May 31, 2006

A Marine on Duty.....author unknown

I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey'sfor a few cold ones. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time,1655. Five minutes to go. Full dress was hot in the August sun.Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever -- the heat andhumidity at the same level -- too blasted high.

I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model DeVille, lookedfactory-new. It pulled into the parking slot at a snail's pace. Anold woman got out moving so slow I thought she was paralyzed.She had a cane and a sheaf of flowers, about four or five bunchesas best I could tell. I couldn't help myself. The thought cameunwanted, and left a slightly bitter taste: "Blast! She's going tospend an hour, my darn hip hurts like blazes and I'm ready to getout of here right, by-God, now!." But my duty was to assist anyonecoming in. Kevin would lock the "in" gate and if I could hurry theold biddy along, we might make the last half of happy hour.

I broke Post Attention. The hip made gritty noises when I tookthe first step and the pain went up a notch. I must have madea real military sight; middle-aged man with a small pot-gut andhalf a limp, in Marine Full Dress Uniform, which had lost itsrazor crease about 30 minutes after I began the watch. Istopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up atme with an old woman's squint.

"Ma'am, can I assist you in any way?"

She took long enough to answer. "Yes, son. Can you carrythese flowers. I seem to be moving a tad slow these days."

"My pleasure Ma'am." Well, it wasn't too much of a lie.She looked again.

"Marine, where were you stationed?"

"Vietnam, ma'am. Ground-pounder. '69 to '71."

She looked at me closer. "Wounded in action, I see. Well done,Marine. I'll be as quick as I can"

I lied a little bigger. "No hurry, Ma'am."

She smiled, and winked at me. "Son, I'm 85-years old and I cantell a lie from a long way off. Let's get this done. Might be thelast time I can come. My name's Joanne Wieserman, and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more time."

"Yes, ma'am. At your service"

She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. Shepicked one of the bunches out of my arm and laid it on top of thestone. She murmured something I couldn't quite make out. Thename on the marble was Donald S. Davidson, USMC, France1918. She turned away and made a straight line for the WorldWar II section, stopping at one stone. I saw a tear slowlytracking its way down her cheek. She put a bunch on a stone;the name was Stephen X. Davidson, USMC, 1943. She went upthe row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone, Stanley J.Wieserman USMC, 1944. She paused for a second, "Two more,son, and we'll be done."

I almost didn't say anything, but, "Yes, ma'am. Take your time."

She looked confused. "Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seemto have lost my way.

"I pointed with my chin. "That way, ma'am."

"Oh!" she chuckled quietly. "Son, me and old age ain't toofriendly." She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stoppedat a couple of stones before she found the ones she wanted. Sheplace a bunch on Larry Wieserman USMC, 1968, and the last onDarrel Wieserman USMC, 1970. She stood there and murmureda few words I still couldn't make out.

"OK, son, I'm finished. Get me back to my car and you can gohome."

"Yes, ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk?"

She paused. "Yes, Donald Davidson was my father; Stephan wasmy uncle; Stanley was my husband; Larry and Darrel were oursons. All killed in action, all Marines." She stopped, whether shehad finished, or couldn't finish, I don't know. And never have. Shemade her way to her car, slowly, and painfully.

I waited for a polite distance to come between us and double-timedit over to Kevin waiting by the car. "Get to the out-gate quick, Kev.I have something I've got to do."

Kev started to say something but saw the look I gave him. He brokethe rules to get us there down the service road. We beat her, shehadn't made it around the rotunda yet.

"Kev, stand to attention next to the gate post. Follow my lead."I humped it across the drive to the other post.

When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges andbegan the short straight traverse to the gate, I called in my bestgunny's voice: "Tehen Hut! Present Haaaarms!"

I have to hand it to Kev, he never blinked an eye; full dressattention and a salute that would make his DI proud. She drove through that gate with two old worn-out soldiers giving her a send off she deserved, for service rendered to her country, and for knowing Duty, Honor and Sacrifice.

I am not sure, but I think I saw a salute returned from that Cadillac.

Later that night, while I was thinking about the day's somber events, Cpl. Richard A. Mason, an infantryman with Headquarters Platoon, who, in the short time I was with the company became a good friend, told me, "You're still here, don't forget that. Tell your kids, your grandkids, what Sgt. Peralta did for you and the other Marines today."

