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Original content copyright © 2006 - 2008 by the respective authors. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
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Steve Shippert of Threats Watch reports of another wave of irresponsible government leakers that have jeopardized national security by divulging information on deployed forces in Iraq.
Iraq’s Interior Minister Thanks U.S. Troops for Liberating Iraq. No entourage of reporters, and no political brouhaha.
Sen. John McCain, on John McCain, quoted by Rich Lowry at The Corner:
In war and peace, I have been an imperfect servant of my country. But I have been her servant first, last and always. Whenever I faced an important choice between my country's interests or my own interests, party politics or any special interest, I chose my country. Nothing has ever mattered more to me than the honor of serving America, and nothing ever will. If you elect me President, I will always put our country first. I will put its greatness; its prosperity and peace; and the hopes and concerns of the people who make it great before any personal or partisan interest. We are going to start making this government work for you and not for the ambitions of the powerful. And I will keep that promise every hour of every day I am in office, so help me God.Sen. Barack Obama, on Barack Obama, courtesy of Weekly Standard Blog, via Memeorandum:
[Revised paraphrase, according to Jake Tapper]These admissions provide as stark a contrast as any with which America has been presented. No need for me to make any other remark.
It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol.'"
[Next sentence, quoted by Jonathan Weisman at WaPo's blog The Trail]
“I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."
(Cross-posted at Dadmanly.)
Good to know that Greyhawk hasn't cut me off yet. Been a while since I've been on here....
Droping by to put out a reminder about the 2008 MilBlog Conference.
Panel Number Four (just announced)
Someone asked me yesterday how we could possibly top last year's conference. For starters, we have Greyhawk and Mrs. G as panelists this year. A really good start, wouldn't you say?
Hope to see you in Vegas!
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The Dark Knight (recently viewed on a bootleg Hajivision dvd) seemed to these eyes and ears to hit on some pretty big themes of our current times. Namely, the War on Terror, with Batman as the U.S. and the Gotham public standing in for the rest of the Western world, and even much of our own indifferent populace. Batman (the U.S.) takes the hard stands and makes the hard choices that many don't want to face, against a nihilistic evil (the Joker, standing in for Al Qaeda), who, as Alfred poignantly quips, "can't be reasoned or bargained with," but "only wants to watch the world burn." Also breached in the film are treatment of terrorist detainees, extraordinary rendition, the "ticking bomb" scenario of public safety vs. civil liberties, as well as public eavesdropping, aka the "wiretapping" issue, all in the name of security concerns.
I don't know if Chris Nolan set out to tackle such weighty issues with the latest Batflick, but he seemed to hit the nail on the head regardless. Batman does what he has to do, makes the ethically gray choices that no one else is willing to face, and is villified for it by an ungrateful public. (Sounds pretty familiar to these military ears).
Now while I wouldn't go so far as to compare President Bush himself to Batman, I do feel that it's Bush's actions and steadfastness as embodied through the country itself that are comparable to the film's moral dilemmas.
Do not take a single day for granted, especially when there are those who are willing to die to present it to you, both present and past. All of us have busy lives, which are usually stressed on Mondays, but as you enjoy the radio, casual lunch or friendly conversation with friends, know there are warriors out of sight slinging lead at enemies that want you and everything America stands for to die and he volunteered to do it. Hell of a group of volunteers, I would say.
Semper Fidelis warrior.
This letter was originally published by the Clayton News Daily (Jonesboro, GA) on July 4th, 2007.
To the editors:
Today is July 4th, our country's Independence Day, and 231 years ago, our forefathers won this for all to enjoy.
Today, our country has more freedoms and wealth than any other in the world. We have all of our freedoms granted to us by the U.S. Constitution. This document sets the standards for all Americans to be guaranteed their freedoms and rights.
Of all the freedoms and rights granted to each American, it is not the news reporter or politician, who ensures that each American enjoys these rights, but it is the American Service Member (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.) This is the person who every American should be thanking every day, for what they do.
Even though less than 1 percent of the American population serves in the military, it is that sacrifice made by an individual to help protect and guarantee these freedoms. While enjoying the day's festivals celebrating our country's birth, take the time and effort to thank a veteran, or a current service member for their sacrifice in helping to protect your freedom.
