news coverage devoted to Jackson, according to an analysis by the Media Research Center, a Virginia-based news analysis organization.

The seven deaths garnered less than one minute of coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts combined, including just 13 seconds on CBS, compared to more than 13 minutes of Jackson-related news. That's a 60-to-1 disparity, the analysis found.

“This is a prime example of why network television news audiences are disappearing before our eyes," Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said. "There is no justification for determining that the death of a celebrity over a week ago merits 20 times more news coverage than the tragic deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan."

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

Millions of Americans have their priorities all messed up. And I agree with Martha Gillis 100%.

I have to add that it is not just now with Michael Jackson. Our media should be telling the wonderful stories of
our troops and the tremendous things they have been doing. Too many civilians don't even know how our troops build schools, get water systems put in, build airports, hospitals, so many things. Then there are the stories of family members meeting up in the war where a father and son get to meet up in Baghdad or Kabul, or other places. Brothes both serving and other stories of how entire families are serving at the same time.

I know of one that the Dad is Coast Guard, the Mom is Army, the son is Navy and the daughter is Army. There entire family is serving our country.

And this from Mark:

These American military members died in Iraq this month:

Sergeant Justin J. Duffy
Specialist Christopher M. Kurth
Specialist Charles D. Parrish
Lance Corporal Robert D. Ulmer
Staff Sergeant Edmond L. Lo
Sergeant Joshua W. Soto
Captain Kafele H. Sims
Specialist Chancellor A. Keesling

And these members of our U.S. Armed Forces died in Afghanistan this month:

Sergeant Jones, Ricky D.
Specialist Munguia Rivas, Rodrigo A.
Command Master Chief Petty Officer Garber, Jeffrey J.
1st Sergeant Blair, John D.
Sergeant Smith, Paul G.
Staff Sergeant Melton, Joshua
Sergeant 1st Class Dupont, Kevin A.
Specialist O'Neill, Jonathan C.
Chief Warrant Officer Richardson Jr., Ricky L.
Specialist Silva, Eduardo S.
Lance Corporal Whittle, Joshua R.
Major Barnes, Rocco M.
Major Jenrette, Kevin M.
Staff Sergeant Beale, John C.
Specialist Jordan, Jeffrey W.
Specialist Griemel, Jarrett P. Specialist Hernandez I, Roberto A.
Sergeant Obakrairur, Jasper K.
Staff Sergeant Hall, Jeffrey A.
Private 1st Class Ogden, Matthew D.
Private 1st Class Wilson, Matthew W.

Let's remember and honor this day those whose deaths are truly impacting.


....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 05:55 PM | Comments (9)

July 06, 2009

Soldier Hopes His Story Instills Sense of Reality

Army Staff Sgt. Conrad Begaye stands before fellow soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, during a ceremony in Vicenza, Italy, June 30, 2009. Begaye was awarded the Silver Star for his valorous actions during an enemy ambush Nov. 9, 2007, in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province. U.S. Army photo by Capt. Joseph Sanfilippo

Face of Defense: Soldier Hopes His Story Instills Sense of Reality

By Army Capt. Joseph Sanfilippo
Special to American Forces Press Service

VICENZA, Italy, July 1, 2009

Even as Army Staff Sgt. Conrad Begaye relived the firefight that took the lives of his fellow soldiers, and even as he was awarded the military’s third-highest honor for valor yesterday, his thoughts were on his comrades.

Begaye, a Navajo from Black Canyon City, Ariz., said he wants the story of his actions in Afghanistan to help younger soldiers understand the importance of training, leadership and motivation. For troops eager to see combat, he said, he hopes his story instills a sense of the reality of war.
"It should open their eyes. A firefight is a life-altering experience - one that I'm still living through," Begaye said following a June 30 ceremony here in which he received the Silver Star. "Soldiers should understand … this is real life, and people do die."

On Nov. 9, 2007, Begaye, an Airborne Ranger with the 503rd Infantry Regiment’s 2nd Battalion, was part of a unit that had just met with local leaders in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province. They were hiking along rugged terrain when his squad, his platoon's headquarters sections and a squad of Afghan soldiers began taking fire from enemy positions above.

Pinned down at first, Begaye was struck in the arm while returning fire and directing his men. Begaye bounded over a cliff, calling to his troops to follow him down the rocky slope to find cover.

Keeping his composure against overwhelming odds, Begaye directed and encouraged his fellow soldiers under heavy fire. One paratrooper had been shot in both legs and was still taking fire. Begaye called out to him to play dead, knowing the enemy would shift their fire away if they thought the soldier was killed -- quick thinking that likely helped to save that soldier's life.

Ignoring his own injuries, Begaye moved a wounded soldier to a nearby cave to protect him from enemy fire. Using a radio, he called his higher headquarters and directed mortar fire onto enemy positions - essentially ending the battle. Then he motivated a soldier to organize a defensive perimeter of Afghan soldiers to prevent their unit from being harassed or overrun.

Twenty-one months later, with his comrades standing quietly on the parade ground behind him, Begaye listened as Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of U.S. Army Africa, spoke here, where Begaye began his service 10 years ago.

"Today, we honor a noncommissioned officer whose bold actions turned the tide of battle and saved the day, … [and] whose courage under fire and fierce loyalty to his men still astounds us all," Garrett said. "Outnumbered, wounded, and initially pinned down in the kill zone of an enemy ambush -- he didn't hesitate to leap forward, literally, and take charge of the fight."

Garrett spoke of the "warrior ethos" that guides soldiers: place the mission first, never accept defeat, never quit, and never leave a fallen comrade.

"These are just words to some people," Garrett said. "But the warrior ethos is a way of life to Staff Sergeant Begaye. Amazing acts of bravery and valor were commonplace that grim day. But this morning, we recognize Staff Sergeant Begaye for his courage - and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve with such a man."

After the ceremony, Begaye's wife, Air Force Staff Sgt. Idellia Beletso, a flight medic based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, hugged her husband. Hundreds of red-bereted paratroopers lined up to shake Begaye's hand, many of whom served with him in combat.

"There are people who have passed on that deserve this," said Begaye, who served three combat tours. "There were five men who died. I'll accept and wear it in honor of them, not for my actions, but for theirs."
Begaye said he would have preferred a simple handshake or a pat on the back. After all, he said, infantrymen don't fight for medals, they fight for each other. That's why Begaye felt grateful to have soldiers from his unit, Chosen Company, behind him on the parade field during the ceremony.
"What happened there is something I think about every day,” Begaye said. “It's not easy to forget about."

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

"There were five men who died. I'll accept and wear it in honor of them, not for my actions, but for theirs."

I have heard this from so many Veterans, I wish more people would read and hear these stories that are shared of our troops. It would be good for civilians to know more about what our troops are like and how awesome they are in every way.

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM | Comments (8)

July 05, 2009

Marines March in Grueling Afghan Sun for July 4

LTC Michael Gabel of 4-25 FA BN CDR (L-R), Major General Curtis Scaparrotti, commanding general, CJTF-82 and Regional Command East, CSM Thomas Capel, Division Command Sergeant Major, CJTF-82 and regional Command East and CSM Robert Lehtonen II, Command Sergeant Major 4-25 FA cut a cake as they mark the United States Independence Day at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Airborne in the mountains of Wardak province in Afghanistan, July 4, 2009


Brigadier General Larry Nicholson demonstrated the more open approach he wants to see among the new US troops sent to southern Afghanistan by going shopping for melons. Nicholson, commander of the 4,000 Marines deployed on Thursday in the mainly Taliban-held Helmand River valley, headed to Garmsir district centre to visit a bazaar selling fruit, vegetables and meat.


U.S. Marine Cpl. Brian Knight, of Cincinnati, Ohio, with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, 1st Battalion 5th Marines, pauses briefly in the heat to rest with his heavy pack filled with mortar equipment, ammunition, food, and water in the Nawa district in Afghanistan's Helmand province Saturday, July 4, 2009. Taliban militants attacked a U.S. coalition base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday with an explosives-laden truck that blew up outside the gates, sparking a two-hour gunbattle and killing two American troops, officials said.


Marines march in grueling Afghan sun for July 4

NAWA, Afghanistan

Taliban militants were nowhere in sight as the columns of U.S. Marines walked a third straight day across southern Afghanistan. But the desert heat proved an enemy in its own right, with several troops falling victim Saturday to temperatures topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Marines carry 50-100 pounds (23-45 kilograms) on their backs. But because they are marching through farmland on foot, they can't carry nearly as much water as their thirst demands.

Few even realized the date was July 4, but once word of the holiday spread through the company, several said they knew relatives would be holding lakeside celebrations — a world away from the strenuous task Bravo Company of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment was taking on.

"Happy 4th of July, dawg. Happy America," said Lance Corp. Vince Morales, 21, of Baytown, Texas said to one of his Marine buddies while resting under a tree during a break.

Some Marines ate watermelon from a farmer's field as the evening sun set, but there were few other signs of a holiday celebration here.

Some 4,000 Marines are moving through southern Helmand to take back Taliban-held territory and pinch the insurgents' supply lines. Bravo Company has seen a lot of walking but up to now little fighting, though other Marines in the operation have had extended battles.

So far, the worst danger facing Bravo is the heat. Temperatures are well above 100 degrees (37.8 Celsius), and medics treated several heat casualties Saturday.

"When (body) temperature goes up past 104 (40 Celsius), your brain starts cooking, and that's what we're trying to prevent," said Simon Trujillo, an HM3 Navy Medic from Dallas.

The high heat, heavy packs, limited water and three straight days of walking through tough farmland terrain were taking a toll, he said. Several Marines threw up or were dry-heaving from the heat. Three passed out, and other Marines rushed to share the weight and pour water on overheated bodies.

"It's pretty taxing on your body. There's no way to prepare for this," said Trujillo.

One cruel irony: A helicopter dropped off a load of water to the Marines early Saturday, but because they hadn't yet reached their final destination, they took only what they could carry and left hundreds of bottles behind for Afghan villagers to drink.

The sun in southern Helmand is blazing by 8 a.m., and the troops seek out any sliver of shade available. Trees grow along the many manmade water canals the farmers use to survive here, but there is little relief elsewhere.

Sweat pours off faces as Marines shift heavy weapons from one shoulder to the other. Everyone still carries all the ammunition they arrived with in the dark hours of early Thursday, because this unit has not yet exchanged fire.

The Marines walk in columns down dusty dirt roads, and every couple dozen steps they bend over at the waist to give aching shoulders a break. During frequent breaks, medics go up and down the line, looking to see if their men are drinking water.

"It'd be so great if we took contact. We'd lose so much weight," said Lance Corp. Michael Estrada, 20, of Los Angeles.

Lance Corp. Bryan Knight, a mortar man, carries one of the heaviest pack. The 21-year-old Cincinnati native weighs a slight 145 pounds (65.8 kilograms) — and his pack almost equals him.

He carries a 15-pound (6.8-kilogram) mortar base plate, four mortar rockets that weigh 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) each, about 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) of water and another 50 pounds (22.7 kilograms) of combat gear — ammunition, weapon and his flak jacket.

Unsurprisingly, he is drenched in sweat. "The only dry parts of my clothes are the pockets," he said.

Squatting in a lean-to made out of a camouflage poncho beside Knight was Corp. Aaron Shade, 24, of Greenville, Ohio, who hadn't realized it was Independence Day back home in the U.S.

"My family's out on the boat house riding on jet skis, drinking lots of beer," he said. "That's not depressing to think about."

The company captain, Drew Schoenmaker, said the heat was affecting militants as well, noting there were few daytime attacks theater-wide and none on his unit. He said he doubted people back in the United States could understand how hard his Marines work.

"Someone back home might say, 'Oh, it's 100 degrees here, too.' But you're not trying to carry 60 or 90 pounds and people aren't trying to kill you," he said. "And you can always step out of the sun. You can't always do that here."

Wild Thing's comment.....

Last year I posted about how it would get up to 120 degrees. I know what they feels like from being in Las Vegas for one year and it is not good even when people say dry heat is not that bad. Heat that high is hot no matter dry or humid and evenings don't get that much cooler. It does get to a person there is no way it can't. And like they said add into that factor carrying all that weight all that equipment too. That is so huge!

God bless our troops and keep them safe.

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:48 AM | Comments (5)

July 03, 2009

Orders From Obama:U.S.Troops Told to Stop Taliban Pursuit If Civilians At Risk

More on Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword)

U.S. Marines and about 650 Afghan soldiers and national police officers prepare to board CH-53D Sea Stallion and CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters on Forward Operating Base Dwyer, Afghanistan, July 2, 2009. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Philippe E. Chasse


A U.S. Marine checks his equipment before joining other Marines and about 650 Afghan soldiers and national police officers as they prepare to board CH-53D Sea Stallion and CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters on Forward Operating Base Dwyer, Afghanistan, July 2, 2009. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Philippe E. Chasse


U.S. Marines, military working dog, and about 650 Afghan soldiers and national police officers prepare to board CH-53D Sea Stallion and CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters on Forward Operating Base Dwyer, Afghanistan, July 2, 2009. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Philippe E. Chasse

U.S. troops told to stop Taliban pursuit if civilians are at risk

Miami Herald


Beginning Thursday, American soldiers in Afghanistan will be under orders to back down when they're chasing Taliban fighters whenever they think that civilians might be at risk.

Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, will issue the directive as part of an effort to cut down on civilian casualties, which have enraged the Afghan government and residents. Instead of calling in air support or firing into civilian homes where Taliban fighters have sought refuge, commanders will be instructed to reach out to tribal elders or undertake other efforts to dislodge the fighters.

The order is consistent with what national security adviser James L. Jones told McClatchy Newspapers in Washington Wednesday was President Barack Obama's concern about civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

"General McChrystal has been given instructions when he left here that, in all military operations, that we redouble our efforts to make sure that innocent loss of life is minimized, with zero being the goal," Jones said, noting that, "In one mishap you can create thousands more terrorists than you had before the mishap."

The new order, however, is likely to draw criticism from some U.S. troops, many of whom feel the rules that govern how they fight the war already are too restrictive.

Many troops here say they depend on air power and heavy weaponry because there aren't enough ground troops to chase Taliban forces on foot. Jones said no additional ground troops will be sent this year, even though some ground commanders want them.

"Everybody had their day in court, so to speak, before the president made his decision," he said. "We signed off on the strategy, and now we're in the implementation phase."
McChrystal's order will instruct soldiers to "think about what else can we do," said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, the military's top spokesman in Afghanistan. "We cannot keep going down the path of putting civilians at risk. ... People want to see changes in behavior."
Airstrikes, which Afghans charge kill innocent people, won't be eliminated, Smith said. "Air power will be as valuable after this directive is issued as it ever was," he said.
The new order, however, will require troops to assume that civilians are present and back off when Taliban fighters escape into villagers' houses, Smith said.
"The assumption must be there are civilians in those residences, and in those instances, he is asking commanders to think of other options in front of them," Smith said.

Those options might include gathering intelligence and regrouping to fight another day; reaching out to a tribal leader or encouraging villagers to help coalition forces track down Taliban forces. In some cases, it could mean letting Taliban escape.

McChrystal's order, an unclassified version of which is expected to be made public later this week, comes on the heels of a Pentagon report issued last month that acknowledged that as many as 86 civilians may have been killed in a May airstrike in Farah province.

The strike, by a B-1B strategic bomber, was ordered after Afghan forces came under fire from the Taliban and sought U.S. help. The report faulted Americans on the ground for not determining whether civilians were present before the plane dropped a 2,000-pound bomb.

Since McChrystal took command here last month, he has said reducing civilian casualties would be a top priority.

He repeated that concern Tuesday in an interview Tuesday with Radio Free Europe. "The most important thing is to not hurt the Afghan people because the most important thing is to win their support," he said. "This fight is for the Afghan people, it's not with the Afghan people."

Civilian casualties have become a major source of tension between Afghans and U.S. and other coalition forces here. Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks out frequently against coalition forces and their use of airstrikes on campaign stops as he seeks re-election, and earlier this year, the parliament passed a resolution condemning the use of airstrikes.

"One mistake is OK. But every day there is a mistake. You start to lose sympathy," said Khalid Pashtun, an Afghan-American member of parliament who represents Kandahar province, a Taliban stronghold. "Now, I am an American, and I feel this way. Imagine how the normal Afghan feels. He feels Afghan blood has become very cheap."

McChrystal has briefed Karzai about the new directive and his response was "encouraging," Smith said.

Top military officials here discount concerns that the Taliban will exploit the new order and step up their presence among civilians who often don't reveal Taliban hiding locations, either because they support them or fear retribution.

Military officials, however, said that the Taliban already exploit the way the U.S. has been fighting and purposely flee to villages in anticipation that coalition actions will lead to civilian casualties, exacerbating tensions between the coalition and the civilians.

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

no NO NO NO NO This is VERY bad. Is this an intercepted communication from LBJ to Westmoreland?

Dear God..this is insanity! It’s bad enough that the order was given..but to broadcast it in ADVANCE..just as we are sending our soldiers into the field?


"the Taliban already exploit the way the U.S. has been fighting and purposely flee to villages in anticipation that coalition actions will lead to civilian casualties"

THAT is exactly what they do. The do it on purpose and they know since the last time it was a set up too. And then the Coward in Chief Obama apologized and said he would get to the bottom of the civilians deaths and he blamed our military without even checking it all out.

The Taliban hides behind skirts and children. God help and protect our troops. This has me sitting here crying. Damn Obama! to hell!

Notice we don't hear that Obama was concerned about American troop casualties.

This is a purposeful plan to lose our advantage and appease the Muslims, injure and eliminate our dear troops from the battlefield in the process.

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:55 AM | Comments (10)

Because We Never Forget "Military Medical Team Makes the 'Toughest Call'

Pfc. Channing Moss, far right, stands on a hilltop in Afghanistan in February 2006 with his Alpha Company squad from 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, from left, Sgt. Harold Jarrell, Spc. Collin Reynolds, Cpl. Kirill Tikhonenkov, Spc. Justin Randall holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and Pfc. John O'Brien. Moss was wounded the following month when, during an ambush, he was impaled with an RPG.


A fellow soldier was impaled by a live RPG. For medics and a helicopter crew, there was only one choice.



Military Medical Team Makes the 'Toughest Call'

Unexploded Rocket-Propelled Grenade Impales Army Private in Afghanistan

Thursday, March 16, 2006, was a beautiful sunny day in Paktika Province, eastern Afghanistan -- the front line in a half-forgotten war. It borders a lawless region of Pakistan that is home to some al Qaeda and Taliban forces. Snow in the mountain passes along the border had melted giving them access again to Afghanistan where they came looking for American soldiers. They soon found them.

At dawn, the 10th Mountain Division's Alpha Company headed out on a mission. Lt. Billy Mariani, the unit commander, noticed something about his troops.

"There was definitely a sense of uneasiness. There was an air about them of, you know, maybe something was going to happen," he said.

The convoy included some two dozen 10th Mountain Division soldiers mounted in five armored Humvees and a handful of Afghan National Army troops riding in a pickup truck. Their mission was to visit a remote village to meet the tribal elders. No roads existed in this no-man's land and they had to drive through waddis, dry narrow river beds with high, dangerous ground on either side.

Four hours into the drive and just miles from the village, gunfire broke out. They'd been ambushed from above. Twenty-three-year-old Pvt. Channing Moss, the gunner, said it sounded like rattling spoons.

Then came the big guns. Volleys of rocket propelled grenades rained down. The Afghan National Army pickup exploded. Two of the Afghan soldiers died.

One RPG skidded past Lt. Mariani's vehicle. All of the vehicles had to quickly get out of the "kill zone." But before they could get to safety, two rockets hit Pvt. Moss' Humvee.

Staff Sgt. Eric Wynn, 33, the soldier in the front passenger seat, felt one slice through his face. Moss remembers the truck practically lift up. He was thrown up against the Humvee and then moved to return fire.

"I smelled something smoking and I looked down ... and I was smoking," he said.

Wynn turned to tell Moss where to fire and saw the tail fins of the RPG sticking out of Moss' side.

Roughly the length of a baseball bat, an RPG travels at the speed of a bullet. At the front end is the warhead -- a large grenade. The detonator and fuel are contained in the shaft. On the back are its fins, pieces of metal that stick out like legs on a camera tripod. The RPG is the weapon of choice for many of the world's guerillas.

Luckily for Moss, the company medic Spc. Jared Angell, 23, who the soldiers call "Doc," was in his Humvee. With Alpha company still under fire, it would have been nearly impossible for Angell to get to Moss in time if he hadn't been close by.

