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Gold Star families shouldn't have to deal with this.
Meanwhile, a motley crew of antiwar groups, including Iraq Veterans Against The War, CODEPINK, ANSWER, and MoveOn.org, are organizing a week of demonstrations in Washington beginning September 15. The "mobilization" will be kicked off with a "Die-In," sponsored primarily by ANSWER and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). As they explain, "IVAW is asking that participants in the Die-In/Funeral select the name of one of the almost 4,000 soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. You can select a family member, friend or someone from your city, town or state. Please bring a photograph of that person and a sign with his/her name on September 15." Needless to say, the protesters who will be appropriating the names of soldiers and Marines killed in action have no intention of asking the permission of their families. But why should the families think their loved ones' sacrifices are being exploited in an unbelievably offensive way? After all, as one organizer explains, "The die-in will be led by an Honor Guard of Iraq Veterans Against the War who will simulate a 21-Gun Salute before taps is played to initiate the die-in."
There are no words.
I just went to my wife and said: "Look, it's going to be a while before I can get deployed, but when I do, and if I don't come back, and one of these [expletive deleted] tries to do something like this connected with my name, please use some money from my death benefit to make these people uncomfortable and unpleasant. More than once."
Just listen to the HOORAHS.
A great comment at LGF which highlights something different than other Presidents:
How many times did Roosevelt visit the front lines in WWII?
How many times did Wilson visit troops in the trenches in the Ardennes?
How many times did Johnson go to Vietnam?
How many times did Clinton go to Bosnia?
How many times has Bush visited the troops in Iraq?
On September 2, sixty three years ago, this submarine got involved in the lives of two Presidents of the United States, not to mention many other lives.
As set out here.
We have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for a few years (6 to be precise) although others have been at war with us for far longer... So the Army upped its bonus to attract candidates to their branch... $20,000 if they would agree to go to training sooner rather than later. It worked.
According to this story
Since the bonus was unveiled in July, more than 6,200 recruits have signed up to begin basic training before Oct. 1, a move that boosts end-of-fiscal year recruiting numbers, Army officials said.
Like my sons, there is a class of our young citizenry that knows the risks and choose to serve anyway. They enlist and re-enlist not because we are at war, but in spite of it.
Despite the possibility of being sent to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, those opting for the Army bonus seem to have already made up their minds to join the military -- they just haven't settled on which branch to join, Feltner said.
Of course, the AP can't help themselves with such backhanded comments as
Bored with life on his family's South Carolina horse farm...
"People are calling here saying $20,000 is more than they've made in the past two years,"
The Army's offer stands out to many in a state where the unemployment level is fourth highest in the country, at 5.9 percent in July, up from 5.5 percent in June. It was 6.2 percent in July a year ago.
On the other hand, in addition to noting that these young men and women would have joined anyway (it's not about the money) they (Surprise!) also actually left in the article complimentary points:
Sgt. John Tate, another recruiter in the Lexington office, said the Army's job options, not just the bonuses, play a big role in recruiting.
And perhaps in answer to that senator and his advice to stay in school so you're not stuck somewhere, there's this
Plus, the bonus comes on top of other benefits, such college tuition assistance, and medical and dental care.
"There's not a job out there that they can enter with zero experience, that will help them pay for college," Feltner said.
Alas, no mention of patriotism or love of country, sense of duty... (sigh). Might have been asking too much of the AP.
I do love the big finish:
One female recruit who signed up recently opted to become a paralegal with a subspecialty in airborne parachutist training.
"She wanted to jump out of planes, but she also wanted inside, office work," Tate said.
That's what I call having your cake... [You go, girl!!]
Something there is among certain elements of the left that gets weak kneed at the notion of Bu$hitler's legions of myrmidons finally coming to their senses and Flipping On The Man. It serves to explain how the New Republic fell for the Scott Thomas Beauchamp diaries, and perhaps explains the tone of breathless, schoolyard tattletaling in this dKos diary entry. Whoever the diarist's correspondent is, s/he clearly knows a bit of the inside lingo but still manages to get details glaringly wrong in a way that coincidentally serves to reinforce the Kossack's prejudices, garnering over a thousand comments when I first looked in this morning.
It's not that there's any one thing wrong in the post, which purports to tell the inside story of an upcoming US naval attack on Iran, but rather the accumulation of many, many little things that aren't quite right.
What? You guys would rather talk about serious meeeelitary stuff? Pffffff.
I'll take a Peter Gabriel with a gorilla on sticks over anything you jokers can throw at me. Go ahead, try and top it.
Hotel Tango: Hot Air
Can someone tell me when Iraq wasn't a 'third world country'?
It was 30 years ago...I can't imagine that with an 8 year war with Iran..Gulf War I...12 years of sanctions...and OIF it improved much, but then...no one pays me millions to report the "news".
This might be the single most ignorant thing I've ever seen spoken or written about Baghdad:
"The city looks like a third world country."