If you are unable to thank a vet, say thanks to either the parents or the spouse of a vet, because they are the ones, who worry the most, while the service member is away, protecting your freedoms.
Master Sergeant Mitch Young
B Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Killed in action in Afghanistan on July 13th, 2008
The family requests that if you are moved to make a contribution, please sent to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation at www.specialops.org.
Isaiah 21:6: "For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth."
So they did.
And it was good that they did.
As set out here.
News from the future:
Sixty years after President Yourchoice desegregated the military, senior gay officers are still rare, particularly among the highest ranks.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered recruits make up about 17 percent of the total force, yet just 9 percent of all officers. That fraction falls to less than 6 percent for general officers with one to four stars, according to data obtained and analyzed by The Associated Press.
The rarity of GLBT in the top ranks is apparent in one startling statistic: Only one of the 38 four-star generals or admirals serving as of May was a self-identified member of the community. And just 20 have ever gained four-star rank - one in the Army, two in the Air Force and seventeen in the Navy, according to the Pentagon.
I don't disagree with your points - I share most of them - but I think there is more good than bad in this article. Run by AP, this put into many people's minds what we all know; the difference between minority numbers in 2008 is a function of individual choices of those minorities and the general population's characteristics of the nation they come from, not some racist element or culture in the military that some think exists. As a matter of fact, the most racist portions of the military I run into are those who work in areas that mirror the "DNA of the Month Club" mentality of the civilian Grievance Industry they get their intellectual poison from.
More people need to know that. I know it, you know it, but some of the Boomers who are running things still think that it is still 1971 - and it isn't - folks coming out of boot camp were born in 1990.
So sure, you can nit pic some of the article, but on average - I think it works for the larger good of broadening the argument.
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I have so many problems with this article that I'm not even sure where to start. Last time I checked, a bullet didn't care what color you were, and in my time in the Army I've encountered very few soldiers who did either. If the Army isn't the most colorblind institution in America, I'd be hard pressed to name another. I can't speak for the other service branches, but I have no reason to believe they'd be much different.
That being said, apparently even the Pentagon has its own in-house racial grievance squad:
The dearth of blacks in high-ranking positions gives younger African-American soldiers few mentors of their own race. And as the overall percentage of blacks in the service falls, particularly in combat careers that lead to top posts, the situation seems unlikely to change ... For one thing, Wilson said, "it's hard to tell young people the sky's the limit when they look up and don't see anyone" who looks like them.
Your leaders have to "look like you" in order for you to be a squared-away individual who takes initiative and displays leadership potential. That's certainly news to me. None of my leaders ever looked anything like me.
The reasons for the lack of blacks in the higher ranks are many and complex, ranging from simple career choices to Congress and family recommendations. Most often mentioned is that black recruits are showing less interest in pursuing combat jobs, which are more likely to propel them through the officer ranks.
"Kids I've spoken to, who choose to do supply, who choose to do lawyer, who choose to do admin, have the impression that 'If I go to Army and become an infantry person, that is not a skill that I can carry to the civilian work force,"' said Clarence Johnson, director of the Pentagon's Office of Diversity Management. [Emphasis added]
Can someone please explain to me what an "infantry person" is? How brainwashed by PC nonsense does one have to be to reflexively drop the gender-specific suffix in "infantryman," when women are prohibited by law from even partaking in that particular MOS (military occupational specialty)?
Instead, he said young black officers choose other fields because "they want to prepare for a future outside of the military, and they believe that being in communications, being in logistics will provide them a better opportunity to succeed."
This year, roughly half of all black active duty officers gravitated toward supply, maintenance, engineering and administrative jobs - almost double the rate of non-black officers.
Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, the percentage of blacks coming into the Army has plunged from 22 percent to 13 percent. Also, the percentage of blacks in military overall has dipped in the past 10 years, from more than 20 percent to 17 percent today.
"We treasure diversity because it brings in a lot of different viewpoints and blends in a lot of cultures," he said. "It makes us better." --Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq
My young son will not be raised to "treasure diversity," whatever that meaningless feel-good phrase is even supposed to mean anyway. He will be taught that the only "cultural blend" that is important is the uniquely American culture of political, economic, and individual freedom, and self-sufficiency from government. If he so chooses to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States, he will be instructed that service is the operative word. As in, selfless service, not self-service.