A Human Bomb

The RPG that had plowed into Moss' lower abdomen stretched from one hip to the other. If the RPG went off, it would kill everyone within 30 feet of him. Yet Angell stayed close, bandaging his wounds and stabilizing the weapon so that movement wouldn't cause it to explode.

Moss was still fully conscious, so Angell ordered him to not look down at the injury. He didn't want Moss to panic.

"I'm gonna do everything I can," Angell said to Moss. "You keep fighting with me and I'll keep fighting with you."

Wynn held his wounded face together with a bandage and reported their casualties over the radio while he also reached for Moss' hand.

He was squeezing my hand ... making sure I was staying alive," Moss said.

Reports of injuries had been radioed to the medical evacuation helicopter (MEDEVAC) base in Salerno, Afghanistan -- minus one crucial piece of information.

"We didn't tell them that, you know, Moss had live ordnance in him," Mariani said, "because there was that possibility that, you know, they might not want to transport him with live ordnance in him."

Preparations began for the rescue mission. But first the Blackhawk crew had to wait for clearance from commanders because the area was "hot" -- the battle was still raging. For MEDEVAC crew chief SSG Christian Roberts, it was a very long 15 minutes.

"When you know you have wounded people out there that are waiting for you to come pick them up, it seems like an eternity," he said.

The firefight died down and Mariani went over to check on Moss. Even though he was stunned by the fins sticking out of him, Mariani said, "I grabbed his hand and I just said, 'Hey, buddy, we're gonna get you out of here.'"

"Doc" continued working frantically to stabilize Moss even though the RPG was a danger to everyone around Moss. He knew that his only chance for survival was to get out of there and to a hospital quickly.

"I constantly was looking at my watch, saying, you know, 'When is the bird gonna get here, when is the bird gonna get here,'" medic Doc Angell said.

When Lt. Mariani pulled "Doc" aside to ask him if he thought Moss would make it, he could only shake his head no.

If Pvt. Moss was to not survive his injuries, his wife, six months pregnant with their second child, would lose her husband and his daughter Yuliana would lose her father. But just as Moss felt he would die, he heard the chopper. An Apache helicopter escorted the MEDEVAC chopper in case there was more gunfire.

Spc. Collier, the flight medic, quickly realized what they faced with Pvt Moss.

"I see a metal object protruding out, and there are fins on it, and I am like, 'This looks like this guy got hit with something, and it's stuck in him, and it didn't blow up,'" he said.

Army policy states that they are not supposed to transport soldiers in Moss' condition. The risk of catastrophic loss is too great -- four MEDEVAC crew members, three wounded soldiers and a helicopter could all be blown out of the sky.

But they also knew if they didn't take Moss. he would die.

Pilot CW2 Jorge Correa conferred with his soldiers: "I asked my crew, you know, 'Are you guys comfortable with this?'" he said. "Because I wasn't gonna put my crew in jeopardy if they weren't comfortable with it."

The crew quickly decided to take the risk.

Co-pilot Jeremy Smith recalled the tense moment.

"We all said, 'Yeah, let's get him on board and let's get outta here,'" he said.
As crew chief Christian Roberts said, "We are not gonna leave a U.S. soldier to die in the middle of Afghanistan."

Past the 'Golden Hour'

The MEDEVAC helicopter flew over mountains fully loaded with Moss and three other wounded, racing the clock. Moss' best chance of survival was to get advanced medical care within one hour of his injury. Trauma surgeons call it the "golden hour." But Moss' had already ended.

Radio dispatches let the trauma team know that they had one critical patient coming whose blood pressure was dropping and heart rate was dangerously high. But reports of the true nature of Moss' injury had not reached the closest medical facility at the Orgun-E base -- a former goat shed transformed into a rough field hospital. They were told it was "shrapnel injury." The aid station had two doctors, Maj. John Oh, a general surgeon, and Maj. Kevin Kirk, an orthopedic surgeon. At this point it wasn't clear which Moss needed most -- a surgical team or a bomb squad.

It was only when Oh started cutting away all the bandages that "Doc" Angell had delicately wrapped around the RPG that he saw what they were facing.

"It had fins coming out of the left side of his body and had a big bulge in the front of his right thigh," Kirk said.

Still conscious, Moss remembers the faces dropping in shock as they took in the sight.

Incredibly, both Oh and Kirk had drilled for this exact scenario, because the Army has a protocol to handle patients with unexploded ordnance in them.

"You're actually not supposed to bring them into an aid station," Oh said."And actually, he wasn't supposed to be flown with the other patients either."

According to the "War Surgery Manual," Moss should have been placed far away from other patients and operated on last. If procedure had been followed, Moss would likely have bled to death, but the doctors felt compelled to save him.

Then Pvt. Moss had another life-saving break -- Staff Sgt. Dan Brown, the explosives expert who spends his time disposing of bombs and captured weapons, was on the base. In his spare time, Brown had been watching an episode of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" about a patient with an unexploded grenade in him. In that story, the bomb technician is blown up. Brown was about to play a leading role in his own non-fiction drama.

Brown was shocked to see that Moss was still alive. Most of the time his patients are deceased. Brown confirmed that they were dealing with an RPG. Moss' life hung on whether or not they would remove the rocket.

Brown explained the different scenarios of what could happen. The worst case was that they would all become "pink mist" -- everyone in the room would be killed. But to identify how much explosive power they were facing, they needed an x-ray to determine whether the RPG's warhead was inside Moss. Their notoriously temperamental x-ray machine malfunctioned, and it wasn't until the third attempt that they got a decent image.

The doctors and Brown were relieved by what they didn't see. The deadliest part of the RPG -- the main explosive charge -- was not in Moss. But their relief diminished when Brown explained to the surgeons that it would still have enough force to kill Moss and destroy their hands.

At that point, Oh ordered everyone except the critical staff out of the aid station, the two doctors and three surgical staff remained. They all knew the risk they faced.

"I looked everybody in the eye and said, 'You guys understand what's going on here, right?' And I knew everybody heard me, but nobody said anything. They just kept doing their jobs," he said.

Oh told them it was okay to leave -- but nobody did. With no words exchanged, each had decided to risk their life to save Moss.

Extreme blood loss had caused his heart to stop. Unable to do chest compressions for fear of setting off the round, they gave him epinephrine. His heart soon restarted and they could finally operate to remove the RPG.

Sgt. Brown used an unusual instrument to gently remove the RPG's tail fins -- a hacksaw. The surgeons reached inside Moss, steadying the still lethal rocket, inches from the soldier's beating heart. They then gently eased the rocket out, with the detonator aimed at Brown's flak vest.

Brown quickly walked out of the aid station to a bunker and detonated it. The sound of the explosion thundered through the base. As the surgeons closed up Moss' incisions, Sgt. Brown sat down outside to collect himself. Finally, the impact of the drama hit him.

"I started shaking. I just sat there. I knew I did everything I could to help him live. And that was very, very intense for me after the fact," he said.

Coming Home

In a matter of days, after stops at hospitals in Afghanistan and Germany, Pvt. Moss was rushed to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. There his wife, Lorena, saw him for the first time and it was almost too much to bear.

"He looked very vulnerable. I went in, and ... I walked away. I couldn't stay in the room. I broke down outside in the hallway," she said.

Moss' pelvis was shattered, his internal organs were severely damaged and he was unable to walk.

For Moss, this was another challenge in a lifetime of obstacles. Raised by family friends after a tough childhood, he had become a high school football standout, got into college, got married and had a family.

As broken as Moss' body was, he focused from the very start on recovery. He said he didn't need a doctor to tell him if he'd be able to walk again.

"I told [the doctor] ... I could feel my feet, I'm going to walk again. Told him just like that," Moss said.

For his wounds in combat, Pvt. Moss had a Purple Heart coming. But he wanted to wait. It was important for him to be able to stand to receive it.

He underwent four major surgeries followed by intense physical therapy. Pvt. Moss' recovery was steady … moving from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane.

"I wanted to walk and get my medal, I wanted to stand up, to let them know I fought hard to get where I came from," Moss said. "They say 'Army Strong' [and] I wanted to be an example of that, and I was. So I stood up, I walked over there and got my medal."

A year later Moss is home with his family and the new baby daughter, Ariana, he thought he would never meet. Despite the aches and pains, he is grateful for the risks so many soldiers took that day.

"I was given a second chance. And to whom much is given ... much is expected. So a lot is expected of me," Moss said.

For Sgt. Brown, there was never a question about taking the gamble.

"He was American, he was a solider, he was a brother and he was one of us. And there was nothing gonna stop us from doing what we knew what we had to do … We knew we did right. In that screwed up world we did something right," Brown said.

Moss is missing about two-thirds of his intestines, part of his pelvic bone and needs more repair to his left hip. A member of the staff at Walter Reed calls him “Rocket Man.”

But the infantryman, who joined the Army to help give his family a better life, said he knows he’s alive because of his fellow soldiers.

“I don’t think there has been a day in the last year and a half that I haven’t thought about them, that I haven’t prayed for them. They saved my life,” said Moss, 24, whose slender 135-pound frame belies the hearty young man who went to war 55 pounds heavier.
“I knew it was love of country and brothers in arms. I hope God watches over them if they get deployed.”

The soldiers responsible for saving Pvt. Moss were recognized for their service that day and the Army has not changed its policy regarding unexploded ordnances in soldiers.

Epilogue: Recognition for Service

Several soldiers involved with saving Moss have since been honored or promoted. Here are their current ranks and awards they have received.

Maj. John Oh, general surgeon -- The Soldier's Medal
Maj. Kevin Kirk, orthopedic surgeon -- Army Commendation Medal with Valor
SSG Eric Wynn and Pfc. Channing Moss -- Purple Heart
CW3 Jorge Correa, MEDEVAC pilot, and Sgt. John Collier, flight medic -- Air Medal with Valor
CW2 Jeremy Smith, co-pilot, and SSG Christian Roberts, crew chief -- Air Medal
Sgt Jared Angell, field medic, and SFC Dan Brown, explosives expert -- Bronze Star with Valor

Wild Thing's comemnt.....

Tears running down my cheeks! God bless our brave soldiers.

Even though this happened a couple of years ago it is such an honor to post about our Heros. I don't think a lot of people saw this story when it happened. I don't remember the media covering it. and it is the first time I have heard about it.

This is quite a story!

God bless all the people who risked their lives to save this soldier! From the medics, to the helicopter crews who willingly took “unexploded ordinance” on their flight. Talk about bravery! Loyalty, courage, in the face of death.

Every time I read about incidents such as this one I am overwhelmed by the bravery and strong ties the Brotherhood that our awesome military has and it goes on into forever with our Veterans.

God bless all of you Veterans too, you touch my life every single day !

......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 06:49 AM | Comments (6)

July 02, 2009

US: American Soldier Captured in Afghanistan

Photo of US Troops in Afghanistan, this is not the soldier that is missing. There is no photo available as of this time. The news just broke about this a couple of minutes ago. And also they are being careful to protect the soldier that is missing.

US: American soldier captured in Afghanistan


FOX News

Insurgents have captured an American soldier in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias said the soldier went missing Tuesday.
"We are using all of our resources to find him and provide for his safe return," Mathias said.

Mathias did not provide details on the soldier, the location where he was captured or the circumstances.

"We are not providing further details to protect the soldier's well-being," she said.

An Afghan police official said the soldier went missing during the day Tuesday in the Mullakheil area of eastern Paktika province. Gen. Nabi Mullakheil said there is an American base in the area.

The news broke as thousands of U.S. Marines launched a major anti-Taliban offensive in southern Afghanistan. The missing soldier was not part of that operation.

Zabiullah Mujaheed, a spokesman for the Taliban, could not confirm that the soldier was with any of their forces. A myriad of insurgent groups operate in eastern Afghanistan, and the Taliban is only one of them.

Wild Thing's comment......

Prayers for this solider!!! I seriously hope they can rescue him quickly knowing the history of those animals!

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM | Comments (9)

June 30, 2009

Semper Fi and a Daughters Call


"My dad Angelo was in the hospital in Tacoma, Washington. A former Marine and veteran of the Korean War, he was having his third knee replacement surgery.

A long and very painful operation was going to be made even worse because dad was going through it alone. There was no one to hold his hand, no familiar soft voices to reassure him. His wife was ill and unable to accompany him or even visit during his weeklong stay.. My sisters and brother lived in California, and I lived even farther away, in Indiana. There wasn't even anyone to drive him to the hospital, so he had arrived that morning by cab.

The thought of my dad lying there alone was more than I could stand. But what could I do from here? I picked up the phone and called information for the Puyallup, Washington, Marine Corps recruiting station, where I joined the Marines ten years before. I thought that, if I could talk to a Marine and explain the situation, maybe one of them would visit my dad. I called the number. A man answered the phone and in a very confident voice said,

"United States Marines, Sergeant XXXX. May I help you?"

Feeling just as certain, I replied, "Sergeant XXXX, you may find this request a little strange, but this is why I am calling. " I proceeded to tell him who I was and that my father was also a former Marine and 100 percent
disabled from the Korean War. I explained that he was in the hospital, alone, without anyone to visit and asked if Sergeant XXXX would please go and see him.

Without hesitation, he answered, "Absolutely. "

Then I asked, "If I send flowers to the recruiting station, would you deliver them to my dad when you go to the hospital?"

"Ma'am, I will be happy to take the flowers to your dad. I'll give you my address. You send them, and I will make sure that he receives them," he replied. The next morning, I sent the flowers to Sergeant XXXX's office just as we
had planned. I went to work and, that evening, I returned home and phoned my dad to inquire about his surprise visitor. If you have ever talked with a small child after that child has just seen Santa Claus, you will understand the glee I heard in my dad's voice.

"I was just waking up when I thought I saw two Marines in their dress blue uniforms standing at the foot of my bed," he told me excitedly. "I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. But they were really there!" I began to laugh, partly at his excitement, but also because he didn't even mention his operation. He felt so honored; two Marines he had never met took time out to visit an old Marine like him.. He told me again and again how sharp they looked and how all the nurses thought he was so important.

"But how did you ever get them to do that"? he asked me.

"It was easy. We're all Marines, Dad, past and present.. It's the bond."

After hanging up with my dad, I called Sergeant XXXX to thank him for visiting my dad. And to thank him for the extra things he did to make it special: wearing his dress blue uniform, bringing another Marine along. He even
took a digital camera with him... He had pictures taken of the two Marines with my dad right beside his bed. That evening, he emailed them to me so I could see for myself that my dad was not alone and that he was going to be okay.

As for the flowers, they hardly mattered, but I was glad for the opportunity to express my feelings. The card read:

"Daddy, I didn't want just anyone bringing you flowers, so I sent the World's Finest.. Semper Fi. "

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

I love these stories. God bless this family and the Marine that answered the phone and the Marines. God bless all our military.


....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 05:45 AM | Comments (9)

In Country With Our Troops in KABUL, Afghanistan

There is no sound with this one, just to let you know.~ Wild Thing

June 21, 2009 - KABUL, Afghanistan - Coalition forces engaged and eliminated insurgents emplacing an improvised explosive device along a major highway in northern Khost Province June 20, in an area known for IED attacks.

A coalition forces unmanned aerial vehicle observed three insurgents emplacing an IED at approximately 9:45 p.m. The video, taken by the UAV, shows an individual digging on a road, away from compounds or other structures.

Coalition forces engaged and eliminated a group of insurgents emplacing an improvised explosive device along a major highway in northern Khost Province June 20 in an area known for IED attacks.

After spotting and positively identifying the insurgents emplacing the IED, the insurgents were engaged with a precision munition. One of the IED emplacers fled the scene, running to a treeline where he was engaged by a second precision munition.

Following the engagement, coalition forces found a command wire and several charges near the road.
There were no civilian injuries reported during this event.

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

Bye Bye! Three less terrorists in the world.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (4)

June 29, 2009

U.S. Troop Withdrawl From Iraqi Cities

Clips of the Aftermath of 2 weeks of suicide bombings. Where are those Moderate Muslims who should be outraged by this? Its terrible the world supports Islamic Terror rather than supporting America and its Allies who are capturing and destroying cold blooded killers. The past 2 weeks there have been over 200 people blown up dead all across Iraq. Too bad the world doesnt speak in a loud voice against these atrocities delivered by Muslim terrorists.

During March and April 2009 U.S. generals repeatedly talked about asking the Iraqis to stay in certain unstable cities past the summer deadline set by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

February 2009 President Obama announced his plan to pull out of Iraq. Following the SOFA, all U.S. troops have to be out of Iraqs cities and towns by June 30, 2009.

After Iraqs provincial elections, combat troops will be drawn down leaving behind a force of 35,000-50,000 that will ultimately leave by December 31, 2011. Either side can end the agreement or amend it if both sides agree. There is also supposed to be an Iraqi referendum on the SOFA in July 2009.

Wild Thing's comment.....

I am so worried about our troops, this is an extremely time for them. The terrorists are already and why wouldn't they be the date was announced in plenty of time for them to plan all kinds of madness and killings.

And there is this too that it is IRAN is behind the recent bombings in Iraq.

There is one other thing, these Iraqi's have tasted freedom, and a taste that was paid for with the blood and death and wounded of our military brave warriors. Many do not want our troops to leave, they are glad when they see an American soldier and of course there are others that want to have us out of there. To those that want us to be gone, I say this..... that TASTE of FREEDOM is up to you to keep it, hold it dear, fight for it . We may have to do the same thing again in our own country the United States.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (10)

Texas National Guard Known As The "High Plains Infantry"

Staff Sgt. Richard Shaver, acting platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion 142nd Infantry, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, counts trucks coming out of the convoy yard at Camp Korean Village on the night of June 23. Shaver, of Arlington, Texas, counts all the trucks out of the gate checking his manifest to ensure accountability.

Spc. Timothy Stewart, a vehicle driver serving with B Company, 2nd Battalion 142nd Infantry, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, checks transmission fluid levels in his Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in the early morning hours, June 23, following a seven hour long convoy.

A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle in 2nd Battalion 142nd Infantry Division, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, stands ready for a convoy mission from Camp Victory in Baghdad past the city of Ar Rutbah in far western Iraq, June 22.


For the second time in four years, troops from a Texas National Guard unit finds themselves in the full time service to their state and nation supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

For some Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, deployment to the Middle East bares a close resemblance to home station.

Known as the "High Plains Infantry", the companies that comprise the battalion are primarily found in the high plains area of the panhandle of northwestern Texas. This part of Texas has terrain that is mostly flat with moderate elevation and has high winds and temperatures during the summer; no different than many parts of Iraq.

This time around, they secure and escort convoys of critical supplies, everything from beans and bullets to water and fuel across western Iraq in the famed al-Anbar province.

"Every single widget we use, from a slice of bread at chow to the fuel that runs our generators is brought in by ground convoy, and Texan Soldiers are the ones protecting it," said Lt. Col. Christopher Link, 56th IBCT operations officer of Mansfield, Texas.

These convoy missions can take several days to complete and when rolling on the road, can stretch for several miles from the lead vehicle to the truck pulling up the rear.

"This mission normally puts about 1,000 miles on each of our trucks," explained acting platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Richard Shaver, of Arlington, Texas.

For Shaver, most missions normally lasts about four or five days, depending on execution times and cooperating weather. That's five days of living out of a backpack, sleeping irregular hours, operating under the starry nights of western Iraq and sleeping in makeshift huts under the blaring desert sun.

Rolling out of the sprawling Victory Base Complex on the western edge of Baghdad, Soldiers escort more than 30 tractor trailer trucks and start heading west in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles. The large trucks can strike an intimidating presence.

"I like driving the MRAP because civilians [in smaller vehicles] tend to stay clear when they see a 25,000 pound truck coming," said a wide smiling Spc. Timothy Stewart, a vehicle driver from Rock Port, Texas.

The convoy traveled more than 250 miles during the night, often times barely crawling along due to sub-standard road conditions.

Along the way, vehicle breakdowns increase the timeline and prompts Shaver to say, "We might see daylight before we finish tonight boys." Once everyone has pulled into their destination, all the vehicles top off with fuel and get ready to go again the next day. As they look to the east, troops see the beginnings of daybreak and head to the dining facility for a breakfast meal that for many of the Soldiers will serve as supper.

The mood is light as everyone enjoys a helping of eggs, bacon and fruit. Some enjoy cereal and some of the many other choices available at the dining facility. Following chow, many of the Soldiers retire for the morning into a plywood building for a few hours of shut-eye.

As the afternoon sun begins to bake the desert at a stifling 110 degrees, many of the Soldiers begin to stir. Within a couple of hours these Soldiers start all the preparations of once again heading out on the road. As they ready their trucks, checking fluid levels and doing communications checks, the word comes that the convoy may not push out.

