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I just heard about this, but there is still time.
This weekend, the participating airlines will match your donation mile-for-mile, from 6 AM, Friday, May 25th through 11:59 pm, Monday, May 28th. Now is the time to donate those unused miles in your frequent flyer accounts!
Through a partnership with the Fisher House Foundation and individual airlines, airline tickets are available for service men and women wounded or injured in Iraq or Afghanistan or for their families to visit them in the hospital.
At this time, Airtran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways accept donations from their passengers.
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics -
Today our nation celebrates Memorial Day, a time when we pause to remember our veterans who have died defending our country and our freedom. Our nation first began paying tribute to fallen soldiers after the Civil War, and out of that tribute a solemn and meaningful tradition was formed.
This edition is a Memorial Tribute from those that have lost loved ones, those from the Front, those who have served in the past and those that support them.
"A man is not dead until he is forgotten"
Faces of the Fallen
Here are the names of the fallen who have died serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
Last Goodbye: US Soldiers from Iraq War -- [prezjackie]
Another Memorial Day in Iraq -- [JusticeSoldier.com - in Iraq]
It is with heavy heart that we usher in another Memorial Day here in the hot and dusty lands of Southern Iraq. As Americans at home and across the globe embark upon their travel plans for picnics and other family gatherings, 4 of our finest are still considered missing in action (MIA) here in Iraq.
...Despite the horror of the recent kidnappings, there is a lot of good coming out of Iraq - too bad you all back home will never hear of it (blame your media). Al Qaeda is finding hard times lately, as the local populace grows increasingly tired of the bombings and has now begun to openly hunt Al Qaeda in multiple areas of Iraq. Iraqi’s are standing up in defiance of this extremism and beginning to kick Al Qaeda’s ass from town to town, literally putting them on the run. The news seems very reluctant to report on this progress,
Memorial Day 2007 -- [Learning to Live - husband fallen in Iraq]
I never know what to say on this day. I am sure it is obvious how I am feeling today. It is my third Memorial Day that has meaning. This photo is one of the few I have of Sean in his BDUs. It was taken in Kosovo in early 2003.
Robert Stokely: Memorial Day - A Day to REMEMBER -- [Thunder Run - Mr Stokely's son fallen in Iraq]
No doubt, as David recounted the other day, Memorial Day has become anything but in the eyes of most. Plain and simple, Memorial Day is about one group of people who share one common distinguishing denominator - they are U.S. military peronnel who died in the line of duty, serving with honor the country the America they loved. DUTY HONOR COUNTRY.
This past week I have tried to think what is the proper approach to Memorial Day. Obviously the word celebrate, at first glance seems to have the wrong "theme", for how do you celebrate the death of a soldier, sailor or airman in the line of duty? It should not be called a holiday for can it be proper to have fun and leisure on a day when we are supposed to be remembering those who died in the line of duty so we can remain free and prosperous?
Wounded Warriors -- [Lumberjack in a Desert - injured in Iraq]
You might never hear me say this again so listen close. CNN has some excellent programming on the war this Memorial Day (I am just as suprised as you are). I watched Wounded Warriors today and was quite suprised at how much of the Green Zone Hospital I remembered. I was pretty much in shock with my right arm blown off and my left hand and arm sprayed with shrapnel when I was wounded on the eve of December 19, yet I was still aware enough to take in my surroundings.
Our Little Patriots -- [Karen Z - From My Position... On the way! - husband injured in Iraq]
I have a quick story to share, which I feel is appropriate this weekend as we remember the men and women who gave their lives in the name of freedom! Happy Memorial Day to all... may we Never Forget!!!
This is about our 7-year-old son (Creighton) and 4-year-old daughter (Adelle). We have a flag hanging on the front of our house next to the garage. We come and go and see it every day... it is a "normal" part of our lives. Until one day Creighton did something that made me so proud I was near tears...
Bang the Drum Slowly -- [Some Soldier's Mom - son injured in Iraq]
I meant to ask you how to fix that car
I always meant to ask you about the war
And what you saw across a bridge too far
Did it leave a scar...
And it's a good time to remind you that not all combat wounds are visible... and that not all combat deaths are those on the battlefield...
Remember Us All -- [All Quiet on the Southwest Asian Front - in Iraq]
At the end of 'Saving Private Ryan', when CPT Miller is shot and knows he is dying, he grabs PVT Ryan and tells him, "Earn this." He died to save Ryan's life, and unless Ryan makes some use out of that fact, he died for nothing.