"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
"Yeah, but what's in it for me?"
Look how far we've come.
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Go on over and welcome DocInTheBox home from his 4th trip to the Sandy Place...
WELCOME HOME, DOC!! Bravo Zulu!! and WHOOHOO and YIPPPEEE!!!
If you are already registered for the full blogworld expo you don't need to register for the milblogs track seperately. However, if you plan to attend only the Milblog portion of the Expo, registration/attendence is free (although this isn't true of the larger blogworld expo) for milbloggers, Milblog supporters, service members/spouses/parents and those who work in the non-profit, troop support field.
1. To register for the milblogs (and and only milblogs) conference, first send an email (with "Request Code" in the subject line) to andi-at-andisworld-dot-com. You'll receive a registration code via return email. (It may take a couple of days or so for you receive your code. Please don't send follow-up email or worry about it unless it's been more than seven days and you've received no response.)
2. Log in to register for the blogworld expo conference here: http://www.blogworldexpo.com/General-Information/Registration-Links.html (select "attendee registration" option.)
3. Fill out the requested information. Register for “exhibits only” (There is no milblog track listed in the registration system.) Place your registration code in the "Coupon Code" section when presented with the option. NOTE on codes:
- All O's are Zeros
- All Codes are Case Sensitive and Must be Entered Exactly as Given
- Each attendee must have their own code
- Codes are non-transferrable
4. You'll receive a ribbon at registration that will get you into the MilBlog Track.
4.5 Those registered milblogs attendees who wish to attend other portions of Blogworld Expo will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org, tell her you are attending the milblog track and want to pay to attend another portion of the Expo and she will handle your request.
5. See you there!
UPDATE: Here's the banner for your sidebar:
Here's episode 2 of MilBlogs T.V., in which we introduce America to ... Afghanistan (and Sevendust). The choice of bands for the soundtrack might seem obvious from the start, but not until the end of the video does that really become clear...
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This one really speaks for itself:
The Air Force's top leadership sought for three years to spend counterterrorism funds on "comfort capsules" to be installed on military planes that ferry senior officers and civilian leaders around the world, with at least four top generals involved in design details such as the color of the capsules' carpet and leather chairs, according to internal e-mails and budget documents.
Aaaaand here's a teaser:
Many portrayed the dismal conditions (apart from the one with the beach towel, Speedos and the blow up doll)
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After leading 17 of his crew in an escape from the Japanese at Corregidor, he goes back out to sea - in the least glamorous part of the Navy - "a disposal school for ensigns."
And is a warrior leading warriors.
With a black cat mascot.
Usually pirates grab ships and ransom them and their crews while stealing valuables.
In the lawless state of Somalia one effect of piracy, if left unchecked, will be the deaths of tens of thousands of people.
The UN World Food Program can't find naval help to escort food ships. And without ships carrying food, it's likely that thousands will die. This may be the first time in history that a gaggle of pirates will be able to inflict so much harm. As set out here.
The men from 2nd Platoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team might have one. A bit non-PC, doesn't meet with the Comprehensive Approach, and you need to read the background story to understand, but it is kind of catchy;
Tribuo mihi articulus. EGO postulo neco illa barbarus primoris.A bit wordy, but it will do. Sassaman might approve.
I don't remember where I found it, but it's straight from the Wall-to-Wall Counseling Manual (bad word alert and worse idea alert).All done!
In the United States Army, although there are several ranks of sergeant, the lowest carries the title of Sergeant (SGT), Newly promoted Sergeants are known as "buck sergeants" (a new sergeant).
Live from Iraq:
"Attention to Orders,
The Secretary of the Army has reposed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity, and professional excellence of REDACTED [aka, "Buck Sargent"]. In view of these qualities and his demonstrated leadership potential and dedicated service to the U.S. Army, he is, therefore, promoted from SERGEANT to STAFF SERGEANT... effective 1 JULY 2008."
That's right. Do pushups.
Panels for the 2008 Milbogs Conference (not to be confused with the political conference mentioned below) are shaping up. Hope to see you there.
I'm guessing they don't want a repeat of last year.