"I don't mind spending an extra day out, because when we are out on the road it makes the days go by quicker," said Sgt. Ryan Northcutt, a squad leader from Longview, Texas.

Many of the various missions performed throughout Iraq require a degree of flexibility and the capacity to change direction at the drop of a hat. On this night, the Soldiers would be put on standby because of unfavorable route status, only to be given the word "Go" after many had relaxed and settled in for what was thought to be an extra night on the camp.

"You absolutely have to be flexible in this mission, said Shaver. "We can go from being stood down and not moving to hitting an [start point] within an hour."

Like the rest of the convoy, the security platoons operate using three elements: a forward security element for added safety and a sense of warn for the Soldiers on the mission, a main body who escorts the bulk of the semi-trucks with the supplies, and a recovery element which acts to recover any of the vehicles that may experience problems ranging from transmission problems to something as innocuous as a simple flat tire.

"We operate with three elements within the convoy. Each element operates semi-independently of each other. Their tasks being completed can make or break a mission," Shaver explained.

Along the route the recovery team got a chance to exercise their skills as a fuel tanker had a tire blowout. The blowout caused the loss of two tires and both had to be replaced before the mission could continue.

On this night however, this would not be the only maintenance issue that these Soldiers would be faced with. A separate trailer had tire issues as well, including the loss of some of the highly important lug nuts used to keep the wheels on and rolling down the supply routes. After some controlled substitution amongst the contracted drivers of the fuel tankers, the mission, once again continued towards the Iraqi capital. There would be, however, one more breakdown.

This final breakdown happened along the supply route to Baghdad near Fallujah, some 30 miles west of the capital city. This incident would test the resolve and patience of the recovery crew.

Unable to self recover, Shaver's Soldiers would wait nearly 10 hours on the outskirts of Fallujah in searing heat all the while maintaining 360 degree security protecting the vital fuel in the tanker, and wait for addition recovery assets.

"Whenever we can't self recover, we wait for additional assets to get to us. Sometimes that wait is only a couple of hours and sometimes it is longer," said Shaver.

Glad to be moving again, the recovery element of 1st Platoon breathe a sigh of relief as they finally continue towards Victory Base Complex on the western edge of Baghdad for some well deserved rest after their 22 hours on the road. Even on what many consider the most inhospitable terrain in Iraq and through scorching temperatures, the High Plains Infantrymen complete their tasks with a unique pride that lets them feel at home.

Wild Thing's comment......

God bless each one of them and protect them and keep them safe.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

June 26, 2009

Obama Threatens Veto as House Nears Vote on $550.4 Billion Defense Bill

Money for our military...... naw he will veto that, but money for the Hamas oh YES Obama LOVES that idea. ~ Wild Thing


House nears vote on $550.4 billion defense bill


The U.S. House of Representatives was poised to approve on Thursday a $550.4 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 2010 that has drawn a veto threat from President Barack Obama because it contains money for fighter jets he does not want.

The bill also authorizes $130 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fiscal year that begins October 1.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said it supported the overall bill but the president's senior advisers would recommend a veto unless some provisions were dropped.
One congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the White House veto threat as "a bargaining tool."

The Senate Armed Services Committee was to unveil its defense authorization bill for 2010 later on Thursday, but the legislation was unlikely to be approved by the full Senate until September. House and Senate negotiators must then hammer out a compromise version before final passage.

The OMB said it strongly objected to the House decision to include $369 million in advanced procurement funds to buy 12 more F-22 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp despite a Pentagon decision to halt production at 187.

Some lawmakers are pushing to continue production of the F-22 until a current ban on exports can be lifted to allow Japan to buy a modified version of the premiere U.S. fighter jet. The Lockheed program employs workers in over 40 states.

The administration also objected to House lawmakers adding $603 million to the bill to continue work on an alternate F-35 fighter engine being built by General Electric Co and Rolls-Royce Group Plc.

The OMB said the changes would delay the fielding of the F-35 and have an adverse effect on the Pentagon's overall strike fighter inventory. It said the risks of a fleet-wide grounding with a single engine, an issue raised by the Marine Corps general who runs the program, were "exaggerated."

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

"that has drawn a veto threat from President Barack Obama because it contains money for fighter jets he does not want."

It is going to be hard to get Obama to fund our military and their needs. Also I really think he is more then uncomfortable around them. You can see it in his body language and the look he gives them plus all the other ways he has treated them.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:40 AM | Comments (8)

June 25, 2009

Pentagon: Increased Violence Expected as US Troops Leave Iraqi Cities

Pentagon: Increased Violence Expected as US Troops Leave Iraqi Cities

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2009

Predicting an uptick in violence in Iraq as U.S. combat troops leave the cities by June 30, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today that deployed troops have geared up for the heightened threat as they comply with the U.S.-Iraq status of forces agreement.

“I think we have reason to believe -- and I think our forces have been alerted to the possibility -- that we will likely see an uptick in violence leading up to the June 30 deadline for U.S. combat forces to leave Iraqi cities and towns,” Morrell told Pentagon reporters.

He cited past patterns in which terrorists and insurgents increased their attacks in the days leading up to elections and other significant milestones.

Recent incidents in Iraq, including the “horrific” bombing south of Kirkuk last weekend, also indicate a possible repeat before U.S. combat troops leave urban areas in accordance with the U.S.-Iraqi status of forces agreement, Morrell said.

Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, has expressed confidence in the capabilities of both his forces and the Iraqi security forces to deal with the increased threat level, Morrell said. As combat troops leave the cities, they’ll form “layers of defense” outside the urban areas and continue to conduct combat operations with Iraqi security forces.
However, smaller contingents of U.S. troops will remain behind to support the Iraqi security forces until they’re no longer needed. “This is going to be a coordinate/train/advise/assist role,” he said. “So we’ll really be there as a complement to them.”

Morrell cited progress in improving security in Iraq and helping the Iraqi security forces develop capacity.

“Security incidents, despite that awful attack, remain at all-time lows since March of 2003,” he said. “So despite the fact that you’ve seen sporadic high-profile attacks still taking place in Iraq, the overall security climate is a good one.”

Morrell stopped short of declaring victory over the insurgency.

“We think we have beaten back al-Qaida to the point where they are now conducting attacks that are basically propaganda campaigns in an attempt to make it look as though they are driving us out of the Iraqi cities,” he said. “In fact, the truth of the matter is that … the work of our brave men and women in uniform over the past couple years has created a climate such that we can leave Iraqi cities, and the Iraqi security forces are developed to the point where they are capable of taking over that responsibility.”

Meanwhile, progress has continued on the economic and political fronts as well.

“All those things are improvements,” Morrell said. “And we signed a security agreement with the Iraqis nearly a year ago in which they asked us to stay in Iraq for the next three years to help them continue to build upon that momentum.
“We view that obligation seriously, and we intend to honor it,” he added.

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

This is no surprise it is the very thing we all talked about when it was being discussed how the would pull our troops out of Iraq. It is the military that is right there that will know the when of this not some Kenya freak sitting in an air conditioned office he does not belong in making this kind of decision. OBama is the least qualilfied ito be CIC and since he obviously hates our military he should never be the CIC.

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

June 24, 2009

Our Military and the Jeep

A Soldiers Best Friend; WW2 Jeep

Vintage footage of the WW2 Era Jeep taken from the film Autobiography of a Jeep.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (6)

June 22, 2009

Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe Makes Rounds To See Troops Before Deadline in Iraq

Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe, Multi-National Corps-Iraq command sergeant major, stands atop a rooftop in Samarra over-looking the busy city. Grippe spent time talking to Soldiers here while on a recent battlefield circulation throughout northern Iraq.


A wheeled vehicle mechanic looks up to find Multi-National Corps-Iraq Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe standing beside him recently. The Soldier, from Company B, 589th Brigade Support Battalion, provides direct-level maintenance support to Multi-National Division-South's 41st Fires Brigade of Fort Hood, Texas.


Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe, center, patrols a market in Mosul with Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Hood, Texas. In recent weeks the market has been peaceful, but insurgent attacks continue to place Mosul at the top of the list for insurgency hot-spots in Iraq.

Soldiers Hear Message, Address Important Issues to Senior Leader

by Sgt. Lindsey Bradford


He has flown in UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters nearly 400 miles, convoyed more than three times that distance with his protective security detail and trekked countless miles at various contingency and forward operating bases throughout Iraq - all for the sake of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines living throughout Iraq.

Multi-National Corps-Iraq Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe has been a hard man to pin down since his arrival to Baghdad in March of this year. Fulfilling a goal to talk to service members throughout Iraq about the issues they are facing, Grippe is making his rounds.

"I want to feel it, taste it, smell it, breathe it, live it," he tells service members he visits in all four corners of the country.

Grippe visited with Marines in Multi-National Force-West and with Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen in Multi-National Divisions Baghdad, North and South to deliver a few messages; messages, he says, that are the greatest issues facing our men and women serving in the armed forces.

One of the main concerns effecting service members stationed in Iraqi cities is the fast-approaching, June 30, deadline. As cited in Article 24 of the Security Agreement, "All United States combat forces shall withdraw from Iraqi cities, villages and localities ... no later than, June 30." Throughout Iraq, service members asked Grippe what that meant for them.

"We are working against the clock now," he said. "Never before have we been on a timeline, and now you all will continue your hard work with the Iraqis as they take the lead on providing security and safety for their people."

Grippe said that successes of the Iraqi security forces is the direct reflection of coalition forces' efforts to work with, guide and train ISF soldiers since the start of the war six years ago.

In addition, Grippe was quick to note that only the best of the best were standing before him.

"You all represent one percent of the American population that serves in the United States military," he said. "You are the cream of the crop, and you should be very proud of yourself."

For every visit, with his notebook in hand, Grippe opens the floor to answer questions about the Army Direct Ordering system, battlefield promotions, dwell-time and redeployment processes.

"Your job is to tell me what you need, what you see that you think should be changed and to bring up issues I can't see on a daily basis. In turn, I will take those ideas, those issues and bring them to Force to work," said Grippe. "Unless you tell me what is going on, they can't get addressed."

Overall, Soldiers seemed eager to speak with Grippe, and provided him good ideas to take back to higher, he said.

"I was glad that he was able to see one of his brigades from Fort Lewis doing great things," said Fort Lewis' 42nd Military Police Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Edgar Dahl. Dahl and his Soldiers have handled detainee operations at Camp Bucca, located in MND-S, for the past 15 months. "I was pleased he could talk to the troops of the 42nd and pass on his thoughts."
Grippe said he plans to re-visit all the troops throughout the next 10 months of his tour to ensure that Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are getting the answers to their questions and to monitor their quality of life. Those two things, Grippe said, are what he is here to take care of.

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

"One of the main concerns effecting service members stationed in Iraqi cities is the fast-approaching, June 30, deadline."

That is for next year and it is thanks to Obama. Instead of allowing our military to make these decisions of when, where, time etc. Our Military that know hands on right there what is best, the feel of what is happening and the experience of what happens when they ease up etc. nope,.....Obama that has only held a basketball in his hands is making a decision that will effect our troops safety and all the hard work they have done. And we will not forget those that have been injured and killed in this fight as well, paying them respect for what they gave, the highest cost of all.

To Obama this obviously is nothing more then shutting down one of his stop and shops at his corner someplace in thugville where he is from in Chicago.

I do love how Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe is igoing ito all the places to see our troops. There have been a lot of wonderful leaders in our military that really stay close with our troops. I think it makes a huge difference.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:49 AM | Comments (5)

In Country With 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Afghanistan

2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Afghanistan

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade are taught how to use a robot to search for improvised explosive devices during training lesson at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade walk through blowing sand inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday, June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade rest inside a tent at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province Tuesday June 9. AP / David Guttenfelder

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (4)

June 20, 2009

U.S.Army Oldest Helicopter Turns 40 and Still In Use

The oldest helicopter in the U.S. Army turns 40-years old and it's still in use at Fort Polk, Louisiana

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (3)

June 18, 2009

Marines Work to Build Airfield in Afghanistan

Expeditionary Airfield Marines, with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, place aluminum matting on the flightline on Camp Bastian, Afghanistan


CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan

Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron-371 have been working diligently on the expansion of the airfield here. Once finished, it will be one of the largest airfields in the Marine Corps, with multiple interconnected taxiways and aircraft maintenance bays.

"The airfield is expanding to house the aircraft in support of Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ronald Neal, the officer-in-charge of the squadron's heavy equipment platoon. "Our Marines have been here for almost three months now and through sandstorms, hot weather, and aircraft flying over, they are here every day, Sunday to Sunday."

Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 are working alongside MWSS-371 in a combined effort to finish the airfield.

The team of MWSS-371 "Sand Sharks" working on this project is comprised of approximately 300 Marines and is broken down into two groups, the Heavy Equipment Platoon and the Expeditionary Airfield Platoon.

"We send out 90-man working crews on 12-hour shifts," said Neal. "Every day feels like a Monday."

From grating the soil, watering the soil, compacting the soil, and finally placing the aluminum matting, the airfield is built despite the inconsistent terrain.

"The hardest part of this project is the fact that we are building it from scratch," said Neal. "The ground preparation is most important."
"Even though we are not out on convoys and patrols, and that it might seem minimal to some, we know our hard work will make a difference in this war," said Lance Cpl. Joshua Martinez, a heavy equipment operator with MWSS-371.

This airfield is scheduled for completion later this summer and will be a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Marines of MWSS-371, whose home station is Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., and are here as members of Marine Aircraft Group 40, the aviation combat element of MEB-Afghanistan.


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

HUGE job doing something like this. Amazing all the things our troops do.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (2)

Older Recruits Challenge Army and Vice Versa

Pfc. Shane Dixon, 38, right, gets advice from a fellow trainee half his age, Stephen Miles, 19, in basic training at Fort Sill, Okla.

Older Recruits Challenge Army and Vice Versa


Pfc. Shane Dixon is known as Old Dix. Specialist Jason Ness goes by Gramps. Pfc. Christopher Batson’s nom de boot camp is Pops. None of them are over 40, but to the 18-year-old soldiers in basic training here, they are as ancient as a first generation Xbox.

Yet in the three years since the Army raised its age limit for enlisting to 42, from 35, a steady stream of older recruits has joined the ranks, pushing creaky muscles through road training, learning to appreciate — or at least endure — Army chow and in some cases deploying to combat zones.

And while the number of such recruits, more than 3,800, is small by Army standards, the pace of over-35 enlistment jumped sharply in the first months of this year. Motives vary, from a yearning for midlife adventure to a desire to serve their country. But rising unemployment is also a major reason, say Army officials, recruiters and training officers.

“It’s a guaranteed job, as long as you go to work every day,” said Capt. Jared Auchey, company commander of the Army Experience Center in Philadelphia, who estimates that one in 10 of the enlistments at his high-tech marketing office are over 35. “There are no layoffs in the Army.”

The Army recruits about 80,000 soldiers a year, and the older recruits are having an impact even on basic training, Army officers say. At classes here, as many as one in seven soldiers are over 35, and many drill sergeants now look to the older soldiers as mentors, or proxy disciplinarians.

Staff Sgt. Arron Barnes, Fort Sill’s drill sergeant of the year in 2009, said the older recruits tended to bring technical skills and maturity, were easier to instruct and were often more committed than teenage soldiers.

“They contribute at a higher level because they have no other place to go,” Sergeant Barnes, 26, said. “This is their life.”

The older recruits are, however, injury prone. Rusty joints, forgotten injuries and slow-to-recover muscles cause the over-35 recruits to wash out of basic training at a somewhat higher rate than younger soldiers, said Lt. Col. Michael S. Patton, commander of a basic-training battalion here.

Specialist John D. Butts, 38, exemplifies the new breed. An aspiring writer who was a house painter outside Philadelphia for two decades, he lost his steady paycheck last November after the housing market crashed.

A part-time job at Blockbuster did not pay his rent, and when his landlord threatened to evict him, his girlfriend (now his wife) and her three teenage children, he decided radical action was required. He called an Army recruiter he had met recently and signed up for a three-year stint.

Despite years as a dedicated beer drinker and smoker, Specialist Butts made it through basic here at Fort Sill and is now training with an artillery unit that may head to South Korea this year. A tour in Afghanistan could be in the cards, he says.

Over the last two months, he has been yelled at by a 24-year-old drill sergeant, forced to inhale choking gas, done more push-ups than he cares to remember and patiently put up with wise-cracking 19-year-olds who forget to flush the toilet. So far, he has made the grade and is even considering a career in the military.

“I’ve just tried to keep my head down, keep my mouth shut and not wring necks,” Specialist Butts said.

The sagging economy, of course, has bolstered military recruiting at all age levels. But the older recruits represent a new, and perhaps more challenging, opportunity for the Army, the only service that accepts recruits over 35. (The maximum age is 35 in the Navy, 28 in the Marine Corps and 27 in the Air Force.)

It is not clear yet how well older soldiers handle the rigors of combat. The Army says it does not segregate older recruits in basic training and does not consider age when deciding where to assign or deploy them. Of the nearly 5,000 military personnel killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 600 have been over 35, most of them career soldiers. The oldest was 60-year-old Steven Hutchison, who served in Vietnam and retired from the Army in 1988 only to re-enlist in 2007 under a special program for retirees. Major Hutchison was killed last month in a bombing in Iraq.

During a break in marksmanship training at Fort Sill last week, several older soldiers said the economy had not been their only motivation for enlisting. “I didn’t want to be 75 and think back, ‘I wish I had joined the Army,’ ” said Pvt. Mark O’Brien, 36, a corrections officer from Portsmouth, N.H. “There’s nothing worse than regret.”

But for Private Batson, 35, the threat of layoffs was the driving force behind his joining. A mechanical engineer from Utah with five children, he was spared when his company laid off workers last year, but the close call worried him. Deciding he needed a fall-back option, he turned to the National Guard.

Now, if he is laid off and cannot find work, he figures he can go full time with the National Guard or the regular Army. In exchange for that job security, he says there is a good chance he will do a tour in Afghanistan.
“My natural priority is my family,” Private Batson said. “I’ll do anything I have to do to take care of them.”

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

I think this would only strengthen the Armed Forces. Each age group has something to share with the other and the experience of the older recruits would be valuable .

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:44 AM | Comments (6)

793rd Military Police Battalion in Basra

Capt. Jay Cash, assistant operations officer with the 793rd Military Police Battalion, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and Keith Curtis, the law enforcement professional for 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div., inspect the Basra Provincial Police Headquarters during a key leader visit

793d MPs, IPs work to build forensic lab in Basra

By Staff Sgt. Carlos M. Burger II
2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div., PAO

As Soldiers from the 793rd Military Police Battalion, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, toured the forensics crime laboratory at the Basra Provincial Police Headquarters May 27, they were instantly impressed and amazed by what they saw.

The laboratory was littered with ballistic evidence and dominated by high-powered microscopes. Some commented that the room looked more like a lab they would find in a stateside police station than what they were expecting in Iraq. Impressive as the room was, the Iraqi Police and 793d MPs know there is a long way to go before the building
reaches its full potential.

“Things are progressing and that’s good. I have seen the progress since we have started and the IP have come a long way,” said Capt. Jay Cash, assistant operations officer with the 793rd MP Bn.

The overall plan for the building consists of a complete overall of its infrastructure and security. Then the building has to pass a cleanliness test and the IP lab techni-=cians have become certified forensic specialists.

Once that’s completed, the last step is to move in more than $2.5 million worth of state-of-the-art forensic
equipment into the building, said Keith Curtis, the law enforcement professional for 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div. The IP are already well on the way to meeting these requirements. Since the project began, the IP have removed four truck loads of rubbish from the area, cleaned the upper levels of the building and have sent seven of their lab technicians to Baghdad to become certified in forensic science, said Brigadier General Abed Kariem Gabar, chief operations officer for the provincial police forensics crime lab, through a translator.

He added that when his technicians return, they will be able to perform many levels of forensic operations, such as analyzing DNA, chemicals and explosive residue.

“We are building now, so everyone needs more (time), but we are learning (our jobs),” Kariem continued. One challenge the general continues to face, however is gaining the people’s confidence in forensic science. Fortunately, the IP recently arrested criminals accused of burglary and theft and the forensic team played a critical part leading up to their arrest. This seemly simple action went a long way to establishing the team’s credibility.

“We’ve faced some problems; before the people didn’t understand (what we do). We gained the trust of the people and we proved how important our role was,” Kariem said. As the Soldiers and IP parted ways, the general gave his thanks to the U.S. forces for their continued support in making both Basra province and Iraq a safer place for its citizens.

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

So many culture differences, I am so proud of our troops. They really have so many things to work through just to be able to do what they are trained to do.