Gen M.W. Hagee USMC

From one of my Marine friends. I thought you'd like toread it.Sempers,~K~
=======================================
To: undisclosed-recipientsSubject: CMC "On Marine Virtue"“On Marine Virtue”By Gen. M. W. Hagee

Recent serious allegations concerning actions ofMarines in combat have caused me concern. They shouldcause you to be concerned as well. To ensure wecontinue to live up to General Lejeune’s descriptionof a Marine as someone who demonstrates “all that ishighest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue,”I would like to review the importance of our corevalues.

As Marines, you are taught from your earliest days inthe Corps about our core values of honor, courage andcommitment. These values are part of and belong toall Marines, regardless of MOS, grade, or gender. They guide us in all that we do; whether in combat, ingarrison, or on leave or liberty.

To a Marine, honor is more than just honesty; it meanshaving uncompromising personal integrity and beingaccountable for all actions. To most Marines, themost difficult part of courage is not the raw physicalcourage that we have seen so often on today’sbattlefield. It is rather the moral courage to do the“right thing” in the face of danger or pressure fromother Marines. Finally, commitment is that focus oncaring for one another and upholding the great idealsof our Corps and Country.

The nature of this war with its ruthless enemies, andits complex and dangerous battlefield will continue tochallenge us in the commitment to our core values. Wemust be strong and help one another to measure up. The war will also test our commitment to our belief inthe rule of law.

We have all been educated in the Law of ArmedConflict. We continue to reinforce that training,even when deployed to combat zones. We do not employforce just for the sake of employing force. We uselethal force only when justified, proportional and,most importantly, lawful. We follow the laws andregulations, Geneva Convention and Rules ofEngagement. This is the American way of war. We mustregulate force and violence, we only damage propertythat must be damaged, and we protect thenon-combatants we find on the battlefield.

When engaged in combat, particularly in the kind ofcounterinsurgency operations we’re involved in now, wehave to be doubly on guard. Many of our Marines havebeen involved in life or death combat or havewitnessed the loss of their fellow Marines, and theeffects of these events can be numbing. There is therisk of becoming indifferent to the loss of a humanlife, as well as bringing dishonor upon ourselves. Leaders of all grades need to reinforce continuallythat Marines care for one another and do what isright.

The large majority of Marines today performmagnificently on and off the battlefield. I am veryproud of the bravery, dedication, honor, courage andcommitment you clearly display every day. And Americais proud as well. Americans, indeed most peoplearound the world, recognize that Marines are men andwomen of the highest caliber – physically, mentally,and morally.

Each one of you contributes in your own unique way toour important mission; I am proud of your dedicationand accomplishments. Even after 38 years, I stillstand with pride every time I hear the Marines Hymn. The words of that Hymn mean something special to me.Especially, “Keep our Honor Clean”. I know that meanssomething to all of you as well. As Marines we havean obligation to past Marines, fellow Marines, futureMarines and ourselves to do our very best to live upto these words.

As your Commandant, I charge all Marines to carry onour proud legacy by demonstrating our values ineverything you do – on duty and off; in combat or ingarrison.

Semper Fidelis. - USMC -

May 30, 2006

Honoring the Military

May 29, 2006

No Marines in Heaven

Admiral Halsey did not like Marines; so when he arrived at the PearlyGates, he asked St. Peter if there were any Marines there. St. Peter assured him that there were none.
The admiral then asked directions to his quarters and was told that they were three blooks a head and to make a right. That would take him to his lodgings. The admiral boldly strode down three blocks and turned right only to see a Marine in dress blues directing traffic at the next intersection.
Upset, the admiral stormed back to St. Peter saying, "I thought you toldme there were no Marines here." St. Peter said, "Let me guess. You saw a gunny in dress blues with a lotof hash marks? "Correct," replied the admiral. "Don't worry," said the saint, "that's God. He always wanted to be a Marine."

AMERICA SUPPORT THE TROOPS





Medal of Honor ~ Worley Young Marines



1St Sgt Closson Jack USMC & his Young Marine pay respect to, Lcpl Kenneth L Worley. Who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his action on August 12th 1968.