If you're like me you're not an HBO subscriber, and weren't able to see episode one of HBO's miniseries "Generation Kill". Fortunately for us, one who did see the program has offered his review. Even more fortunately, he's Richard S Lowry, author of "Marines in the Garden of Eden" - 'The true story of the bloodiest battle in the campaign to oust Saddam Hussein.'
That would be the battle for Nasiriyah, fought in the earliest days of the march on Baghdad, and also retold in Generation Kill. Our sincere thanks to Mr Lowry for sharing his insight here.
From Taco's Mom:
Outward Bound, an international non-profit outdoor education program, is offering fully funded outdoor adventure excursions to all OEF/OIF veterans. It doesn't matter what your current military status is (active, inactive,discharged, retired) - you're eligible to attend as long as you deployed in support of OEF/OIF combat operations while in the military. These five-day excursions offer adventure activities such as backpacking, rock climbing, canyoneering, canoeing, and dog sledding in beautiful wilderness areas in Maine, Texas, Colorado, California, and Minnesota. Scheduled courses from Sep 08-Feb 09 are listed below, and future courses will be scheduled soon.
All expedition costs for lodging, equipment, food, and instruction are completely funded by a multi-million dollar Sierra Club grant, including the participants' round-trip transportation between home and the wilderness site. The excursion is offered at no cost to the participant. To sign up for one of the pre-scheduled courses, please contact Doug Hayward at 1-866-669-2362, ext. 8387, or simply e-mail him at email@example.com.
To learn more about the OEF/OIF program, visit the website at www.outwardboundwilderness.org/veterans.html.
You can also contact two of the retired Judge Advocates, Joe and Amy Frisk, who are working for Outward Bound on this incredible program at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (303)968-4420.
OPEN ENROLLMENT COURSES FOR 2008/2009
OUTWARD BOUND OEF/OIF WAR VETERANS EXPEDITIONS
Leadville, Colorado: Backpacking and Rock Climbing in the Colorado Rockies
* September 3-7, 2008
* October 4-8, 2008
Newry, Maine: Backpacking and Canoeing
* October 7-11, 2008
* October 19-23, 2008
Big Bend, Texas: Back packing and Cayoneering
* November 2-6, 2008
* November 15-19, 2008
Joshua Tree National Monument, California: Backpacking and Rock Climbing
* December 3-7, 2008
* December 14-18, 2008
Ely, Minnesota: Dog Sledding
* February 3-7, 200All done!
It was simple, really:
The Relative Motion Group combines the motions of OwnShip and Target into three rates of Relative Motion in relation to the Line of Sight, Elevation Rate, Deflection Rate, and Range Rate.
The Integrator Group uses these rates to generate changes of Target Position in Range, Elevation, and Bearing. These changes are continuously transmitted to the Director to position the telescopes and the Range Finder.
If the generated values of Target Position do not keep the sights on the Target, the operators in the Director press their Rate Control keys and turn their handwheels to keep the sights on the Target.
Turning the handwheels with the Rate Control keys closed sends Rate Control corrections to the Rate Control Group in the Computer.
The Rate Control Group applies these corrections to the values of Target Motion and sends the corrected values back to the Relative Motion Group.
The Deck Tilt Group computes the correction necessary to convert Director Train in the deck plane to Relative Target Bearing in the horizontal plane.
The Synchronize Elevation Group converts Director Elevation above the deck to Target Elevation above the horizontal.
As set out here.
...won't campaign at da Hood?
If I were him I would - if I could. I think he'd find his reception good.
What if it could be demonstrated that a retired general had knowledge of atrocities (mass murders, rape, etc) committed by American troops, crimes that had gone unreported, unpunished and even unnoticed by all but a few... would that be news?
What if he had kept that information out of the public eye long after the records were de-classified... would that be news?
What if that General was associated with the McCain campaign - would that be news?
What if there were two generals?
Would that be news? Would CNN cover it? Would it make the front page of the New York Times? Would they joke about it on The Daily Show and cry about it on The View?
What if it was a retired general associated with the Obama campaign? (Which of course, he is.) Would that be news?All done!
Over at Kaboom: "CityGirl (LT G's fiancee) is taking over and hoping to keep everyone informed about life in the suck."