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

June 17, 2009

In Country With Sandbox Sailors

Sandbox Sailors: In every clime, place … and uniform

Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

In the increasingly joint world of military operations, it is not uncommon to see uniforms of different services in the same formation, or even to see a Marine unit’s staff dotted with the pale gray of Army and Air Force uniforms.

Even so, three members of the Naval Medical Corps currently serving here symbolize just how far the Navy goes in providing “Sandbox Sailors” for joint support.

For Navy medical officers Lieutenants Dominick Fernandez, Diana Loffgren and Jessica Woody, serving in a joint-service environment is a daily reality that keeps them on the move, seeing the fight from different aspects.

Fernandez, from Sugarland, Texas, currently serves as the battalion surgeon and medical officer for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, wearing a tri-color Navy desert uniform to work and spending his days providing medical support for the sailors deployed here.

This was not always the case for him. In 2007, he was attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He stayed with the Marines through 2008, later serving with 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. There he wore the Marine Pattern digital utility uniform while providing medical support to his Devil Dogs.

“I love working with Marines, if the Marine Corps had medical personnel I would have probably gone to the green side,” said Fernandez. “But I am a sailor to the bone, so when I was working with Marines, I tried to wear my naval uniforms when the occasion arrived that I could.”

Loffgren, a Victoria, Texas, native, is currently the medical planner for the Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan. She’s had to adjust to more than just the uniform she wears to fit her current job.

“It is especially different being a female in the Navy and serving in a Marine Corps billet,” Loffgren said. “Still, with the camaraderie that comes with living and training with Marines all the time, we are as much a part of the team as anyone.”

As members of the Department of the Navy, Marines and sailors often interact with each other, but for Woody, a Clovis, Calif., native, her world in Afghanistan has opened up a new paradigm.

When she wakes up in the morning and goes to work as the administrative medical officer at the Camp Bastion U.K. Hospital, she wears a U.S. Army Combat Uniform.

“It’s funny when I see Marines and sailors everyday and they have to look at me once or twice to really get that my uniform says U.S. Navy, not Army,” Woody explained. “It’s like going back to boot camp, learning all the different ranks and getting used to them.”

In the adjustments needed when a member of one service moves to work with another, things change to fit that specific service such as personnel, missions and training. While working as a doctor with the Marines, Fernandez said, his medical staff was much larger and ready to handle the number of casualties that can arise from the expeditionary nature and combat-oriented missions of a Marine unit. Now that he is back to his naval roots and working with Seabees, his staff makes less of a footprint.

“Even though the force I was with on the MEU was smaller, we had 60 corpsmen ready to handle any medical situation. Now with an even bigger Navy unit, I only have 10 corpsmen on hand,” he said.

The life in an expeditionary unit like the MEU is very different than that of normal deploying unit, Fernandez said. On a MEU, service members live aboard the ship, day in and day out, traveling around conducting operations in many different places. With a force like the Seabees, Fernandez said deployment is different because the forces fly straight to a destination and stay there the entire time, performing one single mission.

“We had a greater breath of operations with the MEU, and the area we covered was much greater than any other type of deployable force,” he said.

Even so, Fernandez said the opportunity to become a jack-of-all-trades is definitely out there.

“This is one of the most diverse jobs in the military; you could be jumping out of planes with the airborne soldiers or going under with a sub or flying into a combat zone on a Huey. We get to do it all,” said Fernandez.

His “desert shipmates” echoed the sentiment.

“It’s nice to know that you can eventually move to not only another unit, but to another branch of service, billet, location; there are a lot of ways that this job stays interesting,” said Loffgren.

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

Cool name Sandbox Sailors !

This story kind of reminded me of how part of Nicholas service after being on the Carrier, in the Navy he spent the last part of his service on an Air Force base working in the climatic hanger there and also putting parachutes together. He liked the climatic hanger but he said a person could only stay inside for a few minutes at a time.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:49 AM | Comments (4)

June 16, 2009

Great US Coast Guard Video

This is a really good video of our awesome US Coast Guard.


The Coast Guard motto is "Semper Paratus", Latin for "Always Ready" or "Always Prepared".

Wild Thing's comment......

The Coast Guard is really amazing, they do so many things and I always wished the representatives from the Coast Guard and Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy all of them would get the chance to go to schools across our country and share with the students the various things that each branch does. That would be like a dream come true if that could happen.

Especially since we know teachers sure as heck don't do this kind of thing.


.....Thank you Chief.

Chief Petty Officer
BM-0164-Assault Boat Coxswain
Vietnam 1964- 1970
1970-1988 US Coast Guard

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (6)

June 15, 2009

Our Troops Have an Awesome Sense of Humor



















Wild Thing's comment......

Amazing! I love these.


....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 04:45 AM | Comments (4)

June 14, 2009

U.S. Army's 234th Birthday Today! HOOAH!!


Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Chief of Staff of the Army, has a message for the Army Family on its 234th Birthday.


Photo montage set to music celebrating the 234th birthday of the Army.


In celebration of the U.S. Army's 234th birthday, left to right; Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey Jr., Col. Arthur Wittich, Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Pvt. 2 Rex Vaughn, and Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston cut a cake in the Pentagon courtyard, June 12, 2009. DoD

Fort Riley, Kan. ceremony honors both Army's 234th and 1st Infantry Division's 92nd birthdays


The 234th birthday commemorates the U.S. Army, which is achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong. In this Year of the NCO, we especially celebrate the long tradition of strength and leadership from the NCO Corps.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (5)

June 12, 2009

The Gotland Class Submarine

Gotland class submarine


The Gotland class attack submarines of the Swedish Navy are modern diesel-electric submarines. They are the first submarines in the world to feature a Stirling engine air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, which extends their underwater endurance from a few days to about a month

“Recent establishment of the Fleet ASW Command in San Diego, Calif., combined with the planned deployment of a state-of-the-art Swedish diesel sub and crew to the West Coast, provides our forces innovative opportunities to train during combined exercises,” said U.S. Fleet Forces Command Director of Readiness and Training, Rear Adm. Don Bullard.

The Swedish navy will provide an advanced diesel submarine, a Gotland-class air independent propulsion (AIP) submarine, for the U.S. Navy’s long-term use. ASW training will be conducted from San Diego and attached to Submarine Squadron 11. The Swedish submarine will be Swedish-flagged, commanded, manned and operated. U.S. Navy personnel will be aboard the Swedish submarine as riders and observers for training purposes.

“This U.S.-Swedish effort will demonstrate the further development of international interoperability between the two nations,” said Inspector of the Royal Swedish Navy, Rear Adm. Jörgen Ericsson.

Nations around the globe continue to acquire quiet and lethal submarines designed to operate in littoral regions and the open ocean. With advanced developments in weaponry and propulsion, the nature of ASW has changed, increasing the risks to operations at sea.

Control of littoral environments is essential to ensuring prompt access for joint forces moving ashore from the sea. Future ASW effectiveness in this critical area demands a dedicated focus on sensors, operational doctrine, and fleet ASW training. Through U.S. and Swedish efforts, both navies are meeting this challenge head on, and preparing for the future.

“This will vastly improve our capability to conduct realistic, effective antisubmarine warfare training that is so critical to the Navy’s ability to accomplish our mission,” said Bullard. “It also expands our efforts in developing coalition ASW tactics, techniques and procedures. This is a great opportunity for both navies, and we are very excited about it."

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

Cool, this is really interesting.

When I was a kid imy Dad took us to the Museum in Chicago where they had a Sub we could go into and take a tour. It was amazing and really made you feel in a small way what it would be like to actually be in a submarine. It was a great lesson about a part of our Navy and what it is like.


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

US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:49 AM | Comments (12)

June 11, 2009

Obama Demanded U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis NO "ceremonial swords" Allowed

Inside the Beltway

Graduating midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis are being told in writing to leave at home or in their vehicles all "ceremonial swords" and anything else "that might be considered a weapon or a threat by screeners" for Friday's outdoor commencement ceremonies featuring an address by President Barack Obama.
Inside the Beltway has obtained the academy's list of prohibited items for this year's graduation exercises, which, besides ceremonial swords, includes umbrellas.
Yes, cell phones and texting are still allowed.

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

This is amazing. I posted about how Obama went to this cermony, but the article I posted awhile back did not have this information in it and it is HUGE. I can see why they left it out, it really makes Obama look like what he is...... ALL BAD!

There was a time when our soldiers and thier commander could trust each other with their lives. By Obama doing this he shows his disdain for our brave military by disarming them, leaving them helpless to defend themselves. He constantly goes against traditiion. He doesn’t trust our young Officers, but he trusts Ammanutjob.

These men and women are trained to be warriors, but they can't be trusted with their swords in the presence of their commander in chief???

Barack and Michelle military haters in the White House! Tyrants are usually afraid of everyone too and I think he knows the real manly men and brave women that are in our military can run circles around him in strength, character and power too.

But it also funny that he is that afraid of our Heroes. hahahaa Woulldn't it be funny if some time when he is walking past one of our Marines as Obama gets on or off Air Force one the Marine goes BOO!
Hahahahahaha And Obama jumps 10 feet in the air. I would love to see that.

Like RAC said too, Michelle is a militant black, and one has to wonder if Obama has some Secret Service Agent sleep between them for protection. LMAO

......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 06:49 AM | Comments (12)

Outstanding! Return to Makin Island

True story of the recovery of 19 US Marines Killed in Action on Makin Island in WWII and their return home to Arlington National Cemetery 58 years later. Story: Pat Mendoza. Music arranged by Pat Mendoza Trumpet: Steve Wiest. Singers: the Islanders and Pat Mendoza

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

No man left behind ... True story of the recovery of 19 US Marines Killed in Action on Makin Island in WWII and their return home to Arlington National Cemetery 58 years later.

In the early days of WW II the Marine raiders attacked Makin Island and left behind 19 dead Marines after asking the islanders to make sure that they received a proper burial. In 1999 the remains were discovered. This is a touching tribute.

Semper Fidelis!

......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 06:45 AM | Comments (6)

June 08, 2009

Living by the Soldier's Creed

Spc. Cory Krogmeier, a N.C. native, and a member of B Troop 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, assists fellow Soldiers as they lift his buddy over a mound to get injured Soldiers to the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in the Abu Ghraib area, June 3.

Crew members of 1st Air Cavalry Brigade prepare UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to airlift injured Soldiers from the wheat field in the Abu Ghraib area, June 3. The crew members want to ensure the Soldiers carrying the litters do not get near the tail rotor.

Living by the Soldier's Creed

by Staff Sgt. Peter Ford


I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.

All Army Soldiers are required to know the Soldier's Creed, but the Soldiers of 591st Military Police Company "Spartans," 93rd MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade not only know it, they live by it. They always place the mission first.

The Spartans, a police transition team that advises Iraqi police, received a distress call over the radio as they prepared to go home after a long day at al-Awad Police Station, June 3. A Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle had rolled over into a ravine less than three miles away. Without hesitation, the Spartans went to the aid of their fellow Soldiers.

"We knew we had to do something when we heard ... Soldiers were possibly hurt inside a MRAP that had rolled into a ravine," said Sgt. George Talkington, a Las Cruces, N.M., native, a military policeman assigned to the 591st MP Co. "We tried to get there as soon as we could."

Once they were close enough to receive a radio transmission from the unit that sent the distress call, the Spartans were informed they could only reach the vehicle by foot. Faced with only two options—swim across a canal or run a quarter miles to the vehicle— they ran.

"Our dismount team got off the vehicle and started to run toward the site in full gear," said Talkington. "We didn't try to swim because the water could have been contaminated and we could have become casualties."

The Spartans arrived at the rollover site tired and sweaty after running in full body armor and gear. They met with a platoon sergeant from B Troop, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division and found Soldiers of B Troop already in action.

"After the vehicle rolled over we set up security around the vehicle, then I took some troops to assist the injured Soldiers out of the vehicle," said Vaden. "Our medic evaluated the casualties and had us put the injured on stretchers as a precautionary measure. After the area was secured and the patients had been evaluated we called for support."

The Cavalry troopers were disciplined, physically and mentally tough; trained and proficient in warrior task and drills. They had already set up security and pulled the injured from the MRAP, evaluated the casualties and sent up a report requesting a medical evacuation.

"Our training kicked in and we made decisions without hesitation; it was like second nature," said Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Vaden of B Troop, 2nd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt. "No one panicked because we knew help would arrive."

When the Spartans arrived, Vaden asked them to have their vehicles pull security on the outer perimeter of the field to provide 360 degrees of security around the landing zone for the UH-60 helicopters to land, according to Talkington. The rest of the Spartans jumped into the ravine to pull security near the MRAP.

Even after a long day, tired and hungry Soldiers of B Troop and the 591st MP Company placed their mission first and used teamwork to help their fellow Soldiers who were injured during a vehicle rollover. The injured Soldiers were successfully evacuated because B Troop and the 591st MP Company adhered to the principles of the Soldier's Creed—I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat.

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

I love our military, our troops are the best in the world. They are the greatest Americans, our Veterans and our troops today.

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM | Comments (6)

Unseen Eye Keeps Watch Over Soldiers

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nicholas Jones, Sgt. Mitchell Godwin and Staff Sgt. Joseph Pospesel of 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, inspect an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in the Paktika Province, Afghanistan, June 3.

Unseen Eye Keeps Watch Over Soldiers

by Pfc. Andrya Hill


A 14-foot unseen guardian patrols eastern Afghanistan day and night, searching for the enemies that would wreak havoc on the country. The Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle has cameras that function as aerial eyes for the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

These UAVs are controlled from the ground by a small group of Paratroopers from the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion.

"We do everything from battle damage assessment to convoy route clearance, but our main missions over here is to provide situational awareness for battlefield commanders," said Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas Jones, a UAV technician who is also serving as the Platoon Leader.

In the three months the UAV Platoon has been operating, Jones said there have been several instances where the Shadow has provided the necessary advantage for mission accomplishment.

"The Baki Kheyl District Center called and said they were receiving fire. We immediately scanned over to them, found the guys firing at them, and followed them all the way back to their safe house," said Jones.

Sgt. 1st Class Sean Bolin, a UAV operator, told a similar success story.

"A couple weeks ago, the FOB [Sharana] came under a mortar attack. We spotted some guys to the north, and used the UAV to positively identify them and stay on them, so the commanders can pick them up or put fire on them."

Regardless of the challenges, the UAV platoon works around the clock to assure that the Soldiers of 4-25th are protected. From the operators that fly the aircraft and observe the footage, to the maintainers who keep them up and running, the brigade can rest assured that overhead a Shadow floats, providing security and support.

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

Anything ithat can help our troops I am all for. A new CIC would be nice too. ( just wishing here)

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:40 AM | Comments (2)

June 06, 2009

Burka Wearing Muzzie Freak Crashes Memorial for Pvt. William Long in Arkansas

Arkansas organized a rally in rememberance of the first terrorist attack since 9/11. Pvt. William Long was killed and Pvt. Quinton I. Ezeagwula was wounded by Carlos Leon (aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad). Channel 11 was the only TV crew out there with a camera, and the AR Dem Gazette sent a reporter and a photographer.

The event had several speakers who did a wonderful job. Video footage of them will be uploaded soon. However, the most shocking part of the event was when a muslim fanatic crashed the event.

The fanatic drove by and yelled at us, then parked in the parking lot and stood out with a homemade sign yelling anti-American and later anti-Semetic comments. Had this been a ceremony for Tiller, this would have been the top story for both local and national media.

Pvt. William Long, 23, of Conway, Arkansas

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

With all the pro Muslim BS from Obama there will be a lot more of this happening now. Obama has given Muslims the green light to do what they want. He even has his promise to protect the American Muslim that he and AG Eric Holder did. sheesh!

....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 07:50 AM | Comments (6)

Operation Baghdad Pups!

Operation Baghdad Pups

Operation Baghdad Pups began with an email received on September 11, 2007. The desperate words of the U.S. soldier serving in Iraq told of his desire to get the dog, Charlie, he and his regiment had befriended out of the Middle East before their tour of duty ended. Because it is against regulations for troops to befriend an animal or transport one on a military flight, the likelihood of the determined soldiers succeeding alone seemed doubtful.

Members of this Army regiment discovered the dog earlier that summer while patrolling a dangerous neighborhood on the outskirts of Baghdad. The malnourished and flea covered puppy, no bigger than a baked potato, was scooped up by a soldier who felt sorry for the pitiful orphan. Hidden in a tattered blanket, the puppy was snuck onto the Coalition Outpost. As the soldiers took turns secretly caring for the puppy the strong bond between man and dog grew.

“Taking care of Charlie gave me something to look forward to everyday,” one soldier explained. “When all the guys got to playing with him we forgot where we were, the horrible things we had seen, and what we still had to go through. Charlie definitely made our time in Iraq more bearable. He was like a welcomed piece of home right here in the midst of Baghdad.”
Abandoning Charlie in this war ravaged country, consumed in hatred and destruction, would have meant certain death for him. “We all made him a promise that we would not give up. We’d find a way somehow to get him to a better life in the states,” the soldier wrote in that first email.

H/T * Stix blog


Wild Thing's comment......

Gosh I love animals so much. I could not watch this without crying. I can only imagine ihow much a dog or a cat mean to a servicie man or women especially when they are in country. What a HUGE difference in makes for that next day to come and the bond between them.

I have read where when animals are brought into a nursing home it is so much better and it even helps the health of those elderly living there. I believe it.

Remember awhile back when I posted about this Marine and his dog from Iraq. Here is a newer vidoe of the two of them.

Nubs,the Iraqi dog, rescued by a Marine fighter pilot has landed in the Bay Area for some well-earned R & R.

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM | Comments (2)

June 04, 2009

Private William Long's Father Interview

Difficult to watch interview with Daris Long, the father of Private William Long who was shot and killed while taking a break outside of a Little Rock recruiting center. Impossible to watch without crying but I wanted you to meet his father.


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

Keep these families in your prayers. It breaks my heart to see this good man suffering.

God Bless our Military and families..they always pay the ultimate sacrifice.

And Semper Fi to this Father.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:49 AM | Comments (8)

June 02, 2009

Terrorist Pleads Not Guilty in Soldier's Death ~ Hello Barack Obama Where Are YOU!

Suspect pleads not guilty in soldier's death



A Muslim convert who already was under federal investigation pleaded not guilty Tuesday in what police called a likely "political and religious" attack that killed a young soldier at a military recruiting center.

Abdulhakim Muhammad, 23, of Little Rock, was charged in Monday's death of Pvt. William Long, 23, of Conway outside an Army-Navy Career Center in a west Little Rock shopping center. He pleaded not guilty to a capital murder charge and was ordered held without bail.

A prosecutor said Muhammad admitted shooting Long and another soldier "because of what they had done to Muslims in the past."

An FBI-led joint terrorism task force based in the southern United States has been investigating Muhammad since he returned to the United States from Yemen, a law enforcement official said. The suspect had been arrested and jailed in Yemen at some point for using a Somali passport, the official said. The time of that arrest was not immediately clear.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to discuss the investigation.

An FBI spokesman in Little Rock did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Pat Harris said no decision has been made on whether to pursue federal charges against Muhammad. "We're consulting with a lot of people on what, if any, charges can be filed against him," Harris said.

Both Arkansas and federal court systems permit executions for capital crimes.

Long and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, of Jacksonville, Ark., had recently completed basic training and had never seen combat. Ezeagwula was hospitalized in stable condition.

Police Chief Stuart Thomas said Muhammad, previously known as Carlos Bledsoe, was a convert to Islam and was not part of any broader scheme to attack the American military.

Interviews with police show he "probably had political and religious motives for the attack," the chief said.
"We believe that it's associated with his disagreement over the military operations," Thomas said.

Police Sgt. Cassandra Davis said Tuesday it wasn't known when Muhammad began planning the attack.

Deputy Prosecutor Scott Duncan said Muhammad told investigators that "he would have killed more soldiers had they been in the parking lot." Long and Ezeagwula were targeted as they stood outside the recruiting center smoking cigarettes.

Muhammad did not speak during the brief hearing before Little Rock District Judge Alice Lightle.

John Rehrauer, spokesman for the Pulaski County jail, said the department was handling Muhammad as it does other high-profile cases.

"He is in some protective custody, in a higher-security unit in a cell by himself," Rehrauer said.

He said he didn't know of any threats against Muhammad and said jailers did not believe he was in any greater danger than previous high-profile people handled at the prison.

The two soldiers had recently completed basic training and had volunteered for a program to recruit others to the military, said Lt. Col. Thomas F. Artis of the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion, which oversees the Little Rock office.

"They can show the example: 'Here's where I was, and here is where I am,'" Artis said.

A police report said Muhammad told investigators he observed two soldiers in uniform, drove up to the recruiting center and began shooting.