THE WALL


May 27, 2006

Some Gave All

This is a great opportunity to share with you a beautiful site designed by Weezye, our Vietnam Era Music site Webmaster.

On behalf of our Veterans and Memorial Day 2006, Weezye has just designed the Billy Ray Cyrus video of "Some Gave All" page.

http://www.weezye.net/memorialday2006/memorial2006.html

Wishing you all a honorable Memorial Day 2006

"Chu" / Jim Mc

May 26, 2006

OPERATION: THANKS FOR FREEDOM!!

Let's show our troops we love and support them!!!! Let's celebrate freedom and those who protect that freedom for us! For the next several weeks, I will be collecting cards to send to troops stationed in high-combat areas in Iraq. Mail from home helps to keep our troops' morale strong, making a very real difference in their lives! If you wish to participate in the Operation: Thanks for Freedom! Fourth of July card drive, please send cards to the address below:

Mrs. Kat Orr Thanks For Freedom! Campaign 740 Thompson Lane Loganville, GA 30052

The cards can be handmade or store-bought... for that matter, they don't even have to be cards; a hand-written or typed letter is just as wonderful! Let's all band together and overwhelm our heroes with support!!!!!

You may also send emails of support and encouragement to the following email address: Thanks_4_freedom@yahoo.com

Any e-mail received to this e-mail account will be printed and mailed, together with the all the other cards.

If you have any questions about this campaign, please e-mail me at me at the above address.

**ALL CARDS AND EMAILS MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2006**

Memorial Day

BURY ME WITH MARINES.............................................

I've played a lot of roles in life;
I've met a lot of men,
I've done a lot of things I'd like to think I wouldn't do again.
And though I'm young, I'm old enough
To know someday I'll die.
And to think about what lies beyond,
Beside whom I would lie.
Perhaps it doesn't matter much;
Still if I had my choice,
I'd want a grave 'mongst Marines when
At last death quells my voice.
I'm sick of the hypocrisy
Of lectures of the wise.
I'll take the man, with all the flaws,
Who goes, though scared, and dies.
The Marines I knew were commonplace
They didn't want the war;
They fought because their fathers and
Their fathers had before.
They cursed and killed and wept...
God knows they're easy to deride...
But bury me with men like these;
They faced the guns and died.
It's funny when you think of it,
The way we got along.
We'd come from different worlds
To live in one where no one belongs,
I didn't even like them all;
I'm sure they'd all agree.
Yet I would give my life for them,
I know some did for me.
So bury me with Marines, please,
Though much maligned they be.
Yes, bury me with Marines, for
I miss their company.
We'll not soon see their likes again;
We've had our fill of war.
But bury me with men like them
Till someone else does more.

[author unknown] Modified by:

Norm UrbanCapt. USMCPilot,

HMM-163Viet Nam '65-'66

May 22, 2006

A Million Thanks ~ Shauna Fleming


Shauna Fleming, 17, (center) founder of A MILLION THANKS.org, presents Army Col. Kevin Riedler, deputy of Readiness of the Army Reserve's 81st Regional Readiness Command, some of the thousands of thank you letters collected during the Armed Forces Day Celebration held at Boyd's Bear Country in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Boyd's is collecting troop thank you letters at their Pigeon Forge and Gettysburg locations throughout May. Her goal is 2.6M in 2006 . From left, Leon Downey, director of Tourism, Pigeon Forge, Suzie Vernetti, assistant store manager, Shauna Fleming, Col. Kevin Riedler, Will Edwards, store manager, and WIVK radio personality, Gunner. Courtesy photo

May 21, 2006

Hearts & Minds 8





May 20, 2006

Care Packages 4

Josh,

The school supplies worked out great. We held a medical operation the other day where we gave people in the town care for all their various ailments. When we were there, we took care of 347 children. They were all happy to receive different school supplies, the majority of which you provided.