I can't say 'we don't mind dying, we knew that risk was part of the deal'. None of us want to die. But there are ways that we accept it. We all volunteered to place ourselves between our homes and families and war's desolation. We don't mind dying....for a reason. For America, for human freedom, for a noble cause, for our buddies...the last full measure has to mean something.
Because if we have to die, don't let it be for nothing.
For God's sake, if we have to die, make it for something.
And for God's sake please, please remember us.
Memorializing Our Fallen -- [SWJ]
...You don’t invest a large part of yourself in people and an organization though without having concerns. One of the last things I remember there was the BN CSM Tom Adams opening up one of the first deployment briefings explaining why getting your personal life in order was so important before deploying to war. There was silence and a few nervous laughs when the CSM reminded the men that some of them and their buddies would not return – they would die in combat.
From my follow on job, I kept tabs on the BN and most important to me, those I had special bonds with – the ones who I had sat on a range with and talked about shooting, knew where they were from, had shared coffee with, discussed some personal problem I might help them solve, or just BS’d with on the stairs to the company or in their platoon CP. I had friends and my old boss, who when they found time could shoot me an email with news.
It was not too long before the first deaths occurred.
A Memorial Day Message -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
Memorial Day weekend is upon us. I am out here in Anbar Province with Task Force 2-7 Infantry. The area around Hit (pronounced “heat”) is so quiet previous units likely would not recognize the still. There was a small IED incident this morning, and the explosion was a direct hit, but the bomb was so small that mechanics had the vehicle back in shape by late afternoon. Calm truly has fallen on this city.
Tribute To The British Soldiers Killed Around The World -- [JonathanLyall]
Dear World -- [Making the Leap... - in Iraq]
Please take note of our return. Give us a hero's welcome, regardless of whether or not we feel we deserve it. Shake our hands, give us a hug, let us know that we were missed, that we are wanted, that we were cared for, that we are welcome.
...Please help us heal our wounds, obvious or not. Do not linger on scars, on missing limbs. On the other hand, don't handle us with kid gloves when we need your help -- we will not shatter.
America is at the Mall -- or, A Call to Remember Memorial Day -- [Assad Baghdad - in Iraq]
The anti-war movement assails the President for failing to ask the American people to sacrifice during war--and fundamentally I don't disagree with them on that point. The only thing we, as a nation, have been asked for is patience, and, in the days after 9/11...dare I say it...to go shopping. We were asked to live our lives as we normally would, ignoring the sounds of war marching all around us. Sadly, that's easy to do in modern America, where the military is less than 1% of the population, and when fewer and fewer communities support military facilities. It's easy to do when large numbers of Americans view this war only as an abstraction, a news report, or nothing more than a political push me-pull me.
Last year, I travelled to Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country, and I spent a number of afternoons visiting Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington. I met many of our nation's wounded warriors, and ...
Memorial Day: Observed -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
I have long tried to observe Memorial Day as it was intended; in remembrance of those who died fighting America's Wars. My most memorable ones were in 1992 and 1993 when, as a member of 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard) I walked through Arlington National Cemetery with a ruck sack on my back placing a US flag on each grave in my assigned area. At Arlington the only time flags maybe flown on individual grave sites is during the Memorial Day weekend.
Speaking to the VFW -- [Calvey in Iraq - in Iraq]
Greetings from Baghdad!
As I write it is 111 degrees in the shade here. I am just getting used to it, although I know it will get hotter still.
...I think it was every year since I was elected to the Oklahoma Legislature in 1998 that I was the guest speaker for VFW Post 9969 in Del City for Memorial Day.
The members of the VFW, and all veterans, along with our current servicemembers, are my heroes. Although I cannot be with the members of the VFW on Memorial Day this year, I am with them in spirit.
Memorial Day -- [Foreign and Domestic - in Iraq]
I'm early for Monday, but I'll be out on the road then.
I used to be like most Americans who looked forward to Memorial Day as a 3 day weekend that kicked off summer. Even after I joined the National Guard in 1992, it was a day to show up at the armory for a quick Memorial Day service, and then back home for a few beers.
But on October 21st, 2000 I found out what it is about.
My unit was on weekend drill at Fort McCoy, ...
Faces of the Fallen
Here are the names of the fallen who have died serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Tribute to the Fallen Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan -- [dgct2]
28 May 2007, Memorial Day -- [Sgt Dub - in Afghansitan]
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag. - Charles M. Province
In memory of those of Task Force Phoenix V, Afghanistan, who gave the ultimate sacrifice:
LEST WE FORGET - British Armed Forces In Afghan Remembered -- [CF2006UK]
President Bush Pays Tribute to America's Fallen at Arlington National Cemetery -- [FOX News]
...Speaking of the more than 368,000 buried through history at Arlington National Cemetery, Bush said, "Nothing said today will ease your pain. But each of you needs to know our country thanks you and we embrace you and we will never forget the terrible loss you have suffered."