"He saw them standing there and drove up and shot them," Lt. Terry Hastings told The Associated Press. "That's what he said."

Police arrested Muhammad along a highway moments after the shootings. Police said an assault rifle and other weapons were found in his vehicle.

In addition to the capital murder count, Muhammad is accused of committing 16 counts of a terroristic act. Thomas said most additional counts resulted from the gunfire occurring near other people.

The suspect's father, Melvin Bledsoe of Memphis, Tenn., hung up on a reporter who called about his son's arrest Monday night.

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

I really feel for these soldiers families. Right out of boot and they get killed on American soil.

"A Muslim convert accused of killing a soldier in a "political and religious" attack on a military recruiting center pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a capital murder charge."

Well of course he is not guilty. A muslim killing infidels in jihad is doing allah's work. He is to be praised as he is following the koran and being a very good muslim. SHEESH!

Deputy Prosecutor Scott Duncan said Muhammad told investigators that "he would have killed more soldiers had they been in the parking lot."

How does he plead "not guilty" with a statement like that?

This should be tried by the Federal Gov. because he killed a U S soldier.

Not only did he kill and wound two US soldiers, but they were soldiers on duty, at their post. Service men and women are murdered from time to time on US soil. But, I can't remember on, in the last 30 years, perhaps since Vietnam, that was murdered while at their duty station.

And odf course not a single remark from the clueless, classless piece of #%&@ in the White House!!!

F U Obama!

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:28 PM | Comments (11)

Terrorist Attack on OBAMA'S Watch and SILENCE from Obama About it!

Just after 5:00 this evening, Little Rock Police say Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, also known as Carlos Bledsoe, will be charged with capital murder and 15 counts of terroristic acts after a shooting at an Army/Navy recruitment center on Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock.

Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas says Muhammad intentionally targeted military personnel.

23-year-old Private William Long, of Conway, died as a result of his injuries.

18-year-old Private Second Class Quinton Ezeagwula, of Jacksonville, was also shot. Chief Thomas says he is in stable condition and will recover.

Police say Muhammad opened fire because of his religious beliefs. He was a recent convert to Islam.

"We have no indication that the suspect did act alone and of his own accord, and it's our belief he acted with a specific intent to target military personnel and did so unilaterally and did so with intent today and today only," Thomas said.
“He has a disagreement with military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Thomas said.

Police say Muhammad had never met his victims.

"On behalf of the U.S. Army, our condolences go out to the families, especially the family of Private Long. Any loss of life is tragic," said Captain Matthew Feehan, commander of the recruiting center.

The military revealed information about what the victims were doing at the center. Lt. Col. Thomas F. Artis, Commander of the Oklahoma recruiting battalion, which has command over the Little Rock recruiting station, says the soldiers were enlisted men, not officers, and that they did not work as recruiters. Lt. Col. Artis says they were part of a recruiting program called "hometown recruiting assistance."

He says recruiters use these soldiers to tell their stories to talk to potential recruits, and that it is a volunteer position they do while they are visiting or based back in their home region." Lt. Col. Artis says he does not know who the suspect was, and says it's not clear if the man was in the military or not. The two men were in the HRAP program before they were to be deployed. Seven other recruiters were at the center at the time of the shooting. No one else was hurt.

According to Captain Feehan, Long enlisted January 9, 2009 and had completed basic and advanced initial training at Fort Benning in Georgia. He has a brother in the Army stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas. Feehan said Ezeagwula enlisted in October 2008 and had just completed basic and advanced training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

After the suspect's vehicle was stopped, the Little Rock Bomb Squad was called in over concern about some bags found inside. The scene was closed off and traffic along the I-30 entrance ramp from I-630 was backed up for some time. The vehicle was finally towed away just before one o'clock. No explosives were found in the vehicle, however police recovered three weapons, including the murder weapon, an SKS semi-automatic rifle. They also recovered a .22-caliber rifle and a pistol.

The shooting happened just after 10:15 at the Ashley Square Shopping Center at 9112 North Rodney Parham Road, not far from the Reservoir Road intersection.

Hastings says the gunshots were fired from a black SUV that sped off. Police say about ten to twelve rounds were fired.

Crime scene tape had a large area of the shopping center roped off, from an old Blockbuster video store a few stores down to a Honey Baked Ham store.

A witness to the shooting told KARK 4 they were sitting at a nearby traffic light when they heard the gunfire and saw a vehicle speed away from the scene. Another witness saw it all happen from an apartment complex across the street.

Around two o'clock Monday afternoon, police and bomb squad officers searched Muhammad's apartment off Napa Valley Drive in the Bristol Park complex.

The FBI and ATF assisted in the investigation. Police say Muhammad has only lived in the area for a few months and has no local criminal record. He has previously lived in Memphis and Nashville.

Recruiter Shooting Suspect Under FBI Investigation (Traveled to Yemen on Somali Passport)

ABC News

The suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of one soldier and the critical injury of another at a Little Rock, Ark., Army recruiting booth today was under investigation by the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force since his return from Yemen, ABC News has learned.

The investigation was in its preliminary stages, authorities said, and was based on the suspect's travel to Yemen and his arrest there for using a Somali passport.

The suspect, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 24, had changed his name from Carlos Leon Bledsoe after converting to the Muslim faith.

Law enforcement sources said he offered no resistance when Little Rock police arrested him today.

It was not known what path Muhammad, a U.S. citizen who is a recent convert to Islam, had followed to radicalization.

"At this point it appears that he specifically targeted military personnel, but there doesn't appear to be a wider conspiracy or, at this point in time, any indication that he's a part of a larger group or a conspiracy to go further," Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said.

But, Muhammad's travels overseas have sparked a major international investigation. Officials say it is too early to know for certain if he indeed acted alone.

According to sources, the suspect advised them that he was going to kill as many Army personnel as possible. At the time of the shooting, the subject had approximately 200 rounds of ammunition available, police said.
According to a police report, Muhammad told police he saw two uniformed U.S. soldiers in front of the recruiting office before he shot and killed Pvt. William Long, 23, and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, while they were taking a break outside the U.S. Army recruiting station where they both worked.


Arkansas recruiting center jihadist killer studied jihad in Yemen

Jihad Watch

I have learned from a well-placed source that Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who killed one soldier and wounded another at a a Little Rock military recruiting center today, and who faces charges of terrorism as well as first-degree murder, has recently returned from Yemen, where he studied jihad with an Islamic scholar there.

Apparently the Islamic scholar under whom this American convert to Islam studied was yet another misunderstander of Islam's true, peaceful teachings.


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

Is Obama as outraged about the murder of a US military recruiter by a radical black Muslim as he was about the abortionist? Not a chance. Nothing about THIS TERRORIST ATTACK! Yesterday, Obama issued a sharply worded statement condemning the shooting of late-term abortionist George Tiller within hours, and Obama's Justice Department folowed that up and ordered U.S. Marshalls to deploy at abortion clinincs to give them protection.

Seven hours after the attack on the recruiting center, the same length of time it took Obama to issue a statement on the Tiller murder, there was NO statement from the commander-in-chief of the slain and wounded servicemen.

One of Obama's core constituencies is radical abortion supporters, not Americans in uniform. The contrast in his reactions to the two murderous attacks is chilling for those who support our fellow Americans in our armed forces.

This is a terrorism attack on our military on our soil but yet the CIC ...the president says nothing. Disgusting!!

And this happens right before Obama the Muslim goes to the Middle East to apologize some more.

This guy went to study in Yemen, Home of bin Laden and terrorism and little else to study there other than jihad. That makes it more serious.

The victims:
23-year-old Private William Long, of Conway, died as a result of his injuries.

18-year-old Private Quinton Ezeagwula, of Jacksonville, was also shot. Chief Thomas says he is in stable condition and will recover.

We have no Commander in Chief! We have NO President. We are stuck with a bowing to the Saudi Prince, Muslim raised, Kenya POS, Ameriica and Military hater as an occupier in our Oval Office. Put their by ACORN and a bunch of dead people's votes and kool-aid drinking lefties wanting handouts.

The silence from the White House is SICKENING. This is a real slap to America's men and women serving in the armed forces, as Barack Obama has ignored the fatal shooting attack. Obama does not care about the military, never has, never will. He does not know the difference between a private and a general

First post on this:

Shooting at U.S. Army Navy Career Center Little Rock

....Thank you Tom for the information.

US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (17)

June 01, 2009

Shooting at U.S. Army Navy Career Center Little Rock

One Army Recruiter Dead, 2nd Critical in Drive-By Shooting in Little Rock, AR.



Little Rock - One person is dead, another seriously injured, and a third is in custody following a double shooting in west Little Rock Monday morning.

Authorities say the incident occurred around 10:00 a.m. at a U.S. Army Navy Career Center inside the Ashley Square Shopping Center at 9112 North Rodney Parham Road. According to Lt. Terry Hastings with the Little Rock Police Department, two enlisted soldiers standing outside the office were hit when the unidentified suspect drove up and began shooting.

Both of the wounded were taken to a nearby hospital, where one of the victims died a short time later, according to police.

The suspect led police on a brief pursuit towards downtown Little Rock, before being taken into custody in the area of the Interstate 30/630 interchange.

According to the Little Rock Fire Department, a bomb squad was called to the scene to investigate a suspicious package inside the suspect's vehicle.

According to Army Lt. Col. Thomas F. Artis, the two victims were not recruiters, but part of a recruiting program called "Hometown Recruiting Assistance." Artis says recruiters use soldiers to tell their stories and talk to potential recruits while they are visiting or based back in their home region.

The two victims were just out of basic training, he said, and had not been deployed.(CNN said this )

But the other souce KATV said this...."Artis says both soldiers had been previously deployed to either Iraq (web | news) or Afghanistan, but couldn’t offer any further details.”

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

Think this will be comparable to the killing of the serial baby killer George Tiller? /NOT

I don’t think I’ll wait for Obama to make a statement about this like he did about Tiller the baby killer’s death.

Military recruiters are probably not high on his list.

I have always felt Recruiters should be allowed to be armed. It surprised me when I found out they weren't.

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:55 PM | Comments (18)

May 31, 2009

Two Female Seabees, First to Complete Lioness Program

Kasey Reed and Jody Gorsuch stop for a visit with the members of their battalion, after completion of the Lioness Program training.

Two Female Seabees, First to Complete Lioness Program


Builder Constructionman Kasey Reed and Steelworker Constructionman Jody Gorsuch were the first female Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 to complete training for The Lioness Program.

The Lioness Program, established in 2004, stations female troops with Marine combat units. The Lioness members therefore play a vital role in security and the fight against terrorism, by searching females and children, since Muslim cultural tradition dictates that men are not permitted to look up nor touch females.

When asked in an interview about her role as a Lioness, Reed commented, "It is a great experience, allowing women to show their importance in a joint effort with their male counter parts."

Reed and Gorsuch participated in a week long training course instructed by the Marines. The Seabees received classes covering a wide array of topics from Marine combat skills to combat life-saving techniques, and personnel searches to basic Arabic language skills.

After the completion of the training program, Gorsuch stated, "Completing the program has provided me with a great sense of accomplishment through attaining these new skills and knowledge." She went on to describe the experience as "empowering for women."

Both women were excited and confident in regard to their new role and assignment with the Marines.


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

How exciting for them and all the work they did to complete this. Congratulatons !

I can just imagine how the Muslims react when they see all our various women in our military and good at what they do. heh heh It must drive the Muslims even more angry at Americans. Tah dah!

Good get the Muslims so angry they cannot see straight then shoot all of them.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (4)

May 30, 2009

The Price of Peace


The Price of Peace

National Guard

Deployment ceremonies are never easy.

Emotions can be overwhelming as families and friends gather together for their good-byes.

Twelve-year-old Alyssa Gaddis and her 16-year-old sister Cassy Gaddis, of Springfield, IL, know this firsthand.
They’ve been to many such events because their father, CW5 Jim Gaddis, is the command chief warrant officer
of the Illinois Army National Guard. They’ve felt the power of families being torn apart. These experiences inspired Alyssa to write a song—a song to lift the spirits of those enduring deployment, a song to inspire courage and hope. Alyssa titled her song, “The Price of Peace.”

Thinking positive

“I went to a deployment ceremony where kids were clutching to their dad’s neck crying,” Alyssa recalls, “and it just broke my heart. Cassy and I have it so easy right now with our dad at home. There are dads out there [with] loved ones going off to war.”
Cassy agreed, adding, “That particular ceremony was probably the saddest one I have ever been to because there were so many families there. I think that some people don’t really understand because they haven’t seen it with their own eyes.”

When Alyssa started writing her song, she knew there were other songs out there with similar themes. But many of them had sad endings. She wanted hers to be unique—by being positive. She wanted it to have a happy ending.
Cassy had the same idea. “I think that a lot of people want to focus on the negative,” she shared. “And it’s there … but I always think there’s a silver lining to everything.”

Alyssa felt her original point of view could make the song stand out.

“I wanted to write it from a girl’s perspective—‘My dad’s going off to war,’ ” she explained. “There aren’t any songs about younger kids with dads going off to war.
“Hopefully this song will allow people to focus on the good. Yes, it is hard when he’s gone, but he is coming home.”

Love for the Soldier

The Gaddis girls’ compassion extends beyond the families to the deploying Soldiers.

“I definitely respect [them] for their courage and strength, and their sacrifice,” Cassy stated. “I think in today’s society, especially now, people just want the war to end so much that they kind of forget what these Soldiers and their families face.
“I know what they go through. Their sacrifice for us is just jawdropping. While we sit here, they are over there training and fighting to help us. I think self-sacrifice is the definition of … a Soldier.”

State Farm was there

Alyssa’s crafting of the tune was only the beginning of this project. The next question was how to get it “out there.”
Enter an unexpected ally—State Farm Insurance. Its Adopt-a-Soldier program was created to thank and support deployed troops by sending them care packages and has received national accolades. State Farm was also recently awarded the highest employer honor bestowed by the Department of Defense—the Freedom Award—for recognition of its support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserves. Jim Gaddis ran into a State Farm rep at a Family Readiness meeting in Springfield and told the rep about his daughters’ song. The two discussed the possibilities, and State Farm offered to help pay for the recording studio time in Nashville, TN.

The Gaddis family also set up the Web site ThePriceofPeaceorg, which promotes and sells downloads of the song. Profits from the song will be going to Illinois’ Family Readiness Groups and local VFWs.

“This is another effort to raise money for the Illinois Family Readiness groups, so they can support the troops,” said Bill Hrabik, President–Military Affinity Group at State Farm. “The goal is to raise money for the group, and awareness of the separation issues of deploying Soldiers and their families.”

The man with the plan

People often make the mistake of assuming it is not that hard to record a song.

Well, it entails a little bit more than just singing into a microphone. You need producers to handle the project. They have to know the ins and outs of music. And they have to be passionate about achieving top quality.

Hart Steen fit that bill for the Gaddis girls. A young musician in Nashville, Steen’s love of music radiates from him. A chance meeting hooked him up with the Gaddis girls. Jim and his wife Annette were visiting Nashville and went to the Commodore, a popular music venue. Steen happened to be onstage and the Gaddis’ took a liking to his music.

After the show, the three talked about Alyssa’s song, and Steen liked the concept. Steen and the Gaddis’ kept in touch, and shared ideas. After much discussion, the girls were on their way to Nashville to record their song with Steen as their producer.

“They have been awesome,” Steen declared. “It'’s been a joy to have them in my life.”
Steen has his own investment in the concept of this song. A few years ago, his younger brother enlisted in the Air Force. Steen took notice of his brother’s transformation during an emotional graduation at Lackland AFB in Texas. “It was very powerful,” Steen recalled. “He had changed into a man.”

Trip to Music City

So the Gaddis family packed their bags and hit the road, aiming for the global hub of country music. Cassy and Alyssa were ecstatic to be able to go, not because they got out of school for a few days, but because they were going to a place that is rich in musical history. For nearly half a century, countless country artists have traveled to “Music City” to see if they have what it takes.

“When I got there, I thought about how amazing it was to be doing this,” Alyssa said, smiling. “I felt proud.”

Being in the big leagues, so to speak, made the girls step up their game. Working with professionals in a recording studio was a big step forward. But the girls adjusted. It was an especially powerful experience for Alyssa—barely in 7th grade.

“Her maturity just skyrocketed when we were in Nashville,” Cassy revealed. “The fact that she wrote the song and took on all this responsibility— it made me really open my eyes. It made me look up to her. Even though she is my little sister.”

The girls took their time behind the mic to let loose and give it their all. With so much riding on their shoulders, this was no time to goof off.

They worked hard—but enjoyed every minute. “It was a really good experience. It was amazing—and surreal,” Alyssa shared. “I have never really done that before. I have gone to studios locally in Springfield, but this was different. I felt like I was a superstar.”

“My wife and I are so proud of Alyssa and Cassy for what they have done to support the deploying Soldiers' families,” Jim declared. “They genuinely care and want to make a difference in these people's lives.”

The waiting is the hardest part

Returning home from Nashville, the girls left their song—and trust—with Steen. The process of mixing and editing music can take a long time, and the girls tried to be patient.

After anxiously waiting for several weeks, the finished piece was finally delivered, and the Gaddis family gathered at their Springfield home to listen.

“When we heard the rough version, it brought tears to my mom’s eyes,” Alyssa marveled. “It’s amazing knowing that Cassy and I did that together.”
Looking back on the experience, Alyssa shares, “People think that singers have it easy. They think all they have to do is sing. The day after the recording, I wanted to pull my hair out.”
But that was only the beginning. “Now we get to do the really fun part of the process—send the message,” Cassy shared.
“To me, that’s the most important part—talking to people and hopefully inspiring them the way we’ve been inspired.”

Reaching out

The Gaddis’ are invested in the success of the song not because of the chance to make it big but to help others.

“Hopefully, it will touch people deeply,” Cassy said. And, Alyssa adds, “It’s for a good cause. All of the money made off of this is being donated] to the military families.”
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In the same way, a deployment is worth a thousand emotions. Maybe “The Price of Peace” will be worth a thousand smiles.


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

This is woniderful and it warms ones heart to see people young or older that appreciate our troops and what they do. Also for the families of those who serve to be appreciated as well.

Some of the notes that were sent to me about this video:

"If you have ever been deployed or have had a loved one deployed with the military, this will truly touch your heart.
It is my understanding that this will be played in movie theaters before the main feature in 5 states so far and it was only released May 13th. Near the end there is a small clip of the Patriot Guard Riders with flags
flying from their motorcycles welcoming troops home. "

The price of peace is paid by the families on their knees praying tonight By a Soldier’s feet on some foreign street just trying to save a life By a daughter’s tears as she sees her hero do what he thinks is right The loss may run deep but if it’s love we leave Well that’s the price of peace


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

tuy hoa nah trang duc pho chu lai
Dec 66 - Dec 67

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (4)

May 29, 2009

U.S. Army Parachute Team The Golden Knights Make Historical Jump

The Golden Knights, the U.S. Army's official parachute demonstration team, made a historical jump as part of their 50th Anniversary onto the grounds of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, as part of the Memorial Day weekend kick-off.



U.S. Army Parachute Team Makes Historical Jump

by Cheryle Rivas


The Golden Knights, the U.S. Army's official parachute demonstration team, made a historical jump as part of their 50th Anniversary, onto the grounds of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. The demonstration was part of the Memorial Day weekend kick-off as members of the Gold demonstration team glided effortlessly toward Liberty Island, before a crowd of more than 3,000 spectators.

In 1959, 13 men who were to comprise the Strategic Army Corps Sport Parachute Team reported for duty at Fort Bragg, N.C. Over the next two years the team performed so well that the Army officially activated it as the U.S. Army Parachute Team--the Defense Department's aerial-demonstration team--in 1961.

The "Golden Knights," as they're known today, are so called because of their many victories during the years in which the then-Soviet Union dominated the international sport of skydiving.

"The last time we jumped at the Statue of Liberty was in 1978," said Capt. Michael Funderburk, Operations Officer for the Parachute Team. "We have been carefully planning and coordinating the demonstration at the Statue as part of our 50-year celebration, and to coincide with the Bethpage Air Show demonstration at Jones Beach, N.Y."

Approval for the Parachute Jump had been coordinated through the New York Mayor's Office, New York City Police Harbor Unit, FAA, Coast Guard, National Park Service and U.S. Army Public Affairs.

"Looking over the 1978 pictures, it's an honor to be a part of making history again," said the team's Public Affairs Officer Donna Dixon. "We proudly represent the U.S. Army with every jump we make, this year is even more special, because it's part of our 50th year as a team," added Dixon.

The team will also continue to perform at air shows, compete on an international level and perform high-profile tandem jumps. In addition, the Golden Knights will visit high schools to work with local recruiters and help show young adults the variety of opportunities available in the U.S. Army.