Before reading that gem I would have voted for Katie's expression of disappointment in discovering the city isn't completely devastated: "It was difficult to see much from the air ... though I did see the Tigris River. The scope of the destruction can better be taken in at ground level."
Uhhh, no. The scope of destruction would be better determined from the air. Minor damage would be better seen at ground level.
Odd to see her 2-years out of date talk about Route Irish - but that's not the first time CBS has tried to foist that one on Americans.
By the way, NEWS FLASH: EVERYTHING IS CLOSED ON FRIDAYS.
On Tuesday, September 11th, 2007, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this anniversary of our country's worst tragedy. We do this in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.
In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.
Some of you may know that I was an unwilling witness to the events of 9/11 and it forever changed my life, my perspective and the lives and actions of the members of my family. The war on terrorism is very personal in my world.
So, here's how you can help: (1) Spread the word, and then (2) Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11 (but the bigger, the better!)
For many of you reading this, I know I don't have to remind you how you felt on 9/11 -- those sentiments guide you daily -- but if you haven't thought about 9/11 in any meaningful way since then, I urge you to remember how you felt that day and the days that followed.
We fly the flag year-round at our house, but if you don't, then please make it a priority on this day.
God Bless America.
x-posted at Some Soldier's Mom
I'm late in getting this up.
Yesterday was the 90th Birthday of the 3rd Infantry Division.
I've become quite familiar with this division lately, and have heard the Dog Face Soldier Song many times.
Happy Birthday to the 3rd ID
Geez, can't a guy just be a smartass anymore?
My favorite story of "combat" Airmen is the deployed security forces troops who drive around the Green Zone issuing speeding tickets.
Well Noonan, we have these guys , who are a Special Tactics team that frequently operates with Navy Seals, Army Rangers, and Special Forces in "direct action".
And these guys who go off base everyday to all the little villages surrounding the area. They've worked closely with the 332nd Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal flight to identify and dispose of weapons and explosives in the area. More on them here
Because the Army and Marines have been stretched so thin in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Air Force, like the Navy, has been providing ground personnel.
About 5,000 Air Force personnel are doing traditional Army and Marine Corps jobs, such as driving or protecting supply convoys and disarming improvised explosive devices (IEDs) when they are detected. For that reason, the Air Force has added a couple of weeks to basic training to give recruits added lessons in ground combat skills and the use of personal weapons. That's a major change in the service's culture - and in the dangers that its ground personnel face.
Of 51 uniformed Air Force personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, 25 died in aircraft that crashed or were shot down. The rest have fallen to IEDs or other causes on the ground.
The Air Force has "front line combat troops?"
MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT - News) formally delivered the 100th F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter to the U.S. Air Force in ceremonies here today. The milestone aircraft (Air Force serial number 05-0100) will be assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.That last line being especially ironic - because in order to pay for the planes the USAF is cutting the pay of it's front line combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan:
"The F-22 is a testament to the skills of engineers and technicians from more than 1,000 companies across America," said Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President and F-22 Program General Manager Larry Lawson. "This delivery marks a significant milestone for the U.S. Air Force and the F-22 program. The Raptor is providing top cover for America and our allies. We have developed the most capable fighter in the world, which is exactly what the men and women defending us deserve."
1. WE HAVE COMPLETED OUR ANNUAL REVIEW OF CURRENT SDAP AUTHORITIES AND CONSIDERED NEW AREAS FOR INCLUSION. BUDGET CONSTRAINTS NECESSITATED A MORE STRINGENT LOOK AT ALL RULES IN THE SDAP PROGRAM.
3. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF RULES ALREADY BEING PAID AT SPECIAL DUTY RATING SD-1, THE FOLLOWING SDAP RULES WILL BE REDUCED ONE SDAP LEVEL ($75 PER MONTH) EFFECTIVE 1 OCT 2007:
1- MILITARY TRAINING INSTRUCTORS, 3-COMBAT CONTROLLER, 4/5/6-24 SPECIAL TACTICS SQUADRON, 8-SERE, 9-ACADEMY MILITARY TRAINING NCO, 12-PARARESCUE, 16/17/18-TACTICAL AIR COMMAND AND CONTROL, 19-SDAP PROJECT 02, 20/21-SDAP PROJECT 01, 24-PARACHUTING INSTRUCTORS, 25-FREE FALL PARACHUTING INSTRUCTORS, 28/29-ALL OTHER RECRUITING ASSETS THAT DO NOT QUALIFY UNDER RULE 27, 30-AVTEG FT BRAGG, 31-FLYING CREW CHIEFS, 32 & 34-ENLISTED WEAPONS DIRECTOR, 36-FUELS SPECIALISTS, 37-COMBAT WEATHER FORECASTER, 38-TEST PARACHUTE PROGRAM, 39-PHOENIX RAVEN PROGRAM, 40 DEFENSE ATTACHE, 41-COMBAT WEATHER FORECASTER, 42/43/44-AF OSI AGENTS, 45-AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, 46-AIR TRANSPORTATION, 47-FIRST SERGEANT, 48-COMMAND CHIEF MASTER SERGEANTS/CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT OF THE AIR FORCE.