The Virtual Wall -- [Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund]
The Virtual Wall is a commemorative website created to extend the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It allows families, friends and veterans to post photo, text and audio remembrances to those who lost their lives in the war or remain missing in action.
Memorial Day: “Americans will die for freedom…” -- [The Anchoress]
An Englishman decides that it is a sentiment not worthy of mockery, after all.
The Americans are more old-fashioned than us, and what is equally admirable, they are not ashamed of being old-fashioned. They know Churchill was a great man, so they put his house on the map. There is a kind of Englishman to whom this sort of behaviour seems painfully unsophisticated.
But lest these impressions of the United States seem unduly favourable, it should be added that the Americans have not remained in happy possession of their free constitution without cost.
American Soldier- Toby Keith (tribute) -- [beevmeister]
This is a tribute movie that I made for one of my english classes.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial ~ Plans Unveiled -- [Gazing at the Flag]
The Wall of Faces will feature photos of service members whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
The Memorials We Deserve -- [RedState]
...At some point in the next few years, the National Park Service will give us its version of the Flight 93 Memorial. It won't have any of the sentimentality of left-behind crosses or rosaries, motorcycle jackets or matchbox cars. Neither will it have any elements of the heroic or the classical--no obelisks or domes or statuary. Instead it will, as the NPS Flight 93 Memorial newsletter soothingly explains, offer the visitor "space for reflection, learning, social interaction, and healing." Not to mention wind chimes. And a spacious visitors' center, too.
To those who prefer their monuments to be monumental, this may come as something of a disappointment, if not an outright betrayal. Even at this late date, seemingly ordinary citizens can perform extraordinary feats, as Flight 93's heroic epic reminds us. The problem isn't that we've run out of heroes in America. We just don't know how to honor them anymore.
Memorial Day -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
You've seen the price of freedom.
Tell them about the sacrifices made,
and still made every day for us.
Tell them that being a Soldier is about love,
about the greatest love there is:
The willingness to lay down your life for another
Photo from Military.com's Tattoo Gallery
Support Our Troops--Operation Gratitude Makes A Difference! -- [Operation Gratitude]
"I would like to personally thank you for the many gifts that our command received last week from OPERATION GRATITUDE. These gifts were a great morale boost for the entire crew. The support your organization has shown to the Armed Forces personnel is overwhelming. This organization is proof that many Americans do care about our troops serving in harm's way. Our crew represents almost every state in America. They are men and women that have dedicated their lives to serving their country. All have put "Country" before "Self". Thank you and your entire organization for your PATRIOTISM. I have served in the United States Navy for over 23 years and these packages are by far the best I have ever seen from any organization.
Actor Gary Sinise Receives 'G.I. Spirit Award' -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
WASHINGTON, May 27, 2007 - Actor Gary Sinise received the G.I. Spirit Award yesterday during the first G.I. Film Festival, held over the Memorial Day weekend at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center here.
Retired Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife Mary Jo Myers, presented Sinise with the award, which is meant to honor the entertainer who most embodies the spirit of the American G.I. and his work.
...Iraq war veteran Army Capt. Dennis J. Skelton, who brought fellow servicemembers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center National and the Naval Medical Center at Bethesda to the event, recognizes that American support for military personnel has undergone a tremendous change.
"It's amazing to see the transition that has occurred in this country over the last four decades between the last major conflict, which was Vietnam, and the global war on terror," Skelton said. "There is definitely no shortage of patriotism in this country, and that's evident by the number of non-profit, philanthropic organizations, and attention that America has given.
Google Ignores Memorial Day…Again! -- [NewsBusters]
Well, citizens, America’s leading search engine, and one of the most powerful forces on the Internet, has once again ignored Memorial Day.
As NewsBusters reported last year:
I’m sure most Googlers are extremely aware of how Google will dress up its logo at its web search or news pages in honor of holidays or special occasions…Yet, if you go to Google’s home page here, or its news page here, you will see nothing commemorating today’s national holiday.
One might have thought that after last year’s scrutiny, Google might have capitulated. Not so.
Yet, since last Memorial Day, Google has recognized the following:...
The Memorial Day ads are here. Arrgghh! -- [Butterfly Wife]
Those would be the Memorial Day ads. It is especially frustrating to hear about LaZ-Boy furniture and their Memorial Day Sale!!! At least Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealers are attempting to combine patriotism and supporting our troops with sales. Unfortunately, on their websites, they completely fail to mention the A Million Thanks organization that is promiently displayed in their TV commercials. Just promoting their cars and sales. Cuz that's what Monday is really all about.