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

Fantastic! It would be wonderful to see them in person. I would LOVE to try sky diving. I almost had a chance several years ago, but my Mom when she was alive asked me to wait until she was gone.
LOL I asked her where was she going I wasn't thinking of her dying. But that is what she meant. She explained she wanted me to wait till she was no longer around before I did it. She has pasted away since then and I just haven't gotten back into finding out about it.

Nicholas did it when he was in the Navy and he loved it. He also had the job of packing the chutes which he said he took very seriously. He said when a person packed the chutes they put their own name there on each one so they knew who had packed them.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:40 AM | Comments (4)

May 28, 2009

Air Force Academy Graduation 2009

Graduate Chelsey Fitch shows of her diploma during ceremonies


COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - MAY 27: Air Force Academy graduates celebrate as a team of F-16 Thunderbirds flies over during the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony at Falcon Stadium on May 27, 2009 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A total of 1,046 graduates from the Class of 2009 were to walk across the stage in the traditional ceremony in front of tens of thousands of family and friends. Vice President Joe Biden gave the commencement speech.


I saved this one from last year. I loved this photo. We will never see Obama doing anything even close to this. The troops of all our branches love Bush. They know he respects them and that he loves our country, unlike Obama. ~ Wild Thing

U.S. President George W. Bush poses with a graduate during the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 28, 2008.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (2)

Transporting Detainees (Terrorists Prisoners)

Detention operations center escorts explain the process of transporting a detainee to his legal visit at Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Camp 4, May 5. Sailors from the Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion conduct detainee operations as part of the ongoing detention mission at Joint Task Force Guantanamo. JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released. The JTF conducts intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination for the protection of detainees and personnel working in JTF Guantanamo facilities and in support of the Global War on Terrorism. JTF Guantanamo provides support to the Office of Military Commissions, to law enforcement and to war crimes investigations. The JTF conducts planning for and, on order, responds to Caribbean mass migration operations.


Properly Transporting Detainees


In order to ensure safe, humane, legal and transparent care of the detainees in custody at Joint Task Force Guantanamo, troopers are assigned to escort detainees to medical appointments, lawyer appointments and commissions.

The Naval Expeditionary Guard Battalion conducts detainee escorts at JTF Guantanamo as part of the ongoing detention mission. They also escort contractors who come into the camps to do enhancement projects.

"My mission is to support detainee movements," said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian, non-commissioned officer-in-charge for Detention Operation Center escorts. "We also escort contractors throughout the camps."

Most of the troopers who are escorts were guards in the camps for several months until earning the opportunity to become escorts.

"They normally work in the camps for a few months until they learn about the environment," said Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Glen Porter, senior enlisted advisor for the escorts. "They are then properly trained on how to be an escort."

The escorts are broken into teams, and a dispatcher assigns the team's task.

"When I come into the office, I lay out a plan for the day," said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler, an escort dispatcher. "There are [many] detainee movements every day and it is imperative to make sure everyone is on time."

The escorts pick up the detainee at the camp, where he has already been informed of an appointment.

"We go pick up the detainee as a team, then safely transport him," Porter said.

The detainee has the right to refuse to be transported. They are never forced to attend an appointment of any sort.

"If they refuse to go, we cannot force them," Tyler said. "If it is an appointment that is important, someone will visit them at their location."

The escorts are also responsible for maintaining the flag program. This program supports trooper morale by affording the opportunity to have a flag flown over Camp Delta. After the flag is flown, the individual for whom the flag is flown receives an official certificate for the flag.

The troopers of the DOC escort program work hard and have daily struggles like many others who are deployed, but that doesn't change their focus on the mission.

"I think we are doing what needs to be done here," Tyler said in regards to the mission at JTF Guantanamo. "I am proud to be here during this historical period."


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

I was surprised about this, I always thought the doctors and lawyers came to the prison not the other way around.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:44 AM | Comments (2)

May 26, 2009

" My Hometown" ~ US ARMY ad

"My Hometown" - Freedom Isn't Free ( US Army ad)


Wild Thing's comment......

I love these ads our military makes. This one is for the Army and it is from years ago, but still a great one!!!

God bless our soldiers!!

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:46 AM | Comments (2)

May 23, 2009

Obama Accuses Military of Billions in Overspending

Obama accuses military of billions in overspending


President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill aimed at tightening the controls on defense spending, saying it is "long overdue."

Standing with leading congressional players Friday morning on South Lawn of the White House, Obama said he was "extraordinarily proud" to sign the bill, which passed unanimously in both the House and Senate this week.

Obama noted one study which found that roughly $295 billion of taxpayers' money was wasted last year on cost overruns involving 95 defense programs.

He said wasteful defense spending "is unacceptable" at a time when the country is fighting two wars and trying to overcome a deep recession at home.

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

This angers me so much. Obama is spending money like crazy, but it is NOT ok with him to spend much on our military. GRRRRRRRRRRRR HOw omuch does he think we can take of his BS.

Spend, Spend, spend, but oh it's for the Military? Then from Obama we get Hell no. sheesh

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:44 AM | Comments (2)

May 22, 2009

US Navy Presidential Ceremonial Honor Guard Drill Team

US Navy Presidential Ceremonial Honor Guard Drill Team

This was about three years ago.
Our Navy Ceremonial Guard Silent Drill Team was invited to compete in an International Tattoo in Norway ...
They competed against military units from all over NATO.
They won first place.

Wild Thing's comment......

Fantastic, I love drill teams. They always amaze me!!!

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

Horace Smith, Pvt. E-1, USAR

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (6)

May 19, 2009

Changing of the Guard:Man Crosses rail gets yelled at!

To visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is truly a humbling and awe-inspiring event. In all the time I have spent there, I have never seen this happen or even heard of it happening until now. The people that were there probably witnessed something more rare than winning the Powerball lottery. They saw a guard break ranks to challenge and warn a tourist who “crossed the line”.

( Lower LEFT side of the screen ) A man drops his water bottle during the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns and gets yelled at by a guard for crossing the rail.


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

I never saw this happen before or heard of something like this happening. I bet the man that droped his water bottle was shook up. hahahhahaha

God bless our troops!!!!

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (20)

Marine Corps Values Honor, Courage, Commitment


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

I love the video.

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

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:44 AM | Comments (6)

May 18, 2009

Holy Joe's Cafe ~ Afghanistan

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 3, gather around a table full of barbequed hamburgers, hotdogs and quesadillas during the grand opening of Holy Joe's Cafe at Camp Barber, Afghanistan, April 20, 2009. The small outdoor patio-style cafe located behind the Camp Barber chapel, offers service members and civilians the opportunity to relax and drink a free cup of fresh coffee or tea. The cafe's operated by the chapel's religious ministry team and has received many donations through the Adopt-a-Chaplain Program, ensuring that service members receive some of the simple pleasures of life while forward deployed through the generosity of others. Photo by Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer


CAMP BARBER, Afghanistan

Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures in life that can make a difference when deployed.

Service members carrying out their duties in support of counterinsurgency operations aboard Camp Barber, Helmand province, Afghanistan, can now enjoy the fresh smell of coffee and a relaxing lounge to sip a “cup of Joe” at Holy Joe’s Café, April 29, 2009.

The Camp Barber café originally opened in March, providing free coffee, hot tea and breakfast snacks to service members and civilians serving at Camp Barber, but the moniker “Holy Joe’s” isn’t an entirely new name to forward-deployed service members.

The café at Camp Barber derived its name from the Holy Joe’s Café project, which was started in 2006 by the First Congregational Church in Wallingford, Conn., as a coffee drive, providing military chaplains in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait the opportunity to further support U.S. service members deployed overseas.

In an effort to support her fellow service members in what she calls “a little piece of home,” Navy Lt. Karen J. Rector, the Combat Logistics Battalion 3 chaplain, collected matted flooring, put up camouflage netting for shade, and gathered benches and tables to give coffee and tea-drinking patrons a comfortable and appealing place to take a break. CLB-3 Sgt. Maj. Danny Duvall volunteered a bit of his spare time and artistry, decorating the café’s tables and benches with an eclectic holy-Hawaiian-desert-patriotic motif to make things interesting for the patrons as they enjoy their “cup of Joe” or tea.

“Coffee in the morning helps you face the adversities that you’re going to face that day,” said 1st Lt. Jason D. Ryan, the supply officer assigned to Headquarters Company, CLB-3. “If you get a bad cup of coffee, you know it’s going to be a bad day,” joked Ryan.

Ryan said his day would be incomplete if he wasn’t able to get his cup of coffee and feels it’s an important part of his morning.

“Holy Joe’s has the best coffee on Camp Barber,” Ryan said. “There are some things in Afghanistan that are always tough, but it should never be your first cup of coffee.”

Coffee isn’t the only sustenance provided at Holy Joe’s. The café also provides juices, cereal and cold milk and various breakfast foods to start off the day.

Rector attributes much of the café’s success to the donated supplies she receives through the “Adopt-a-Chaplain Program” and the individuals who donate their time and effort to support the troops through the chaplains’ services.

Holy Joe’s recently held its official grand opening April 20, 2009, announcing its place in the camp and all that it has to offer. Those who participated in the social event were welcomed with a barbeque picnic, refreshments and a raffle of prizes to top the night.

Combat Logistics Battalion 3 is the logistics combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan whose mission is to conduct counterinsurgency operations, and train and mentor the Afghan national police.


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

Fantastic! I am so glad they have this for our troops.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (7)

82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Arrive in Southern Afghanistan

U..S. Army paratroopers jump from a C-17 Galaxy aircraft over Holland Drop Zone on Fort Bragg, N.C., May 5, 2009. The paratroopers are assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, and will be part of the first active-duty brigade combat team to fully partner with Afghan national security forces


82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Arrive in Southern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan

Task Force Pegasus, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, assumed control of aviation operations on May 15 in southern Afghanistan. In a ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, TF Talon, a subordinate unit of TF Pegasus, relieved TF Wings, 159th CAB, 101st Airborne Division.

The 82nd CAB has deployed early as part of the United States forces troop increases in southern Afghanistan. They are the first to arrive in Afghanistan as part of this plan.

The arrival of TF Pegasus, and its subordinate units, marks the first U.S. aviation brigade to commence operations in southern Afghanistan. The TF will conduct aviation operations in support of International Stabilization Force and coalition forces in order to support GIRoA in achieving a safe and secure Afghanistan.

"It goes without saying that rotary wing aviation is the coin of the realm here in Afghanistan," said Col. Paul Bricker, commander of TF Pegasus. "The distances, harsh terrain, counterinsurgency environment and sheer size of the battle-space, make battlefield circulation a significant challenge. Without rotary wing aviation; command and control, sustainment, and combat operations can be severely challenged."

As part of the ceremony, TF Wings cased their colors as a symbol of their departure. TF Pegasus and its subordinate units then uncased their colors, symbolizing their establishment of control over aviation operations in southern Afghanistan.


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

The build up continues, hello Taliban....bye bye Taliban!!

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:44 AM | Comments (4)

In Country with Our Marines in Afghanistan

Marines exit a forward operating base on a mounted security patrol in Bakwa, Farah province, Afghanistan. The Marines of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Afghanistan, routinely patrol and interact with the local populace of Bakwa to maintain security in the area. U.S. Marines are in Afghanistan to reinforce success and sustain the momentum of the ongoing progress by alliance forces. Company I's mission is to conduct counterinsurgency operations while training and mentoring the Afghan national police.

Marines of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment

Story by Lance Cpl. Brian D. Jones

BAKWA, Afghanistan

Through binoculars, a Marine spotted suspicious men in the distance. Over the radio, he passed the word. The security convoy circled around and pushed up to investigate. As they moved in closer, shots rang out from the ridge ahead.

The insurgents' rounds impacted close to the Marines' vehicles. On the order, the Marines returned fire causing the insurgents' retreat. The insurgents had completely fled before a quick-reaction force and air support arrived on scene. Shortly afterward, the Marines dismounted and went up the ridge. They found no traces of casualties, just fresh tracks and probable bunkers that may have been used as outposts.

This was not a typical patrol for the Marines of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan. They have successfully kept security under control in Bakwa, Farah Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and such events are rare.

"None of them hesitated," said Cpl. Josh B. Reasbeck, the squad leader who led the patrol that day. "They were all employed the way they were supposed to be. They all did exactly what they were taught to do. I'm really proud of all them, and I have full confidence of their abilities."

Prior to alliance forces arriving in Bakwa, insurgent intimidation destroyed the community and pushed many people away. From testimonies of locals, the Marines know insurgents are still active in the area but have little influence.

"The security has increased tremendously with us being here and with the Afghan national police starting to step up," said Cpl. Chris L. Parra, a 3rd Civil Affairs Group non-commissioned officer attached to Co. I. "The people actually feel more secure now that they see the local government taking time to put in effort in providing security for the locals in the area."

The Marines of Co. I are operating from Forward Operating Base Bakwa and two combat outposts. They continually conduct mounted and dismounted security patrols, maintain quick reaction force teams and keep a 24-hour watch over the immediate areas.

"The threat out here is improvised explosive devices," said Reasbeck. "We don't really worry about direct fire so much."
Occasionally, the Marines will catch a local, who was persuaded by insurgents, planting an improvised explosive device in the road, said Reasbeck.


Marines in the middle of a sand storm make their way back to their vehicles after dismounting and patrolling a nearby mountain ridge in Bakwa, Farah province, Afghanistan, May 3. The Marines of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Afghanistan, are operating in Bakwa to maintain security in the rural area. U.S. Marines are in Afghanistan to reinforce success and sustain the momentum of the ongoing progress by alliance forces. Company I's mission is to conduct counterinsurgency operations while training and mentoring the Afghan national police.

Marines Prepare for Counterinsurgency in Southern Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Aaron Rooks

"Past history has shown that to fight and win in the south of Afghanistan, it is essential to know all aspects of the localized terrain, including human and political factors," Khodaidad said. "It is necessary to treat every village as a separate entity and know the personalities with influence there. Every village is a separate military campaign."

The Marines approached the firing line with ease, cooled by a calm breeze under blue skies all around, still quite familiar with the process to follow. The only difference this time, was that they were in an unfamiliar land, with an even more unfamiliar mission ahead.

Then the service members of Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan began, each firing round after round from their respective M-4 Carbine and M-16 A-4 rifles, improving their accuracy with each shot.

But the rifle sight adjustment exercise lost its simplicity when a powerful sand storm engulfed the Marines and sailors as they lay across the firing line. Sand filled their mouths and nostrils, covered their weapons and eliminated all visibility of their targets ahead.

Being outside the protective wire for the first time, the events symbolized the unpredictability of Afghanistan, as well as that of their future missions to follow. The storm cleared off and returned for hours to follow. The sun later set under blue skies.

"Afghanistan can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable," said Maj. Tom Clinton, a senior watch officer with the brigade's command element. "Some call this country the 'graveyard of empires.'"
Clinton used this phrase in reference to other nations, such as Britain and Russia, which have tried, and failed, to gain a foothold in the country of Afghanistan by use of force. He said the U.S. cannot afford to make the same mistakes as their predecessors.
"We are not looking to stay here in Afghanistan," the Swampscott, Mass., native said. "We're looking to help the country and its people. The others were looking to build their empires. We have to allow the Afghan government and Afghan security forces to take things over. Yes, we want people to trust U.S. forces and their partners, but they need to trust their own government and security forces."

Afghanistan features many complexities that Marine veterans of Iraq are not familiar with. The land and terrain of Helmand province, MEB-Afghanistan's area of operations, may seem somewhat the same, but the needs and interests of Afghans; their culture, infrastructure and economy; are worlds apart.

Helmand is a land of extremes, according to the Helmand Provincial Handbook, which is used as a field guide for deployed internationals. It's the largest and arguably the most volatile province in Afghanistan today.

"At one time, we would engage no more than seven to 15 enemies in firefights," Clinton said. "Once in Garmsir, that number was at least if not more than 300."

Pashtuns constitute the overwhelming majority in Helmand, according to the manual, making up 94 percent of the population. The Pashtun ethnic group is unique in comparison to other groups around the world. Society is very conservative and strictly follows the Islamic religion.

The code of ethics within their tribe, Pashtunwali, meaning the way of the Pashtuns, stands out the most. The pre-Islamic code structures four of their core beliefs in society: nang (honor), melmastia (hospitality), nanawaty (sanctuary), and badal (revenge).

Pashtuns are known for their hospitality and will go to great lengths to treat their guests with honor and respect. At the same time, everything leads to honor. Any insults to themselves or their families can often lead to a desire for revenge. Their sanctuary beliefs will sometimes lead them to forgiveness of acts, if forgiveness is requested. But at the same time, Pashtuns are known for being quick to exact revenge for wrongdoings to restore their honor, even for a crime committed decades ago.

If Marines forces hope to stabilize the security situation in southern Afghanistan during their time here, it's necessary that they truly understand the people and their culture.

"The big challenge we face is that we want to help and do things right away," said Clinton, who spent much of his deployments around local Afghan leaders. "But in order to be successful, you have to get to know the people. It took me more than one month in one case just to get one of the village elders to speak to me. We must have patience."

Security has become the dominant issue in Helmand. According to the manual, there has been ongoing fighting in the province since 2006, which has produced significant loss of life and displacement of the local populace. The deterioration of security is most prominent in areas being contested by the Afghan government and insurgents.

The manual states that today, a relatively small percentage of Helmand locals actively support insurgent forces; another minority actively supports the Afghan government and coalition forces. The majority are neutral, simply trying to survive day to day and support their families.

The outcome of the brigade's counterinsurgency arguably sits in the hands of that majority.

The service members have been given Law of War and Rules of Engagement briefs in cohesion with weapons training to be better informed of the difficulties ahead and the issues to avoid.

The briefs touched on the basic issues of armed conflict, such as actions made in self defense, the prevention of unnecessary suffering, the use of force, humanity and the treatment of those wounded and captured.

1st Lt. Ian Mckinnon, operational law officer, MEB-Afghanistan, said the briefs would possibly be "the most important briefs the Marines will have while in Afghanistan."

Marines were advised on certain issues that will help them achieve success during operations, such as always displaying respect for Afghan traffic and pedestrians on roadways, avoiding reckless driving and always refraining from making any obscene gestures or insults to the local populace.

"Does shouting obscenities from the top of a turret hurt your mission?" asked Capt. Korvin Kraics, brigade operational law chief. "It certainly doesn't help you and there's certainly something to lose. You are not going to gain anything from that."

Recent studies identified different issues concerning U.S. and coalition forces that the Afghans have shown disapproval for. Afghans, according to the manual, have expressed dissatisfaction with international forces and have accused them of entering houses without permission of the home owner and lacking respect for Afghan culture and traditions. Mckinnon said, in Afghan culture, entering a house unannounced is a sign of disrespect, stating that making an uninvited entry is "a huge slap in the face," to locals.

But one complaint stands out the most, the alleged lack of security and rule of law.

Kraics said many of the choices the brigade is making for future missions to achieve U.S. goals in Afghanistan stem from lessons learned in Iraq's Al Anbar Province, where Marines have had clear successes in counterinsurgency.


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

God bless these Marines and all our troops, and keep them safe.

I hate IED's!

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (4)

May 17, 2009

Photo Visit of Our Troops

Paths of blue head lamps can be seen as a team of Artillerymen from 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery work swiftly to expend artillery rounds into a known enemy location in northeasten Afghanistan. The Artillerymen are ready to fire 24 hours a day, providing fire support to Forward Operating Base’s and Combat Outposts within their sector of fire.


Afghan citizens await further instructions from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment Soldiers at a traffic control point in southern Afghanistan. The purpose of the TCP is to reduce Improvised Explosive Device emplacements and restrict Taliban movement in the area.


All-female Marine team conducts first mission in southern Afghanistan

FARAH PROVINCE, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – Marines of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan, now have a special group of individuals to help them complete their mission in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The Marines employ a select group of all-female Marines from within SPMAGTF-A who are trained to interact with the Afghan female population – a task considered culturally unacceptable for their male Marine brethren operating in the Islamic republic.
A similar program has been used in combat operations in Iraq, but this is the first time Marine forces in Afghanistan have employed the concept.

“If the women know we are here to help them, they will likely pass that on to their children,” she said. “If the children have a positive perspective of alliance forces, they will be less likely to join insurgent groups or participate in insurgent activities.”

The 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment has begun to use the unit as it deploys into villages in hopes of winning hearts and minds. Cultural taboos would largely keep male Marines from speaking to Afghan women and girls.