Letchford James H. 1LT, 1-1 Marines Co Executive Officer



Josh,

Hey. I just have to tell you this story. You know how they always say how small the world really is? Well, some time last week I got an email from the postal office saying how short handed they were and could I possibly spare some of my Marines to help sort the mail? I didn't want to but when I brought it up, 2 of my leathernecks volunteered to do it. I took them to the postal place and decided to hang around to make sure they didn't get abused. They had a lot of mail to go through (about 8 big pallets of letter and package mail). I just kind of hung out and eventually helped a bit. Anyway, while I was helping I was putting a package into one of the 20 or so bins they had representing all the units here and I couldn't help but notice that this package had a bunch of Marine stickers on it. On closer examination, I discovered it was one of yours. Imagine that, out of the thousands of packages. I'm sure they'll be happy to get it. I don't remember who it was to, but I thought it was a cool story. Thanks for everything you are doing and continue to do.

GySgt Richard (MACS-2 ATC Tower Chief)"

May 19, 2006

OOHRAH



War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
- John Stuart Mill ~ (1868)
I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like 'brilliant,' it would really be an under description of the absolutely superb job that they did in breaching the so-called 'impenetrable barrier.' It was a classic- absolutely classic- military breaching of a very very tough minefield, barbed wire, fire trenches-type barrier.
- Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army
Commander, Operation Desert Storm, February 1991
The American Marines have it pride, and benefit from it. They are tough, cocky, sure of themselves and their buddies. They can fight and they know it.
- General Mark Clark, U.S. Army
Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary.
- Gen. A. M. Gray, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps
If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war.
- General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea,
overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5
If I were King, I'd close Army entry training and send all future Infantry grunts to the Marines. The Corps still produces trained and disciplined soldiers who still know how to fight and make it on a killing field.
- Col David Hackworth, USA Army (Ret),one of Americas most highly decorated soldier
The Corps, which has never lost sight that its primary mission is to fight, remains superbly trained and disciplined -- true to its time-honored slogan "We don't promise a rose garden." When, under Clinton, the Army lowered its standards to Boy Scout summer-camp level in order to increase enlistment, the Corps responded by making boot training longer and tougher
- Col David Hackworth, US Army
After the Rangers' disaster in Somalia -- where there were no tanks to break through to relieve them -- and the embarrassment of not being able to fight in the war in Serbia, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki started forming light brigades strikingly similar to USMC units. When I asked, "Why the copycating?" an Army officer said: "It was either copy or go out of business.
- Col David Hackworth, US Army
The Marine Corps is the only outfit in Clinton's armed forces
that can still fight the hard fight.
- Col Davd Hackworth, US Army
The Marines keep their standards up and their leadership is dynamite! It is the same kind of leadership we have seen throughout the Marines' history, and they are not lowering the bar. They are increasing the bar, and they have long lines of people who want to join the Marine Corps
- Col David Hackworth, US Army
"Your Marines having been under my command for nearly six months, I feel that I can give you a discriminating report as to their excellent standing with their brothers of the army and their general good conduct."
- General John J. Pershing, US Army
"I am so proud of 'ya," the general told the leathernecks. "It is such an honor for me to be just be standing here with you."God bless all of you. God bless the Corps, the mission, and God bless the United States of America."
- Army General Tommy Franks
"I can never again see a UNITED STATES MARINE without
experiencing a feeling of reverence."
- GEN. JOHNSON, US.ARMY
"I want you boys to hurry up and whip these Germans so we can get out to the Pacific to
kick the s...... out of the purple-peeing Japanese, before the G.......... MARINES get all the credit!"
- Lt General George Patton, US Army 1945
The Marines are careful, brave fighter..they were lie hunters, boring in relentlessly without fear. I never heard a wounded Marine moan.
- The U.S. Army General Staff
"I should deem a man-of-war incomplete without a body of Marines...imbued with that esprit
that has so long characterized the 'Old Corps'."
- Commodore Joshua R. Sands, U.S. Navy
"There is no military body in our country of higher efficiency than the Marine Corps.
They take great pride in their profession. They never let things slack a bit."
- Rear Admiral C.M. Wilslow, U.S. Navy
"They're on our right, they're on our left, they're in front of us, they're behind us;
they can't get away from us this time."
- Chesty Puller, USMC, Chosin Reservoir, Korean War
Three Marine Principles of NCO Leadership:
First, be technically tactically proficient...
Secondly, know your men and look out for their welfare...
Thirdly, and most importantly, you must set the example.
- Colonel Chesty Puller
Take me to the Brig. I want to see the "real Marines".
- Major General Chesty Puller, USMC - while on a Battalion inspection.
We tell our Marines that they are going to go through hell. But we tell them too, that whatever t
hey are called upon to do, it will be no worse than Marines have done before. We try to teach them that it is a proud, a glorious thing, to fight as Marines have always fought.
And above all, we teach them that there are some things worse than wounds or death.
- Major General Lewis "Chesty" Puller
Semper Fi. We live for what it stands for.
- Richard Ahern (U.S. Marine)
"This is a nation not a polyglot boarding house. There is not room in the country for any 50-50 American, nor can there be but one loyalty to the Stars and Stripes. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American."
- Theodore Roosevelt in 1907