How not to honor a fallen soldier -- [Michelle Malkin]
Welcome to Memorial Day 2007. Here's a lesson in How Not To Honor a Fallen Soldier 101. Don't do what Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson did to fallen Marine Lance Corporal Aaron Austin:
Get his name wrong.
Exploit his death on the campaign trail.
Insult his mother by claiming she talked about money with you at his memorial service, which she vehemently refutes--and then refuse to apologize.
Here's the transcript from Meet The Press yesterday. Geez:
Memorial Day 2007. -- [John of Argghhh!]
...Just by living our lives, and taking an interest in what goes on around us, we pay that debt. We can pay it ahead by keeping an eye on those who commit us to war. And recognizing that avoidance for avoidance's sake is as bad in its way as rushing headlong and blindly into battle. Truly, in this arena, the answer lies in the middle, not at the extremes.
The Honor Was Ours -- [Sgt Hook]
For one week each month, my unit has a 9-soldier detail, including riflemen and a bugler, trained and ready to don their class ‘A’ uniforms complete with all awards, standing by to provide military honors to veterans who have passed away in our area. Sadly, each time we’ve pulled this detail (6 consecutive months), we’ve conducted funerals nearly every day of the week. I recently had the opportunity honor to participate in one of those ceremonies…
I stood in the almost green again grass, just off the edge of the narrow winding road, a few yards from a dark blue awning that provided shade for a dozen chairs, all facing a freshly dug rectangular hole in the earth. The sun was out, the birds singing.
Remember -- [Flopping Aces]
As you read, turn on your speakers and listen to: "In a Mother's Eyes" by Andrew Dean.
"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for another."
...Memorial Day in Iraq
Today in Iraq, U.S. soldiers, both men and women ,will observe Memorial Day with personal reflections on fellow soldiers who have died in that long conflict. One news report even showed Iraqi Sheiks and tribal leaders coming to a U.S. Marine compound to pay their respects to some of the 3444 U.S. soldiers who have given their lives to help Iraq and ensure U.S. National Security.
While each of those lives lost is tragic and we honor and mourn their loss, we can also be thankful that we live in a nation where such sacrifice is less and less called upon. Since Memorial Day started as an observance of our Civil War dead, contrast the 3444 fallen soldiers in Iraq over four years with the 3,650 U.S. and Confederate troops who died at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.
Wherever You Will Go Military Tribute -- [AmericanBattleCry]
Memorial Day - How to honor the Real Heroes -- [BlackFive]
First, if you are relatively new to Blackfive, you should read this story about a Memorial Day four years ago - Mathew Schram's Memorial Day.
And, unfortunately, we've posted many memorials to our Fallen Americans.
...When Taps is played at dusk, it has a completely different meaning than when Taps is played during the day. No soldier really wants to hear it played during daylight.
"To Fallen Comrades" -- [RedState]
It's been thirty-seven years since the night Jerry and I shared guard duty in the 81mm gun pit. He was a radioman with the Command Post and I was in the mortar platoon.
...There's an old saying about how tomorrow is not promised to anyone. I suppose that is why Jerry's death the next day, and the hour or two we spent the night before, are committed to my memory.
Many years after returning from Vietnam, I bought a computer and got online. Some of the first "surfing" I did brought me to veteran locator sites. Occasionally there were messages posted from survivors of soldiers killed in Vietnam. They wanted to hear from anyone who may have known their loved ones.
Memories of My Own on Memorial Day -- [Family Security Matters - Carol A. Taber]
Today, only a small number of Americans have known anyone personally who died fighting for our country, but I have. My war was the Vietnam War, and I was a Vietnam wife, so I knew quite a few.
...We speak of a military death as a sacrifice given to preserve our brilliant and beloved country and our very privileged and peaceful way of life. We envision these deaths where they most often occur - on the battlefield, as our children and neighbors and husbands are transformed into fallen heroes who fall under enemy fire and die heroically in an effort to defeat America’s enemies. But there are other deaths too, not so heroic but even more tragic and sacrificial, that occur in every war and their toll needs to be counted in the measure of whether war is worth the sacrifice we all make.
A few such deaths stand out particularly for me and I always remember their haunting images when Memorial Day rolls around.
Memorial Day Tribute Video to Our Fallen Heroes -- [Sparks from the Anvil]
...Major Douglas Zembiec's widow, Pamela, bows over the casket of her husband Wednesday afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery before his internment. The couple also have a 1-year-old daughter, Fallyn. Major Zembiec was 34, a highly decorated Marine Corps officer. He was killed while leading a raid on insurgents in Baghdad on May 10th, 2007. He earned the Bronze Star with a V for valor for his actions in Fallujah in 2004.