1-26 Infantrymen patrol rocky cliffs of Waygal Valley
Army Pfc. William Drikell, scans the valley walls for suspicious activity during a combat patrol near the village of Walo Tangi, in Kunar province, Afghanistan. Driskell is a member of 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.

The soldiers move forward, almost shoulder to shoulder, with live ammunition while practicing team movement drills at an advanced marksmanship course on Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, May 13, 2009. The soldiers are assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division's Company F, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Travis Zielinski


U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Oates fields a question from an Iraqi reporter at a ceremony marking the transfer of the Ziggurat of Ur, a stepped pyramid in Iraq, from U.S. to Iraqi control as Maj. Chad Carroll monitors the interview, May 14, 2009. The Ziggurat, closed to the public since 2003, was constructed in 2100 B.C. Oates is the commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division's Multinational Division South and Carroll is assigned to the1st Cavalry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Myles Caggins



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

Fantastic top photo, the colors in it are awesome and it was captured at the exact moment.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (2)

May 15, 2009

Soldier Battles Taliban in Pink Undies

Specialist Zachary Boyd, from the US Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry, takes defensive position at firebase Restrepo after receiving fire from Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province.

Soldier Battles Taliban in Pink Undies

DFW News

A soldier from North Texas is making national headlines and proving that real men do wear pink undies.

An Associated Press photographer captured 19-year-old Army specialist Zachary Boyd fighting off a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan -- in his underwear.

The photo of Boyd, clad in the pink "I *heart* NY" printed boxers ended up on Tuesday's front page of the New York Times.

His mother, who lives in Keller, said her son was sleeping when someone opened fire on his base and he didn't have time to put on his uniform or boots.
Boyd called his parents on Monday to let them know he might be in the paper. His father said that after he logged onto the New York Times' Web site he laughed for the next five minutes.
"I knew he was a boxer guy, I knew that for sure," Tommy Boyd told WBAP. "I did not know they were pink, and I didn't know they said, 'I love New York.'"

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

LMAO I love it, this is so adorable!!

I LOVE this guys heart, he is 19 years old, loves his country and New York too apparently. And is trying the best he can to be a good soldier.

Gosh our troops ROCK!!!!!!!

Actually I am much more concerned with that red shirt he has on. Like a siren to the terrorists Here I am !

Godspeed Specialist Zachary Boyd!!

....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 04:55 AM | Comments (12)

Sights unseen: Blind Veteran Reflects on Mount Rainier Climb

Blind ex-Navy SEAL Ryan Job (center) climbs Mount Rainier in July 2008 with the help of guides Curtis Fawley (left) and Art Rausch.....Photo By: Mark Seacat

Guide Curtis Fawley leads Ryan Job (red shirt) toward the snow fields on Mount Rainier in 2008. Following Job are Camp Patriot founder Micah Clark and Fawley's son, Keagan Fawley.

had Jukes, a former Soldier, walks through the snow on his prosthesis during training at base camp during the 2008 Camp Patriot ascent of Mount Rainier.


Wounded Vets Reach Mt Rainier Summit

US Army.Mil

May 8, 2009, By Bob Reinert, FORT LEWIS, Wash. -- As they climbed higher, Ryan Job closely followed chief guide Curtis Fawley. Art Rausch, another guide, brought up the rear, and a rope kept the three within feet of each other.

The 14,410-foot summit of Mount Rainier lay ahead.

"Every step they told me to take, I took," Job recalled. "Trust was the key ... factor to my success. I totally trusted the team."

A formidable challenge for an able-bodied climber, the Rainier climb represented the experience of a lifetime for Job, an ex-Navy SEAL blinded when shot by a sniper Aug. 2, 2006, in Iraq. At 8:30 a.m. on July 9, 2008, he stood atop the mountain.

"The summit was amazing, even for a blind man," Job said. "I could sense that nothing was above my head because of the wide-open sound and wind."

Giving combat-injured veterans outdoor adventures has been the mission of "Camp Patriot," a nonprofit organization founded in Montana, since 2006. While most of the outings revolve around hunting, fishing, hiking and camping, the annual Mount Rainier Climb has become the organization's signature event. The third annual climb will take place July 5-10.

"It's a great adventure for these guys," said Micah Clark, an ex-Navy corpsman who founded Camp Patriot. "It's neat to see the excitement in them. It's become an annual event. It keeps growing each year."

Camp Patriot took two veterans up the first year, three in 2008. Rausch, a Lakewood firefighter and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve assigned to Vancouver Barracks, served as a guide both years and will be back for the 2009 ascent.

"It is so intensive," said Rausch of climbing with the injured veterans. "It has to be guides that are used to working with people and that have the patience and the know-how."

On the first trip in 2007, Rausch and Fawley guided Scott Smiley, who is blind, and Ed Salau, an above-the-knee amputee. Smiley made it all the way to the summit.

"He didn't want to be something that we were dragging up there, a football for us to slam at the top and say, 'Hey, we got the blind guy up,'" Rausch said. "I looked at every step he made for eight hours going up."

Rausch pointed out that the summit marks the halfway point of the effort.

"Every trip is a round trip," Rausch said. "Getting down is the real important part. Getting up is optional, but getting down is mandatory."

Rausch, who has guided at Mount Rainier since 1989, places safety above all else on the mountain.

"If you live in the area, you know that people die up there quite often, some years more than others," Rausch said. "And even if you're on top of it, stuff happens. There's no climb that's ... worth risking a life on."

Job, now a spokesman for Camp Patriot, said Fawley and Rausch did a great job.

"Never did I feel unsafe on the mountain because of the expert guiding of Curtis and Art," Job said. "The people of Camp Patriot are the most passionate people devoted to a mission - the same work ethic and moral conviction that I saw from my own SEAL platoon teammates."

Rausch said he suspected that he might be getting more out of these climbs than the veterans he guides.

"They are like national treasures," said Rausch of the veterans. "Being able to work with them was just a really special opportunity to give back a little bit."

Job and the other veterans have been on the receiving end.

"My trip on Mount Rainier with Camp Patriot caused me to realize that I can still live a lifestyle of my choosing," said Job, "that is, a life as an outdoorsman just as I had before losing my sight.
"I learned from Camp Patriot that life is about people and that living is something that we as people must choose to do. Life is a choice and self-pity has no place in mine."

Bob Reinert is a reporter with Fort Lewis' Northwest Guardian.

Wild Thing's comment......

God bless these heroes. It is so wonderful to learn about these things available for our deserving troops. They need to know that they are not forgotten when they come home with injuries, and many that they will have the injuries for the rest of their lives. They sacrificed so much, and words are so little in saying thank you, but it comes from the heart. Our troops did all of this for our country, for their love of the USA, for their families and loved ones, and also for their brother in arms next to them as they fought the enemy.

Prayers for our troops more then ever.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:44 AM | Comments (4)

May 14, 2009

" I Shoot You Because I Care" by VAMPIRE 06

Dear Mr Taliban (ACM, AAF, Booger Eater, EOP, Bad Guy or whatever),

Over time I’ve received emails and comments on this blog that I’m insensitive to your culture. Evidently, I should endeavor to be more tolerant and politically correct in my quest to kill you with every means at my disposal.

After much self reflection I’ve seen the error in my ways and thought I’d write you a brief note to apologize for my actions and those of my compatriots in Team Vampire. I now see how my attempts to incinerate, ventilate and generally cause mayhem could possible hurt your feelings and offend your sensibilities. For that I apologize.

First, let me complement you on the bunker complex that we saw the other day. It seemed very nice and looked like you’d chosen wisely on the size. It appears to me that you didn’t overextend yourself financially building it. That’s great! I also hope that you didn’t use a subprime lender or an adjustable rate mortgage. This should alleviate any issues in the future about defaulting; having to walk away from the bunker complex.

The downside is that you selected this outstanding piece of real estate to launch rockets at American and Afghan soldiers. Thus, I had to destroy it. Maybe we should have served you with a notice to vacate but that didn’t seem prudent at the time. Really if you want to blame someone it should be the Air Force as they’re the ones that actually dropped the bombs. But, seeing as I’m a personal accountability guy I’ll take the blame for it. Sorry.

I also, thought that your headquarters were nice. Blowing it up on Christmas Eve may have seemed arbitrary and unfair. I can see how you’d think that. Really, let’s try to be honest with each other. Is there really a good day to have your building blown up? I don’t think there is. I also now realize that you don’t celebrate Christmas so the holiday season had minimal impact on you.

It did for me as I have a family at home who I’d rather be with; instead hunting you through the mountains. However, I’m here so it seemed like a good thing to do for the holidays. I may not see you on the 4th of July so I thought it best to have fireworks for Christmas. I empathize with you now that it may have been inconvenient for you. Once again sorry.

These people have pointed out for me that my culture is different from yours and that just because it’s different it’s not bad. I guess there may be some upside to throwing acid in little girl’s faces when they try to go to school, I just don’t see it though. I think I’d prefer to build schools for them and protect them as they learn to read and write. This probably offends you and my new life course shows me that I need to see the positives in everyone. If you’d like to explain this to me, I’d like to hear it.

It also may be confusing to you when I broke down your door in the middle of the night and arrested you for killing your fellow countrymen. This probably disrupts your sleep and thus you’re tired once you reach detention. In the future I’ll try to schedule these at times better suited to your rest cycle.

As far as the Geneva Convention goes, I have to follow it. This is nonnegotiable. Your actions though lead me to believe that you’d prefer to have your head cut off on the internet. This is what you do to anyone you capture, combatant or non combatant. I can’t accommodate this desire. I apologize for the fact that you’ll be given medical treatment and treated with dignity. Again I apologize profusely.

I’d also like to clear up some reasons why I’m here. There may be some confusion about this from all the claims swirling around in the news. Let me take you back about eight years when you were letting Osama chill out here.

“We should crash some planes into the World Trade Center” Osama suggested tentatively

“Gee Osama, won’t that piss off the Americans”? You must have asked.

“Yes” Osama stated with glee.

“They’ll probably come here and jack us up” you replied.

“No way bro, they’ll never come here and do anything to us” Osama claimed confidentially.

“Um; I don’t think that’s right, they’ll probably come here and be pretty pissed off” attempting to dissuade him.

“Don’t worry about it they’ll never do anything, you’re a nervous nelly” OBL replied dismissively

I hate to tell you this but you were right. It did piss us off and now Osama lives in some cave, can’t use a cell phone or email and craps his pants every time he hears an airplane. I know the nervous tick crapping is annoying but it’ll clear up once we kill him.

You should have gone with your gut and said no. Once we got here we decided it’s not that great that you kill and subjugate people and thus you’ve got me in your backyard. I really can’t take responsibility for your poor judgment on this one. But, I understand it was a persuasive discussion. Thought this might assist in a little self discovery. I’m a giver after all.

I won’t even go into the way you treat women. You’re just lucky it’s not my wife here because if you think I’m determined; she would lay waste to your ass and never stop. So, I did you a favor on that one. See, I can be nice.

Well, I just wanted to touch base with you on a couple of perceived issues and apologize for my poor behavior. In the future I’ll try to be more understanding as I hunt you to the ends of the earth and destroy you any chance I get. It will be with kindness and understanding.

If you’d like to discuss and resolve any of these issues just send me a grid to your location and I’ll be happy to meet you; or I could arrange for a delivery from the US Air Force it you’d prefer that. I can accommodate most requests.

So, have a great day. But don’t sleep too soundly because that noise you hear in the night may just be me. Oh yeah, if you ever get tired of picking on little girls or civilians you can come find us, but that might not be culturally sensitive.

Bottom line, I just want to say I’m sorry. Next time I shoot at you; it’s with love!




Wild Thing's comment......

LOL I love it. hahahaahahaha

Thank you to Vampire 06 for this. And thank you for serving our country.

Our troops ROCK!

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

May 11, 2009

Huge U.S. Camp Arises in Afghan Desert ~ Camp Leatherneck

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates conducts a town hall meeting with U.S. troops in front of MRAP armoured vehicles at the Forward Operating Base Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, May 7, 2009.

On Monday, March 9, 2009, Brigadier General Larry Nicholson officially took the reins of the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Task Force Leatherneck. He and his soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.


A huge U.S. military camp is taking shape in the baking heat of southern Afghanistan for thousands of extra U.S. troops charged with defeating a resurgent Taliban.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Camp Leatherneck, with concrete blast walls and semi-cylinder sand-colored tents, on Thursday as he surveyed preparations for what will be the biggest wave yet in a year that is seeing U.S. troop numbers doubled.

The camp is being constructed in Helmand province next to a British base, Camp Bastion, as Marines and other forces dramatically expand their presence in the most violent area of Afghanistan and heartland of the Taliban movement.

Construction workers clambered on the wooden frame of a new headquarters building as Gates spoke at the camp, where the majority of more than 8,000 marines now flowing into southern Afghanistan are expected be based.

"This place was desert at the end of January. I mean: nothing, said Navy Captain Jeff Borowy," the top U.S. military engineer in southern Afghanistan.
"Now you've got a 443-acre secure facility," he told reporters traveling with Gates.

Miles of sand walls topped with coils of barbed wire line the roads at the camp, linked to its British neighbor by a street nicknamed Atlantic Way.

If placed end to end in the United States, the sand walls at Leatherneck and eight other sites being built for the troop influx in southern Afghanistan would stretch for a distance of 175 km (110 miles).

The Marines at Camp Leatherneck are also building a giant parking area for helicopters and airplanes by laying down a mat of metal alloy on the desert floor. With a length of 4,860 feet a width of 318 feet, the mat will be the second largest of its kind in the world and the biggest in a combat zone, said Marine Lieutenant Colonel David Jones, commander of the Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, based in Yuma, Arizona.

Getting supplies to the remote desert -- named the Desert of Death by local tribesmen because of its extreme summer heat and desolation -- and building the camps in time for the influx of troops has posed challenges, Borowy said. In one innovative attempt to deal with the conditions, marines bagged up recycled water from camp showers and kitchens and used it to prepare sand for the aircraft parking area.

"We're in the middle of the desert so getting water's pretty interesting," Borowy said.

Seaman Viviana Mesa (left) and Petty Officer 3rd Class Dan J. Kinion measure the distance between support pedestals at Camp Leatherneck, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, April 18. Camp Leatherneck is currently under construction and will be used by the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade as a hub for the reception, staging, onward-movement and integration of Marine forces into southern Afghanistan and is the largest Marine Corps Camp in Afghanistan.Mesa is a constructionman and Kinion is builder. Both are assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5.

Marines in Southern Afghanistan Build for Future, Construct Camp Leatherneck

The camp will eventually be able to house about 10,000, including members of U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force and civilian contractors.

According to Capt. Bart Lecher, the Headquarters Company commander assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan, Leatherneck is designed to be a hub for the reception, staging, onward movement and integration of Marine forces into southern Afghanistan.

Camp Leatherneck is currently under the operational control of Col. Duffy W. White, the commander of SPMAGTF-A until the arrival of the camp's main tenant – the headquarters of the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

"The project started in January with nothing but dirt and currently, four months later, the camp is fully capable, housing nearly 5,000 personnel," Lecher said.

Currently residing in the camp, Navy Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 are supporting much of the construction.

"They're the best at their jobs, and the amount of work they do can't be matched," said Marine Capt. Joshua Guide, the company commander of Co. B, NMCB-5, and the Marine liaison with the SPMAGTF-A mayor cell for the camp. "They're a valuable asset to the Marine expeditionary brigade who will be taking over Camp Leatherneck."

"The contractors have been absolutely huge," said 1st Lt. Kieran R. O'Neil, the camp commandant for Brigade Headquarters Group. "They are a vital component to this base. Their mission is getting all the buildings set up."

O'Neil said that up to 10,000 personnel will be rolling through the camp to receive equipment and push out to the forward operating bases located throughout southern Afghanistan.


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

OK this is great, now the next thing on my agenda anyway is to let the military run things, and Obama stay the heck out of it and let our troops win! Because they can and they will if Obama keeps his Muslim brained camel breath to himself.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (10)

May 10, 2009

Obama Bans the Commonfolk from Normandy

Obama Bans the Commonfolk from Normandy

Breitbart Big Hollywood

A lot of the difference, the change if you will, between Obama and Bush has much to do with the word humility.

George Bush is and was a humble man. Obama thinks the world counts on him and him alone to lead us. Bush went to church and prayed often. Obama puts out press releases about his supposed piety. The left sold a great bill of goods to the American people claiming that Bush, et al. were arrogant while insisting that Obama was a “man of the people.”

The 65th Anniversary of D-Day is fast approaching. Barack Obama will attend the events on June 6th as George Bush did in 2004 for the sixtieth memorial service. Here is the rub, as of now Obama’s State Department has asked (read demanded) the French government not allow tour guide services to operate that day. It is a big day for Normandy tourism. Yet, the king will not allow those not connected with government to enjoy the day. Obama is very important you know. This is an unprecedented request. I hope the French come to their senses and deny it.

Compare that with 2004. Security was tight as President Bush and other world leaders were in attendance, but the event was still open to all. A friend relayed the story of waiting in line to use a port-a-potty (a French port-a-potty no doubt, yuck, believe me.) She looks to her left and who he is in the next line waiting patiently? President Bush. Sure he had Secret Service nearby, but he waited like everyone else.

Contrast that with Team Obama not even allowing regular people near Colleville-Sur-Mer that day. A shame indeed. Especially as the last of our WW II vets are expiring.

As the Bamsters unemployment rate pushes 10% (double the Bush average) and his 3.5 trillion dollar budget breaks the USA (the press of course focuses on his 17 billion in “savings.” Way to go 4th Estate.), Obama has more to worry about then denying people the right to attend a memorial service on June 6th.

It’s as if Obama has to let it be known that he is more important than honoring the events and the 9,387 mostly young Americans who died invading Normandy 65 years ago. Will Obama apologize for American actions during WW II at the event?

I think the following quote from Obama himself sums it all up: “a light will shine down from somewhere…. You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, ‘I have to vote for Barack.’” Watch for yourself:

The guy can’t even bring himself to say “shine down from heaven.” Do you really expect him to line up to use the can with the commoners at a Normandy celebration? Americans may start to miss the guy with the humility.

Universal Healthcare, unchecked unions, government run banks, government run autos, cap and trade, turning the 20 million undocumented Democrats into voters: That isn’t America and it surely isn’t what those young boys died at Normandy for.

We elected a fairy tale. We can start the road back to reality in 2010 with the mid-term elections.



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

This will be the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

For Obama to go to Normandy is ABSOLUTE sacrilege!!!!!! Obama hates our history, he doesn't even have enough interest in it to read and know that more then one bomb was dropped at Pearl Harbor. Rev. Wright and his preaching constantly lied and re-wrote history their way packed with propaganda.Obama never has shown respect for our military, our troops today or for our Veterans. He went to a gym instead of visiting the wounded in Germany. He walks past our troops on stage only shaking the hands of officers because he has to. Not even a glance in the troops in the stands watching him.

His trip in June to Normandy is nothing more then a photo op and of the worst kind.

Those men died to stop fascism. Now our country has a fascist going there as president. One of my Uncles was at Normandy D-Day and I'm glad he's not around to see this.

It was bad enough when Slick Willie walked on the Normandy beach and played with those little stones in the sand while a battle ship floated in the distance behind him and a tear rolled down his fat, red cheek for that phony, staged photo.

When President Bush went there :

Security was tight as President Bush and other world leaders were in attendance, but the event was still open to all. A friend relayed the story of waiting in line to use a port-a-potty.

She looks to her left and who he is in the next line waiting patiently? President Bush. Sure he had Secret Service nearby, but he waited like everyone else.

Contrast that with Obama not even allowing regular people near Colleville-Sur-Mer that day. A shame indeed. Especially as the last of our WW II vets are expiring.

For him to walk among all these brave heroes .. I could just cry. God rest their souls.

Here is the story about Bill Clinton's visit there from someone that was there.

" It was the fiftieth anniversary of the Normandy landings. We were standing with a group of veterans and their wives on the bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, where they had come ashore on that historic morning at what cost only they could really know. All of them had visited the military cemetery where so many of their buddies lay, and all of them were deeply moved by the day and by the memories it brought to the surface.
As we stood there some of the Clinton advance crew, the public relations arm of the administration, came along and asked the veterans to move off. These were the men, some walking with canes, a couple in wheelchairs piloted by wives or children, many feeble, in whose honor we were supposed to be there. But there was another agenda for the White House staff.
The veterans never understood why they’d been moved away, but as accredited correspondents we were allowed—no, encouraged—to stay there, along with press photographers and reporters. And what we witnessed was a couple of White House aides surveying the beach, looking around to find something, then picking up some stones, studying them and finally choosing one which they placed with care at a strategic spot near the shoreline. Moments later President Clinton arrived, was escorted to the spot, and as the entourage stepped back out of camera view, he looked around at the scene and then down at his feet where he seemed to spy something—yes, a stone—which he picked up, looked at and then held in his grasp as he bit his lip and let a tear dampen his cheek. Deeply moved, you see.
There was some grumbling among the more assertive of the veterans who had been shunted away from the important action, but the pictures in the French press of Bill Clinton spontaneously picking up a stone on Omaha Beach and then staring out at the sea as he teared up and bit his lip were very effective.
The New York Times never described the scene or the staging by the keepers of the Clinton image."