Hopefully you all recognize Lt G - though he's now CPT G. Unfortunately, there are worse things than losing your blog:
After nearly seven months in Iraq, the Gravediggers’ luck had a momentary lapse. I regret to inform you that one of the Gravediggers is in dire need of prayers, thoughts, and support. On June 22, PV2 Hotwheels had an accident. The Gravediggers had returned from a mission and PV2 Hotwheels was refueling a generator. A fire ignited and he was engulfed in flames. Thankfully, two fellow Gravediggers and a terp came to PV2 Hotwheels’ rescue, putting out the flames as quickly as possible. It should be noted that PV2 Hotwheels followed the appropriate safety precautions and had on the necessary protection. The accident was a fluke.She adds that once back stateside, "Doctors immediately started to treat him for smoke inhalation, in addition to the second and third degree burns over 60% of his body. He had a successful skin graft and was recovering from the surgery when he began to have gastro-intestinal issues."
His family has a page on the caringbridge website here.
Take a deep breath before you read this:
Matthew, our 19 year old son, was born on Thanksgiving day, November 24,1988 in Tampa, Fl. He is the middle of 3 children. He has a sister, Cami, 27, and a brother, Cody, 12. Matthew was home schooled from K-3rd grade, attended Tampa Baptist Academy for 4-11 grade and completed high school at Chamberlain in May of 2007. His interests growing up included playing baseball, golf, football and going hunting and fishing. He got certified in SCUBA at age 14 and loves to go to the Rainbow or Itchetucknee Rivers to snorkel and float.Then please consider leaving words of encouragement here.
Around age 3, while visiting MacDill Airforce base with his grandparents, who were both in the military, his Papa being retired Navy, Matthew began his interest with the military. He would just stand and stare in awe at the men in uniform. He talked about joining the military for years while still in school and upon graduating began making the rounds, talking to recruiters. His dad and I, for selfish reasons, did our best to try to dissuade him or delay his enlistment until after college. But he wouldn't hear of it and informed us that this is what he wanted to do and please be supportive. He went in knowing full well what the risks could be. With that said, Matt would not want anyone to feel sorry for him or us right now. He is a very patriotic young man, as are all of our military. His love for God and country is what drove him to this place.
ONE MILE FOR EVERY SERVICE MEMBER KILLED IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.
Beginning Flag Day, June 14, 2008, a dedicated team of runners began running across America from Fort Irwin, CA to Arlington National Cemetery, one mile for every Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, and Marine killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. For ten weeks, team members will mark each mile with an American flag and signcard in an apolitical reflection of remembrance of each service member.
The Fallen are shown by the date of their sacrifice and the route for that day is given as well as a Google map link...
This group is apolitical... they are simply honoring our Fallen Heroes.
Information on some of the Heroes we knew that are to be honored in the next few days -- and more information on this Run -- over at Some Soldier's Mom
I encourage anyone who will be anywhere near this route get out and pay their respects...
At Stars and Stripes . (Your results may vary.)
Ziegenfuss said he has been approached about the content of his blog site — "From My Position … On the Way!" — but refused to change or delete postings.Damn skippy. (Or Osama and yo' mama, as a grey haired milblogger once said...)
"I will continue to exercise my freedom of speech, which I have literally given pounds of flesh to purchase, realizing fully that whatever I write may be read by my mother, my priest, and my boss"
Here in the MilBlog community we're well aware that families deal with the loss of a soldier in many ways. Most, while never forgetting the fallen, go on with their lives. In contrast, Cindy Sheehan (backed by a powerful PR machine) became a household name (before being dumped by her anti-war comrades.)
Gold Star mom Debbie Lee is still active on the opposite side of the argument. She recently traveled to Iraq, argued in favor of the military before the Berkeley City Council, and participated in a webathon raising over one million dollars for care packages for the troops.
Lesser known (at least to non-milblog readers) are the seperate efforts of the families of Nathan Barnes, Matt Maupin, and Mike Stokely (and no doubt others) - who've raised scholarship funds for American students, sent supplies to Iraqi schools, and carepackages to troops overseas.