AMERICA DOESNT FORGET! -- [One Marine's View]
As Memorial Day approaches, don’t look back on Tuesday and go “I wish I would have done this or that”. Do something special this Memorial Day that recognizes those who have gone before us to make a difference. Don’t look at it as a chance to have a three day weekend to go camping but a special day to acknowledge those who help America what it is today. Below is a post I wrote a time back. Hope you enjoy it and especially this Memorial Day. Semper Fidelis and God Bless America!
Honoring the Fallen -- [Human Events]
It was an unseasonably cold Memorial Day 1991 -- the gray morning sky blanketing a dewy ground. We sat in white chairs beneath a tent near an oversized mausoleum. I wore a red shirt and blue jean skirt and my legs threatened goose bumps against the dreary chill. The somber cast of the day kept my questions unasked. I stood beside my grandpa, a veteran of the Navy, as the sound of “Taps” drifted into play in increasingly strong tones – slicing through the silent gray like a beacon of reverence extending to the heavens.
Memorial -- [chic[k]pilot]
We left our places of work. Walked out of the squadron, the office, the shop, off the flight line. Where there would normally be the buzzing, whistling, wizzing, bustling sounds of one of the busiest airfields in the country, all was quiet. We walked, we drove, in silence, while a C-17 landed with precious cargo. We lined the center avenue of our base, side by side we stood. Pilots, maintainers, personnelists, commanders, officer and enlisted, instructors and students, military and civilian. The Honor Guard escorted the white hearse as it creeped along the street, followed by cars of family and friends of our fallen brother. As the line of vehicles neared each one of us, there was a salute or hand placed on our heart and a tear in our eye. With the police escort long past, our eyes followed the convoy through the gate as it sent our comrade on his way to rest.
Cheers on Corridor Three -- [Blog Them Out of the Stone Age]
...For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway — 20, 25, 30. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts. They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals.
Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly. There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband’s wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son’s behalf. No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks.
An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past. These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home.
Don't let them be forgotten -- [Old War Dogs -- Bill Faith ]
Don't forget to take some time between beers this weekend to remember our POWs and MIAs. This would also be an excellent time to discover Marsha's new blog I'm still in the process of putting the finishing touches on; click here.
A Mother’s Tears
Marsha Burks-Megehee, 2003
A mother’s tears were shed today
For a battle long ago;
Her precious gift to a warrior son
Whose fate she’ll never know....
Decoration Day -- [Old War Dogs - J. D. Pendry]
We still call it Decoration Day here in Wild Wonderful. Many of us will visit a cemetery this weekend and pay our respects to those who have stood final muster and answered their last recall. I’ll visit my Father, WWII Navy Veteran Hudson Grey Pendry. Most of our youngsters don’t know about this special day and what it represents. Take the opportunity this weekend to forget politicians and their antics. Instead, take time to visit a cemetery and reserve some time in your mind and heart for people who truly deserve our thoughts. Take time to educate a youngster about Memorial Day. Tell them why we must remember the Men and Women who have sacrificed so that we can remain a free nation.
Memorial Day 2007 -- [Gateway Pundit]
First of all... As we remember those who went before us-
Thank you to all of the brave men and women who are serving in the military today... And, especially to those who are serving this great nation in Iraq or Afghanistan. Thank you.
Bob McCarty is promoting his IRAQ SURRENDER GROUP FLAG Fitted T-Shirt for the holiday weekend:...
Bob also notes where Speaker Pelosi is spending her weekend.
Pat Rowe Kerr, the Missouri State Veterans Ombudsman, forwarded this article about a Southern Missouri soldier's family in need.
The Politics of Memorial Day -- [Sgt Stryker]
Memorial Day is meant to be a day to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending this country. But there are those who are choosing to make Memorial Day into a political event. Presidential candidate John Edwards is at the forefront of a movement to make Memorial Day a day of anti-war activism. He is urging his supporters and anyone else who will listen to take to the streets over Memorial Day weekend to protest the war in Iraq.
Memorial Day: Eating My Words -- [Gun Toting Liberal]
A GTL™ “Blast From The Past”:
Want to see something amusing?
Take a look at my post from Memeorial Day Weekend of 2005, from the old blog; back in the “old days” when I still thought Senator Joseph Lieberman was a bit of a “hero” for sticking to his guns on the Iraq invasion when all of our other fellow liberals were blasting the whole fiasco and dropping like flies as things were beginning to look grim in the Middle East for our nation. I was still PROUD to be one of those “maverick liberals” back then…
Silent As The Grave -- [Villianous Company]
...On this weekend of remembrance, it is most fitting to recall who really protects America's beloved freedoms: Congress and the media.