Posted by Wild Thing at 08:55 AM | Comments (12)

May 09, 2009

"Currihee" Shout Out by General Petraeus Awakens 101st Air Borne Wounded Soldier

Lt. Brian Brennan was severely wounded in Iraq and faced unbeatable odds but, as David Martin reports, he made a remarkable recovery with a little help from a special Cherokee word...........CURRAHEE !!!!

Thier motto "Currahee!" is an Indian word for "stand alone" which had significant meaning for paratroopers as they parachute behind the lines and are always surrounded.

"Currahee, my brothers, I stand alone with you."

A Soldier's Miracle


Lt. Brian Brennan is a walking, talking miracle. There are no other words for it. One year ago today, he lost both his legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, and now his mother is watching him learn to run all over again.

The 44 pounds of explosives which tore off his legs and killed three fellow soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division also left Brennan with a brain injury so traumatic there seemed little hope for recovery.

"He didn’t wake up," said Joanne, his mother. "That's when the real terror struck us all. Oh my, he may never wake up. They said on scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst, he was a 1."

Then one day last June he had a visitor.

"It was a very, very grim situation, very tough one," said General David Petraeus.

Petraeus, who once commanded the 101st Airborne, tried the usual words of encouragement.

"Hang tough, big guy," he said. "Your troopers need you back out there."

But Petraeus' four stars carried no weight.

"There was absolutely no response whatsoever," Petraeus said.

"Did you think there was any hope?" Martin asked.

"Not really," Petraeus said.

"I see his beautiful blue eyes but he's staring straight right through me, and he doesn't know who I am and he doesn’t know I'm there," Joanne said.

Petraeus turned to leave, then decided to give it one last try.

"I just decided to shout out 'Currihee.'"

That's right, "Currihee." It's a Cherokee Indian word that the was the motto for the famous "Brand of Brothers" regiment in the 101st.

"We counted 'One, two, three, Currihee,'" Petraeus said.

"That's when he kind of sat up in the bed as best as he could," said Brennan's dad Jim.

"Like saying, 'I'm in here, I'm in here,'" Joanne said.

"All of a sudden, the lieutenant, his stumps are banging up and down on the sheets," Petraeus said. "His head is moving around and very clearly responding to his unit's nickname."

"Everybody in the facility was clapping and crying," Joanne said. "The doctors who had been working on him and giving us all the bad news came running down the hall, 'We heard, we heard.'"

For three weeks, he had not responded to the voices of his family, but that Band of Brothers motto brought him back from the living dead.

"It's just so awesome to be part of that historic unit," Brennan said. "It's just always in the back of my head."

"And then it came to the front," Martin said.

"Yes it did," Brennan said.

"After that, he just every day got a little better, a little better, a little better," Jim said.

Just last week, Petraeus introduced Brennan as the unsung hero of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. That walk across the stage brought the house down, and overwhelmed his father.

"I know how tough he is," Jim said. "If there was anybody in this world who could do it, he was the one."

Less than a year after being comatose and unresponsive, he delivered an acceptance speech to a crowd of 2,000.

And guess what happened next.

"One, two, three, Curihee," shouted the crowd.

Know what Currihee means?

It means "stand alone." How perfect is that?

1st Lt. Brian Brennan, a 23 year old Howell resident and graduate of Howell High School, N.J., and The Citadel, was severely injured on May 7, 2008 from an IED attack, while leading a patrol in Afghanistan.

Brian had been in Afghanistan for only two months when an IED exploded under the Humvee that he and four other men were traveling in. Brian and the gunner, Spc. Ryan Price of California, were the only ones to survive. However, they suffered similar fates.

Brian was found in cardiac arrest. If not for the quick response of his fellow soldiers, Brian’s story might have a different ending.

Brian was transferred to a field hospital, where it was found that he had sustained an acute brain injury, a collapsed lung, internal bleeding, a ruptured spleen, multiple compound fractures of his left arm, fractured shoulder blade and pelvis, and a shattered femur bone. In addition, both of Brian’s legs had to be amputated. It is truly a miracle that Brian survived his injuries.

Once Brian regained consciousness he was transferred to James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida, which specializes in traumatic brain injuries, to begin his rehabilitation. Brian was fitted with prosthetics and is currently re-learning to walk. Brian has made remarkable strides in his recovery due to his determination and positive attitude, but he has a long rehabilitative process ahead of him.


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

Thank you God! God bless Lt. Brian Brennan and his family and General Patraeus.

God Bless Soldiers everywhere for putting THEIR lives on the line to protect us ALL from terrorism!

General Patraeus has also been saved by miracles:

Twice, accidents almost ended his career, or even his life. In 1991, as a battalion commander at Fort Campbell, Ky., he was shot in the chest with an M-16 rifle when a soldier tripped during a training exercise. Rushed into surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he underwent five hours of surgery by Bill Frist, who a decade later became Senate majority leader. While skydiving in 2000, Petraeus survived the abrupt collapse of his parachute 60 feet up. His shattered pelvis was reassembled with a plate and long screws.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (11)

May 08, 2009

602nd Maintenance Co.Save a Piece of History

Jesse James (center, w/coveralls) watches as service members work on a hybrid humvee at the "Skunk Werks" welding shop at Logistical Support Area Anaconda, Iraq, December 2005. The mechanics were challenged to create a unique humvee for the Discovery Channel show, Monster Garage.

Ordnance Soldiers Save "Skunk Werks"

Army Times


When Soldiers of the 602nd Maintenance Co. leave Iraq this summer they'll be taking a piece of history with them: the "Skunk Werks" welding shop from here.

Starting in 2003, the "Skunk Werks" was one of the first locations where Level II up-armor kits - more commonly known as "hillbilly armor" - were installed on military vehicles. It's because of this historical significance that Mr. Richard Killblane, the transportation corps historian, plans to move the "Skunk Werks" to the transportation museum at Fort Eustis, Va.

"'Skunk Werks' was at its peak before all of the factory-made armor had made it into the system," said Master Sgt. Scott W. Berndt, support operations maintenance noncommissioned officer in charge, 259th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
Berndt's former unit, the 457th Transportation Bn. (which was part of the 3rd Corps Support Command at the time), ran the welding shop in 2004 and 2005. "We spent many long days and nights fabricating armor for anyone that would come in," he said.
Before 2003, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Lee A. Rowland, the current officer in charge of the "Skunk Werks", said he did not believe Soldiers in his career field got a lot of the recognition they deserved; there was even talk of slowly phasing the job out of the Army altogether.
Operation Iraqi Freedom changed all that, he said.

Welders suddenly found themselves fabricating improvised armor for humvees, trucks and armored personnel carriers; cutting patterns out of Armox ballistic steel (or sometimes even salvaged metal); and figuring out the best way to protect Soldiers.

"Now our mission has changed, but back in the day we actually provided a lot of protection for Soldiers," said Rowland, who remembers up-armoring vehicles himself during his last deployment to Mosul, Iraq. "Saving lives was the ultimate goal."

The 402nd Army Field Support Brigade has since taken over the responsibility of up-armoring military vehicles. The "Skunk Werks" returned to its primary mission as a simple welding shop, making everything from radio mounts to shelves to satellite dish brackets.

In 2006, the "Skunk Werks" was featured in the season finale of the popular Discovery Channel show Monster Garage, hosted by Jesse G. James. A crew of handpicked Soldiers and Airmen were given a timed challenge to create a humvee hotrod, complete with custom-made 28-and 26-inch wheels.

The show's crew added their signatures to the shop's walls, another reason why they're being preserved. Ironically, as Rowland pointed out, James's signature, which was written on the concrete portion of the wall, may not make it to the transportation museum with everything else. Only the temporary walls made out of wood will be torn down and moved, not any part of the permanent structure.

Although no longer involved in the up-armor process, Rowland said his unit is still proud of being a part of the shop's legacy, and they strive to maintain that reputation by doing the best work they can.

Preserving the "Skunk Werks" is important, he said, because it's a piece of history. A different kind of history most people might not be aware of, he went on to say.
"Protecting our troops is what 'Skunk Werks' was designed for," Berndt said. "Provide armor, even if it was makeshift, for our troops on the road. In my eyes, that's what needs to be preserved."

Wild Thing's comment......

Cool story, and what an opportunity for our troops to do something like this.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (1)

May 07, 2009

Awesome 2nd of the 503rd 173rd Airborne

Joe has a sense of humor, and typically one that most outside the military will never fully appreciate. Here is a great video made by Joe about Joe.

These Joes are from the awesome 2nd of the 503rd 173rd Airborne's Joes in action .


Chosen Company 2nd of the 503rd 173rd Airborne in a firefight. Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan


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

These guys are great, I am so glad I am able to show you these videos of them. God bless and protect all of them.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (5)

May 06, 2009

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Afghanistan

Pfc. Timothy Gustafson looks out over the peaceful countryside at Forward Operating Base Bostic in the Konar province of northeastern Afghanistan, enjoying a well-deserved break from his time at Combat Outpost Lowell. Gustafson, from Phoenix Ariz., is currently deployed with 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas.


by Staff Sgt. David Hopkins

The Soldiers who man Combat Outpost Lowell near the Pakistan border see combat action almost daily.

Army Pfc. Timothy Gustafson is one of these Soldiers and his story of his time at COP Lowell is about survival and brotherhood. However, he will tell you he's just like any other American Soldier, fighting for his country and the Afghan people.

Gustafson, a cavalry scout with 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, has been living and fighting at the remote outpost since early July 2008 and has many stories about what he's done and seen.

The broad-shouldered, battle-worn Soldier leaned back against a stack of sandbags during a much-needed rest at Forward Operating Base Bostic as he explained his first days at COP Lowell.

"On my second day there I spent the night in a C-hut with the finance guys and some KBR employees. I woke up to the sound of gunfire. At first, I didn't know what it was and then bullets were coming through the wood walls. I couldn't believe it was happening," Gustafson said, shaking his head. "I ran through the building to make sure everyone else was getting up. I found a KBR guy sleeping. He must have thought it wasn't real or he's a heavy sleeper. I grabbed him and pulled him up. Right when I lifted him a bullet landed where he was lying. It was very intense."

The day's events seemed a lifetime away from the 22-year-old's hometown of Phoenix, Ariz., where his wife Katheryn waits for him to return at the end of his deployment.

"I miss a lot of things being out at Lowell, but I would have to say I miss my family and friends the most," Gustafson said.

Gustafson enlisted in the Army to take care of his family and have a stable life, but his start in the Army was a little rough.

"I joined the Army in 2006, but was medically discharged from Basic Training after an injury on the Victory Tower," Gustafson said, but he was determined to serve his country and after a year of rehabilitation he was ready to give it another try. He enlisted again in 2007 and that time made it work.

Gustafson worked hard to build himself back up and dedicated himself to serve in the Army and fight. He considers himself a hard worker and feels that's what helps him make it through the hard days on the front lines.

He said he takes comfort in the days where he and his fellow cavalrymen are able to fight off an attack or save someone who was hit in an attack.

Gustafson still isn't sure if the Army is going to be a career for him, but he knows what he wants to do after the Army.

"I just want to get stable when I get out," Gustafson explained. "When I get out I plan to go to college and be an electrician journeyman. I want to start my own business."

Until the day Gustafson gets out of the Army, he said he will continue to work hard and make a difference in the lives of the Afghan people and his brothers in arms.

"I feel we are helping the Afghan people have a better life," Gustafson said, "and it feels good to make a difference. I will keep doing this for the rest of the deployment. It isn't easy, but knowing that my friends and battle buddies are out there makes me do this every day. We are a family out there...brothers."

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

God bless Pfc. Timothy Gustafson and his family. I love how he went back and enlisting a second time.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (5)

May 05, 2009

Charges Dropped Against Innocent Haditha Marine LtCol Chessani

Gov Decides Not to Appeal Further in LtCol Chessani Case; Decision to Re-Charge Still Pending

LtCol Jeffrey Chessani, USMC

Thomas More Law Center


Thomas More Law Center’s official statement says that the military has dropped its appeal of an appeals court ruling.

Here’s the good news:

A government official has informed the Thomas More Law Center that the government will not seek to appeal the recent unanimous decision by the Navy Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) in favor of LtCol Jeffrey Chessani, USMC.

The decision makes permanent the ruling by the trial court judge, Colonel Steven A. Folsom, USMC, dismissing the charges against LtCol Chessani, without prejudice, due to Unlawful Command Influence. The government could have sought an appeal to the civilian Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces (CAAF), and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here’s the bad news:

In order for the government to start the process of recharging LtCol Chessani, the Commandant, General James Conway, USMC, would have to appoint a new convening authority (the rank of General) that was not precluded by Col Folsom’s ruling, which was based on Unlawful Command Influence.

Col Folsom precluded the commands of the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF), Marine Forces Central Command (MARCENT), and General James Mattis, USMC in particular. Whoever is named the new convening authority (the new General) would have to make an independent decision on whether or not to bring new charges against LtCol Chessani. If the General did desire to bring charges, LtCol Chessani would be subject to a new Article 32 Hearing.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, along with detailed military attorneys LtCol Jon Shelburne, USMC, and Capt Jeffrey King, USMC, have represented LtCol Chessani throughout the criminal process.


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

I pray and hope that the NCIS admit that the persecutions of the Haditha Marines was a political witch hunt that was ignited by Tim McGirk’s farcical Time Magazine article and John ( not longer a Marine imo) Murtha!

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:27 PM | Comments (9)

Snipers' Dream - Million Dollar Shot

Sgt. 1st Class Brandon McGuire briefs his sniper platoon.

The four man sniper team hardly dared to breathe. For two days and nights they had waited for the right situation, and it was finally here.

To Sgt. 1st Class Brandon McGuire it seemed that all his prior experiences such as serving on the 82nd Airborne Division's marksmanship team, being a sniper and reconnaissance platoon observer and shooting sniper weapons for a scout platoon, had prepared him for the moment.

"I even managed to talk an Explosive Ordnance Detonation unit out of their sniper rifle since they didn't know how to use it," laughed McGuire.

Taking one last look, McGuire calmly squeezed the trigger of his Barret .50 caliber, Sniper Weapon System (SWS).

A platoon sergeant in 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, McGuire had deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom nine months earlier and was stationed at Forward Operating Base, Iskandaryia, in Iraq.

Four days before his current mission, McGuire's platoon had been ordered to the western sector of their area of operations (AO) to locate and destroy an enemy mortar team.

Rebels were firing shells into the city, critically wounding people and destroying property. The shelling compromised faith in McGuire's unit to protect and keep Iraqi citizens safe.

"Losing trust in us to take care of the situation could prompt the locals not to help us anymore, and that only makes for more enemies," said McGuire. "This was also a mission we welcomed since it was a crucial one and not what we called a 'Groundhog Day,' which is a regular everyday patrol."

During the mission, two of McGuire's Soldiers had been wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED); one critically.

The road they were on had been the backdrop for numerous Americans getting attacked and killed, which prompted McGuire and his platoon leader to decide enough was enough. After evacuating one Soldier to Baghdad and the other to their medical unit at the Forward Operation Base (FOB), they began formulating plans to end the problem once and for all.

Heading to a location they called the "tractor factory" which had many vantage points, McGuire assumed his post in one tower while his platoon leader headed for the other.

Although it was night, the men knew they had an excellent view of the road in question and a wall around the factory provided protection for their vehicles.

Windows were quickly camouflaged and a platform built for the sniper weapon system, an Improved Target Acquisitioning System (ITAS). "Best of all, no one knew we were there," added McGuire.

Because dismounted radios could not reach back to the battalion tactical operations center (TOC), a communications platform was also assembled. "Commo," according to McGuire, was their best weapon in addition to individual Soldiers retrieving information.

Combined observation reports provided excellent clues to enemy behavior and operations. And because they were usually outnumbered during missions, contacting the TOC and aircraft for additional help was their lifeline.

In keeping with the military tradition of carrying a special good luck item along with the rest of his military gear, McGuire had packed away a family picture.

His hope was that should he be kidnapped, realizing he had a family might earn him some leniency.

For the next two days and nights all eyes focused on the road that had been declared "black," meaning no one was allowed on it unless they had route clearance.

His crew of four to five Soldiers rotated every so often, but McGuire stayed in the tower occasionally taking time to sleep and eat.

"You have to sleep sometimes or you become ineffective," said McGuire. "And to pass the time we played this game called 'if.' Everybody takes turns making up a fantasy about where they would most like to be right now. The obvious answer is home and family so that's not allowed. We wanted to hear about sensational places with good food and company to go with it. The other rule was that everyone had to take their time describing the scene to make the hours pass more quickly."

Sunrise on the third day brought McGuire and his crew the prey they had been stalking. The target was walking on the canal which ran east and west of their position. For over an hour they watched his suspicious behavior which included digging an item out of the canal's embankment.

Agreeing it was a mortar tube McGuire contacted the battalion TOC and requested permission to engage. Receiving an affirmative answer, the team quickly arranged the spotter's scope while McGuire set up behind the SWS.

The range finder indicated the insurgent was over 1,300 meters away, a precarious distance for even the best of snipers. And a high wind required the crew to do wind calculations. Despite the problems McGuire's "cool" attitude prevailed. Too much was at stake to fail now.

"You only get one shot," said McGuire. "That means you have to keep your self-control because if you miss your position is uncovered. I also reminded myself that if I was successful, my Soldiers as well as other Americans and the people we're trusted to protect would finally be safe."

McGuire's sights bore down on the rebel for another hour as he carried his tube up and down the canal.

Because it was a rolling terrain, he kept dropping in and out of sight. Several times McGuire had the insurgent's head in focus, but didn't believe he could shoot accurately with so much distance between them.

He was also unsure about the wind and his calculations, not to mention the adrenalin rush that was penetrating his entire body.

Suddenly, the target area McGuire desperately wanted appeared. Called the "triangle measurement," the rebel's throat down to his upper chest, was now in plain view.

Hearing the spotter yell "fire!" McGuire pulled the trigger. He was immediately lost in the smoke from the weapon's powerful outburst in the small building.

Scrambling for another attempt, McGuire already knew it would be too late. There was only a cloud of smoke where the rebel had been.

McGuire's spotter, however, had kept his visual and was yelling, "Tango down, Tango Down, he's gone!"
McGuire had accomplished the near impossible. Though the rebel was nearly a mile away, he had successfully made what came to be known throughout his unit as the "million dollar shot."
"They even put that in my record," laughed McGuire.

After high fives and congratulations the team quickly turned its attention back to the mission. Now they realized the wind had been a blessing by muffling the sound of the shot. No other insurgents would be able to learn their location.

The battalion TOC was quickly notified and a request made for the Iraqi Army to retrieve the body. A firefight on their arrival made it impossible for the Soldiers to acquire the target. The rebel, however, was identified a few days later by a local Iraqi official.

"We weren't sure what happened to the mortar tube, but about a week later we captured a truck with a similar one so maybe that was it. More importantly, after our platoon's engagement there were no more mortar attacks on that road," said McGuire.
While the "million dollar shot" earned much praise for McGuire and his sniper team, he insists the driving force for their success was their injured battle buddies and other Americans hurt on the road.
"Camaraderie is what keeps your Soldiers together and at their best," said McGuire.
"Platoon Soldiers become lifelong friends. You share so many experiences together which you can never explain to someone else. They would never get it. However, you always have your fellow Soldiers to go to. Just to give you an example, my platoon leader left the service, but we're godparents to each other's children."


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

GREAT story, God bless Sgt. 1st Class Brandon McGuire and his platoon and all our troops. I loved the way the writer walked us through the entire thing.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (8)

Meeting one of Bataan Death March POW's

Bataan Death March-Injured Marines from BAMC‏

Here are a few pictures from the Bataan Death March in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico that a group of us from Brooke Army Medical Hospital finished a few weeks ago.

The race is a tribute race to honor our American POW's who were captured in the Philippines by the Japanese military during World War II. Our boys had to march many miles to the POW Camps where they were held for over three years.

I was even lucky enough to meet a small group of the surviving POW's that are now in their 90's. They're a great bunch of Veterans and it's hard to break away from them when they start to tell you how they overcame the POW Camps. They have many stories about how they survived those dreadful camps.