Hart had told his parents in a phone call last week that he was a little uneasy about a special mission he was going on, worried about a lack of protective armor on his company's Humvees. But he told them he was happy to be in Iraq, doing a job he loved and trying to make a difference in the world. He had been especially proud of achieving airborne certification in April.And today the AP introduces us to another Gold Star dad - with a different response to tragedy:
The knock on Brian Hart's door came at 6 a.m. An Army colonel, a priest and a police officer had come to tell Hart and his wife that their 20-year-old son had been killed when his military vehicle was ambushed in Iraq.But he didn't stop there:
Brian Hart didn't channel his grief quietly. Committed to "preventing the senseless from recurring," he railed against the military on his blog for shortcomings in supplying armor to soldiers. The one-time Republican teamed with liberal Sen. Edward Kennedy to tell Congress that the Pentagon was leaving soldiers ill-equipped.
And then Hart went beyond words to fight his cause. He became a defense contractor.
He founded a company that has developed rugged, relatively inexpensive robotic vehicles, resembling small dune buggies, to disable car bombs and roadside explosives before they detonate in hot spots like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, Hart has won over the military brass he so harshly criticizes. Three years after starting Black-I Robotics Inc., Hart and his four employees won a $728,000 contract from the Pentagon in June to further develop the "LandShark" robot.
More from the AP:
Hart is a clean-cut former College Republicans chapter president who describes himself today as a radical. But he speaks like a Pentagon insider, peppering his conversation with acronyms for battlefield weapons and defense technology initiatives. His sport-utility vehicle has a "Support our troops" bumper sticker, and he posts nearly every day to his blog, which focuses on security and political issues.The Black-i Robotics web page is here. All done!
While many Pentagon critics, including families of soldiers, have spoken out about better gear for soldiers, Brian Hart stands apart for his decision to launch a company focused on troop protection, said Bill Thomasmeyer, president of the National Center for Defense Robotics. The Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization helps robotics firms like Black-I compete for government contracts.
"I don't know of any other similar company that is headed by someone who has had such a personal loss as he has," Thomasmeyer said. "His company has had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get to this point, without having a lot of resources."
Another company founder is Hart's younger brother, Richard, a former Marine who serves as a Black-I product designer. But the staff is otherwise made up of acquaintances from Hart's previous ventures, which had nothing to do with robotics or military contracting.
Is there a MilBlog connection? No. But there doesn't have to be - I just wanted to share. (Well, okay, rumor has it this is still the core of the USAF fitness program. Personally I don't believe it...)
(Via Jonah Goldberg)
How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military.
Thanks to all of them. Enjoy the 4th in freedom.
July 4th seems to have spawned a good deal of argument as to why we should not be proud to be Americans.
What tends to get lost in all the navel gazing is all the reasons why we should.
So I was extremely delighted to read this
Major League Baseball announced... the launch of a national campaign called "Welcome Back Veterans." This is an apolitical series of national fundraising and awareness initiatives over the Fourth of July weekend and Sept. 11 to support the ongoing return of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, an effort started by a group of citizens led by Mets chairman Fred Wilpon with the full support of MLB, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the McCormick Foundation.
For games throughout the July 4 weekend and on Sept. 11, all MLB clubs will wear "Stars & Stripes" caps that are available for sale to the public, with a portion of the proceeds going to Welcome Back Veterans. These official New Era caps can be purchased at the MLB.com Shop, a way to help others.
All home teams over the July 4 weekend will host ceremonies honoring veterans in their community, with veterans throwing out the first pitches. For games that day, "Welcome Back Veterans" will adorn the bases and home plates. There will be custom lineup cards, with a place for a local veteran to place his or her signature. Among many fundraising activities, each club will auction off a set of bases, game-worn caps and a specially designed team jersey to benefit Welcome Back Veterans.
"Major League Baseball considers it both an obligation and a privilege to assist our troops in any way we can," said MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy, a veteran who served a year in Vietnam and received the Army Commendation Medal for his service. "Welcome Back Veterans was created to help our brave men and women make a successful transition to civilian life when their service to their country has ended. We ask that all Major League Baseball fans join us on the July Fourth weekend and on Sept. 11th in this grand-scale effort to raise funds and bring awareness to this vital cause."