NOTE: BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE ENTITIES COVERED BY THE RULES MENTIONED IN PARAGRAPH 3 STILL MEET THE REQUIREMENTS AND INTENT OF THE SDAP PROGRAM, ENTITIES PREVIOUSLY PAID AT THE LOWEST SDAP LEVEL WILL CONTINUE TO BE PAID AT SD?1 LEVEL.
Mr. De Palma wants you to know what's really going on in Iraq.
"The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people," he told reporters after a press screening.
"The pictures are what will stop the war. One only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to motivate their Congressmen to vote against this war," he said.
I found this part particularly interesting:
"IT'S ALL ON THE INTERNET"
Halfway between documentary and fiction, "Redacted" draws on soldiers' home-made war videos, blogs and journals and footage posted on YouTube, reflecting changes in the way the media cover the war.
"In Vietnam, when we saw the images and the sorrow of the people we were traumatizing and killing, we saw the soldiers wounded and brought back in body bags. We see none of that in this war," De Palma said.
"It's all out there on the Internet, you can find it if you look for it, but it's not in the major media. The media is now really part of the corporate establishment," he said.
Yes, De Palma - it's all out there on the Internet. Why don't you give it a more thorough scan? You could start with the frontline blogs from Iraq. You could move on to the frontline blogs from Afghanistan. It's all out there, but somehow I doubt you really want to see it "all."
The Patriot Guard, along with a group of very vocal Army wives remained at the intersection, cheering for the troops and urging passing motorists at the busy intersection to show support as well.
Jerry Deon, Senior Ride Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders, said they had been tipped off by a posting on the Westboro website and he quickly emailed his group of riders to convene on the site and block off the protestors with their bikes and American flags. After what he called a “couple of uncomfortable situations” for the Westboro protestors they decided to leave.
An almost continuous din of automobile horns could be heard from the passing cars in response to the sign-waving group of Army spouses who turned out.
One last News of Afghanistan for me - hopefully some of my co-bloggers at my site will carry on - and a switch over to my new AOI - Iraq. See what I mean here
You guys are going right?
Military.com will be sponsoring the milblogging booth and panels, here are the details as released by the Expo folks this morning.
I just received the latest info from Andi and the folks at Military.com. This is an all star lineup. The panelists will include Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Black Five, John Noonan from Op-for, Tim Boggs, and many more.
Michael Yon has agreed to do a live video feed from Iraq (as long as we can get the technology to work).
You have to hear Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss tell the story about how Project Valour-IT run by the amazing ladies at Soldiers Angels was created after Captain Ziegenfuss suffered wounds to his hands in Iraq.
Here are the panels:
HEY, WHAT’S A MILBOG?
Moderator: Christian Lowe
Thursday, November 8 (1:30 – 2:30)
TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG:
MILBLOGGERS,THE DOD AND THE MEDIA
Moderator: Ward Carroll
Thursday, November 8 (2:45 – 3:45)
FROM THE FRONT
Moderator: Ward Carroll
Friday, November 9 (10:15 – 11:45)
MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE HOMEFRONT
Moderator: Andi Hurley
Friday, November 9 (1:30 – 2:30)
A sincere thank you to Military.com for sponsoring the Milblog track and to Andi, John Noonan, Ward Caroll and others for helping put this all together. You don’t have to be in the military or have family serving to appreciate what these amazing individuals have done. In fact you are a civilian you owe it to yourself to attend at least one of these sessions while you are at BlogWorld.
This thing isn't military exclusive, we're just a small part. But if you're someone who uses, reads, or profits from blogs or the online community you're going to want to be there.
Cross posted at my dumb blog.
This year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous will be donating all money raised to Project Valour-IT. Major Chuck Ziegenfuss of TC Override will be our Guest of Honor.
For more information on the Gun Blogger Rendezvous check the Rendezvous site,
and the Mr. Completely blog.
Any publicity you can get out that would encourage Gun and/or Milbloggers or readers/commenters to attend would be greatly appreciated.
It is a small and informal event that allows everyone to get to know everyone else, so you get to put a face to the bloggers you've been reading! It's a great lot of fun hanging out with an amazing bunch of folks!
SWWBO and I went last year, and intend to go this year - though the job situation (mine, not hers) may get in the way, with a TDY complicating things.
And since we're talking guns here - how many of you are meeting the standard? Or am I having to carry some of you slackers, too?
The U.S. Coast Guard marks a milestone: 1,000,000 lives saved!
Top Ten Rescues:
Thank a Coastie today!
See also here.
UPDATE: Due to a fat finger error, the post on my homepage failed to properly credit the author of the "Top Ten List" who is Coast Guard Chief of Public Affairs Jim McPherson. I have since corrected the problem, but want to set the record straight.