With these two pillars of freedom bravely speaking out on behalf of our armed forces, there's no need for your inconvenient and superfluous opinions.
You needn't, for instance, give permission to be filmed while critically injured or dying. Never fear that your wife, eight year old son, or aged grandmother might stumble across that graphic video of you gasping out your last breaths as your buddies look on in horror. Who could fail to see that the closeup of your charred, bloodsoaked torso was meant as respectful "homage" to your sacrifice, a reverent sacrifice laid on the altar of America's all-consuming need to know?
Don't sweat it if, doped up on morphine, or writhing in agony from a leg blown off by an IED you scream, swear, whimper, say something embarrassing, or are caught sucking your thumb while half conscious. The New York Times has your back.
The Lost Heroes of the War on Terror -- [NRO - Jeff Emanuel]
Four names that every American should know.
Despite taking place in an age of seemingly limitless information, the Global War on Terror (GWOT) has spawned a paucity of stories of heroic action and courage under fire. Regardless of whether this has been the result of honest, if unfortunate, oversight or a byproduct of the “if it bleeds, it leads” mindset of a sensationalist 24-hour media apparatus, the fact remains that there are no grand tales being told of modern Audie Murphys, Jimmy Doolittles, Pappy Boyingtons, Bill Pitsenbargers, or Bud Days, despite the fact that the nation — and a significant amount of its soldiers — is at war.
War On Terror Tribute -- [Peptobismarck]
Happy Memorial Day -- [Jules Crittenden] I thought body counts went out with the Vietnam War. The AP is kicking off Memorial Day weekend with a fresh body count in Iraq.
The AP story leads with the number of new graves opened for dead American soldiers since Memorial Day last, but only those in Iraq. Why this slight? Are the dead in Afghanistan not worthy of respect in the eyes of the Associated Press? It is possible that this article is not about honoring the dead at all, or even about reporting the news, but just another thinly veiled editorial attack on the Bush administration? Would the Associated Press be so callous as to use American dead in this manner, as a political tool?
No Substitute Yet Found for U.S. Troop Blood -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-05-27) — As the United States marks Memorial Day, recognizing those who sacrificed their lives in service to the country, scientists worldwide admit they are likely years away from discovering a “fertilizer for freedom” as effective as the blood of American troops.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
May No Soldier Go Unloved is Book number one in a Seriers that chronicles the History of Soldiers Angels
Written by the Founders Husband, Book One Centers Around How Soldiers Angels Started and the Mission it set forth.
The incredible journey of one woman's desire to help, and how that has drawn over 120,000 volunteers and millions of dollars to her cause.
Patti Patton Bader has the heart of Mother Teresa, the motivational mastership of Vince Lombardi, and the mobilization skills of Genghis Khan. She was raised an army brat; the great niece of the famous World War II General George S. Patton, daughter of decorated Vietnam Veteran Lt. Colonel David W. Patton, and brother of Iraqi War Veteran David Patton.
When her oldest son, Brandon, was sent to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, in the spring of 2003, she decided to send him at least one care package a day and keep a blog of the events that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan as an electronic scrapbook for Brandon when he returned.
What started out as a mother's small commitment to her son, soon turned into Soldiers' Angels.
The Books Will revolve around Soldiers Angels Motto
May No Soldier Go Unloved
May No Soldier Walk Alone
May No Soldier Be ForGotten
Till they All Come Home.
The First 1000 Books will be signed by the Author and his Wife Patti Founder of Soldiers Angels
A portion of these proceeds will go to Welcome Packs for our deployed heroes!
Get yours Today!
Over in America, home of the free
Land of unlimited opportunity
People in the streets protest whatever they can
While over in Iraq and Afghanistan
The brave, far from home, are standing tall
toeing the line, so they can have it all
Some like to complicate it but it's simple to me
They're making noise, we're making history
We're making history
They're making noise
We're facing the fire
They're playing with toys
Nobody ever said
That it would be easy
They're making noise
While we're making history
Some would like to tell you that we can't get it done
Some would like to think that it's time to cut and run
Me I like to finish something once I've begun
And I don't think I'm the only one
Here making history, hearing the noise
of louder things, bigger things, things that destroy
Things you'd never want to see on your street
Things you might call the price of defeat
So forgive me if I come home a little annoyed
I've been making history while you were making noise
Iraq, May 2007
After effects of the Toby Keith concert: Wrote this country music song while driving around in my humvee. Maybe later I'll work out the guitar part and record.