"I congratulate Major League Baseball on this extraordinary act of compassion for our troops throughout our Independence Day weekend," said General David L. Grange, retired U.S. Army Brigadier General and president and CEO of the McCormick Foundation. "It's a need I don't think many Americans understand yet, but they will. We believe everyone is accountable to the future of our nation. No one can sit on the sidelines. We're going to care for our retiring troops and their families, because it's the responsibility of the nation. If you go back to President Calvin Coolidge, he said, 'A nation who forgets its veterans will itself be forgotten.'"and
"We as players are extremely proud not only to wear these caps but also to represent and pay our respects to our returning veterans," said Mets third baseman David Wright, who comes from the Naval community of Norfolk, Va., and was among the speakers at the news conference. "Growing up in a military town in Virginia, I have friends and family who have given up their lives to serve a cause. Because of these men and women, I get the opportunity to play a game and live in freedom. I hope we remember these veterans."
Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon has been a staunch ally of returning vets with his own support of the "Wounded Warrior Project." "When it comes to supporting our troops," he said, "everyone in Major League Baseball is on the same team." That includes Giants pitcher Barry Zito, who in 2005 founded "Strikeouts for Troops." It has raised nearly $1 million, with 100 percent of those funds going to wounded veterans and their families.
Read the whole story here.
x-posted at Some Soldier's Mom... with a final note to MLB about the too narrow focus of their official statements...All done!
Powerful images... from MaryAnn...
U.S. Army Task Force Regulators 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment Staff Sgt. Fred Hampton, of Lexington, Ky., kneels on a knee to talk with a young Iraqi boy at the future site of Regular 6 Park in the Thawra 1 section of the Sadr City District of Baghdad on June 20. Photo: Tech Sgt. Cohen Young, Joint Combat Camera Center Iraq.
(We, however, have a top secret lab where we cook these things up. Sometimes explosions accompany our work. But usually she stays calm.)
More than 2,000 city workers have been called up to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11, costing the city $65 million, Rep. Anthony Weiner said yesterday. "It's time that the military reimburse New York for its sacrifice," Weiner said.Is that pronounced "Weener" or "Whiner"?
In most branches of the military, the first of the month is when service members get promoted if they have met the requirements. On July 1st, Marines here in Iraq were no different. As blowing sand came across the landscape, their promotion would be done in a combat zone instead of some nice clean meeting room, Marines gathered in formation as they had accomplished the requirements and met guidelines to be promoted to the next rank. No family members, no high attention, just fellow Marines ready to be promoted and fellow Marines ready to congratulate them.
Wide eyed, covered in dirt, Marines in their early 20s stood as symbols of America’s finest. Brave, disciplined and eager to fight any sort of insurgency that showed its face on the drop of a hat, they positioned themselves to be promoted. When promoted, a warrant is read and they are asked who they would like to pin on their new rank. It is an honor to recognize the new Sergeants, Corporals and Lance Corporals as the selected fellow Marine actually pins on their new rank onto the collar of the Marine and welcomes them to the new challenges.
These are the young leaders of America. The ones typical Americans may think had no other choice but to join the military, or looked upon as kids. I can assure you that the days of resorting to the military as a last choice are gone and these “kids” not only maintain million dollar military equipment perfectly, but can make a life and death decisions in a blink of an eye and are tuff as nails. These are the warriors who get tasked to serve the thankless jobs of several patrol, standing guard and small unit leaders. However when on guard, they could be and usually are faced with that one situation of a suicide borne vehicle that attacks a front gate and they make the conscious decisions to fight back and kill the attacker. These are the service members who then return back to the states only to resume mundane jobs when they get out of the military and are considered ”kids”.
America, you got to know your young Marines are on the cutting edge of it all. Maturity, discipline, education and health. They truly are the epitome of America and those who found this country, would still be proud of their Marines today as they were in 1776.
During this 4th of July holiday, when we celebrate the independence of our great country, take a second during the picnics, BBQs, patriotic music and fireworks and pay a few seconds of honor to those keeping our independence free. Because as you enjoy your holiday, newly promoted warriors stand guard and keep the wolf at bay.
“In 1778, General George Washington marked Independence Day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.” (Wikipedia)Have one for us during your holiday and keep the other shot of rum until we can get home and share it with you!! Semper Fidelis – Maj Pain www.onemarinesview.com All done!