In case anyone's wondering, I'm fine. Have arrived at new location and been quite busy setting up living and working quarters. "Battle Rhythm" is a phrase that describes a routine - and mine's not yet established.
Weather is quite warm - next time you go to the beach on a hot day wrap yourself in an electric blanket and sit near a heater that can throw 10 knots of hot air at you and you'll know what I mean by "quite warm". The good thing is this is mild compared to July and August.
But it's a dry heat.
Oh, and Toby Keith is a great American.
...to the rear, harch...
Last year, pre-surge (pre-US elections) retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton appears before congress, excoriates the Bush administration and demands a surge of troops for Iraq.
Batiste and his colleagues offered their solution: more troops, more money and more time in Iraq.This year, in television advertisements for his political group "VoteVets", he says:
"We must mobilize our country for a protracted challenge," Batiste warned.
"We better be planning for at least a minimum of a decade or longer," contributed retired Marine Col. Thomas Hammes.
"We are, conservatively, 60,000 soldiers short," added retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who was in charge of building the Iraqi Security Forces.
President Bush says he listens to his military commanders.
Well, Mr. President, I was one of those commanders, and you weren't listening when we warned you of the dangers we would face invading Iraq. Now our military is overcommitted, and America is less secure.
Mr. President, you're being told we need serious diplomacy, not escalation, and you're still not listening.
If the president won't listen, Congress must.
David Ignatius: Running Out of Time in Iraq:
U.S. commanders think their squeeze on Sunni and Shiite extremists is having an impact. In al-Qaeda's stronghold of Anbar province, tribal leaders have begun allying with American forces against the Sunni terrorists. According to Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, who commands day-to-day military operations in Iraq, there were just 60 attacks in Anbar last week, compared with 480 per week a year ago. But al-Qaeda continues its deadly attacks, as in last Saturday's brutal ambush that killed four U.S. soldiers and left three missing.In the Wall Street Journal, Max Boot argues against the planned September declaration of failure:
The Shiite death squads, too, are under pressure. The number of sectarian murders is down in Baghdad. More important, the radical Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr signaled recently that he wants to talk to the Maliki government about a political deal. "Moqtada is feeling the heat," says Fallon. "His followers are starting to head off in different directions."
Gen. Petraeus has promised to report back to Congress by September on what kind of progress he is making, but don't expect a definitive answer. He is unlikely to say "the surge has worked" or "the surge has failed." He will instead probably point to a variety of indicators, some of which will be positive, others negative. It will be left to the American people and their leaders to interpret these results as they see fit.You heard it here first.
Inevitably, since suicide attacks will still be occurring in Iraq in September, many commentators and politicians will write off the surge as a failure. Many are already doing so, even though the Baghdad Security Plan is barely three months old and the fourth extra U.S. brigade has only recently arrived. The fifth and final one won't be in place until June. It will take many months after that to see whether security conditions are improving -- and even if they are (perhaps especially if they are) it would be the height of folly to then start withdrawing U.S. troops, something that Secretary of Defense Bob Gates has indicated might happen.
This ranks among the finest stories I've seen come from this war.
I've never meant this more: read the whole thing. To excerpt would diminish that which justice demands be full.
Allow yourself a few moments afterward to recover and ponder the question where do we find such men?, then recommit yourself to carry on.
This is criminal:
Despite requests from his family members, the Army erased Griffin's laptop hard drive before returning it to them. It's done for security, officials said, but it also erases pictures and writings. Deletions are done by the military on a case-by-case basis, "but a lot of people buy recovery software and get some of the files back," an Army official offered.Someone needs their ass seriously kicked.
For those of you who can't make it to San Diego, They're going to bring part of the program to you. The panel sessions will be available here on SpouseBUZZ via live web streaming to the first 3,000 spouses who visit SpouseBUZZ at 9:30 a.m. PST on May 12. You can be there without being there.
Don't miss it.
These are some of the most intelligent women I've had the Honor and privilege to meet.
I don't know how much of this story is true, but if all of it is then someone made a huge mistake in joining the Army. Lots of folks make bad career choices. Such is life.
I heard a GI complaining today about how his recruiter screwed him - told him "exactly what he needed to hear" to get him into a carer field he didn't want. He's working with satcom now - but he wanted something in combat arms.
You know the funny thing about the whole "Pentagon Silencing MilBlogs" thing? Nobody actually reads blogs from deployed troops. Check the site meters for any of them and you'll see what I mean. Even funnier, when all the brou-hah-ha was raging, no one, and by that I mean no one, linked or quoted any of them on the issue. (This is because no one actually reads them, including those who were the most outraged about them being "shut down".) The Mrs had a nice collection on the Dawn Patrol the other day, for the 4 or 5 folks who might actually give a damn.
I suppose part of that lack of readers could be due to the folks at milblogging.com ripping off the deployed guys via their rss feeds, but no one reads milblogging.com either.
Though it includes attempts to paint the picture as something else, Greg Jaffe's Wall Street Journal article is an amazing account of the perserverence of US soldiers in Iraq.
In spring 2006 Tarmiyah, on the surface at least, was a much more peaceful place. U.S. and Iraqi troops surrounded the city with razor wire, set up the patrol base in the city, and began a $16 million campaign to rebuild the city's schools, clinics and sewer system. Soldiers often referred to the city, located 30 miles north of Baghdad, as the "petting zoo," a nod to the number of top generals who came to see what U.S. commanders considered a success story.In the aftermath of an insurgent attack...
Last summer Tarmiyah began to fall apart. A battalion of about 300 to 400 Iraqi army soldiers that had been based in the city was transferred to Baghdad to support the new U.S.-Iraqi effort to stabilize the capital. At the same time, some 6,000 to 10,000 angry Sunnis, driven from their homes in Baghdad by Shiite militia forces, began streaming into this largely Sunni city. Sunni insurgents, affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq, joined them.
Insurgents began extorting money from Iraqi contractors working for the Americans. And in December, the 150-man Tarmiyah police force, which shared the patrol base with American troops, drew their weapons, saying they were going out on a patrol, and never returned.
The three dozen soldiers from Demon Company were the only security forces left in the city. The soldiers typically spent four days at the patrol base, a spartan outpost without running water or hot food, and then rotated back to Camp Taji, a big U.S. base about 15 miles away, for four days. In February, Staff Sgt. James Copeland -- a broad-shouldered 30-year-old who has a tattoo of a skeletal Uncle Sam flashing his middle fingers snaking up his right arm -- was named acting platoon sergeant of one of Demon Company's four platoons.
U.S. commanders say they are reluctant to give up the patrol base in the city out of concern that it will look like they have been driven out by the enemy. "If we're not out here, they have won," says Sgt. Jason Fisher, a 24-year-old soldier who fought for hours from the roof of the old base.
An Iraqi battalion made up of about 300 to 400 soldiers is expected to arrive in Tarmiyah later this summer to help with security. Until then, the goal is to just hang on and, as much as possible, keep the enemy from completely taking over.
The attack that eroded the troops' faith in Tarmiyah seems to have made some of them more willing to fight for each other. Before the Feb. 19 attack, Sgt. Benton, who had vomited when the fighting was done, insisted to superiors that he shouldn't even be in Iraq. The 23-year-old's enlistment contract ended in November, but the Army, which is short of sergeants, made him finish his one-year tour as part of its "stop loss" policy. Sgt. Benton was furious, and in early February his superiors threatened in writing to demote him unless his performance improved.
"I have to undo a lot of stupid things I have done," he says today. "I have a strong bond with this platoon. I don't want to leave. And if I die out here I don't want to be remembered as the s -- head that everyone had to think of something nice to say about at my memorial service."
An attempt at anti-war spin in the Boston Globe.
Here's a similar try from a couple years back - but at least the older version acknowledged reality: the numbers dropped after September, 2001 - not March, 2003. In this new version of truth that data point is well camoflaged in this passage:
In 2000, 23.5 percent of Army recruits were African-American. By 2005, the percentage dropped to 13.9 percent.
The percentage of African Americans in service now closely mirrors the percentage in the overall population.
..."Quiet, damnit, I'm busy. And besides, I'm sleep deprived and jet lagged."
"Come on, just something..."
Okay, how about this great quote from a story about the guy who dishes out ice cream at a local base:
"So great was the mortar threat that soldiers -- until last month -- wore armored jackets and helmets around the base."
"What part of sleep deprived and jet lagged do you not understand?"
"Oh please, who among us hasn't stayed up way too late with a bunch of milbloggers on the day prior to travelling to a war zone half way around the world via a three-hop flight with six hours of layovers, during one of which you couldn't even leave the plane and then immediately wrote something that will inspire us all on the homefront."
"Maybe tomorrow... for now, read this story and ponder what might happen to these kids if I and 150-odd thousand people dressed like me weren't here tomorrow."
"They'd be slaughtered, that's obvious. But come on, give us a good reason to stay."
"You don't need to stay. I need to stay.
Packing up and heading out to the airport, just wanted to say a big thanks to Andi, and say how wonderful it was to meet her and everyone else.
Greyhawk sends his best and has arrived safe and sound.
Can't wait till next year.