Iconic Marine Is at Home but Not at Ease

May 18, 2006

USMC ~ HEAVEN & HELL

BAGHDAD ER

May 17, 2006

NECK COOLERS FOR TROOPS :)

Make them for troops who they know who are deployed or to make and send to me to fwd. to troops like Doc. These are great to make assembly line style with young/old, men/women, boys and girls. I've seen high school football players running sewing machines, old men standing at an ironing board pressing the material or turning them inside out. All of us together can make a difference in helping these poor troops withstand the terrible heat over there.

www.geocities.com/helmetliner

for patterns for neck coolers and helmetliners ~ contact Linda for more information.

"Linda Swinford" helmetliner@gmail.com





Neck Cooler as worn by troops (without the use instructions of course).
Neck cooler laid flat - unsoaked.

is close up of the 4 pockets with the unsoaked granules in the center.
is close up of the 4 pockets in the center with the granules soaked.



May 15, 2006

Lima 3 / 25 Company


Documentary on Lima 3/25, USMC, to be shown at 9 p.m.,
May 25, 2006, on the A&E network. Lima 3/25 was arguably among the hardest hit ground units to have served in Iraq. Out of a combat strength of 184, they were awarded 59 Purple Hearts, 23 of which were posthumous awards. “Combat Diary: The Marines Of Lima Company” tells the story of their deployment by weaving together interviews the producers did with the Marines and their families after they returned and actual footage the Marines filmed of themselves while in Iraq.

What A Marine Really Is...


His emotions are impenetrable yet his shoulders are soft for those that need someone to lean on. His hands are firm yet know exactly where they need to be. If he has his arms wrapped around you, you're either in the last moments of your life or the safest place you could ever be. He's stubborn but will let you have your way just to see you smile. He's deadly with a rifle and gentle with a child. He plays poker with the devil but guards the gates of heaven. He curses like no other but is a perfect gentleman. He has a thousand yard stare but when you look into his eyes it's the most comforting thing you've ever felt. The Marine Corps trained him as a weapon but raised him as a lover. He knows every part of an M-16 and he knows every curve of his woman. There is no other man like him. Whether you love him or hate him both is a privilege. He could be your worst nightmare or your sweetest dream.

May 14, 2006

'Life and death every day' for Iraq medics

May 12, 2006

ITEMS FOR MARINES

Items on wish list of MarinesDear Editor:

I was wondering if you could help us plug an effort to help support the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. All anyone has to do if they would like to send care package supplies, letters of support, and such is drop them off at the United States Marine Corps recruit depot, 8566 E. Firestone Blvd, Ste. A, in Downey. Ask for Sgt. Carloss or Sgt. Renteria.

Items on their wish list include: toilet paper (take out cardboard and flatten), Coppertone 48 sport sun block, magazines, joke books, comics, lightweight tan colored cloth ("The sandstorm season is upon us"), small flash lights or book lights, hooded sweatshirts (black), local newspapers, comic strips, postcards from your hometown, tooth brushes and toothpaste (travel size), dental floss and mouthwash, disposable razors and shave gel or foam, baby wipes and refills 12, body lotion, Chap Stick or Carmex, talcum powder, wash rags, big fluffy towels (for the ladies), facial cleansing pads, nail clippers, files, nail polish (neural colors not flashy), disposable cameras, deodorant, shampoo, bar soap, body wash (liquid), Q-tips, Tinactin foot cream, black beanies, eye drops 21, insoles for boots or shoes, black wool boot socks, Under armour long sleeve / cold gear leggings (black), Frisbees, Nerf footballs, basketballs, electronic hand-held games, CD's and player, hackie sacks, Yo-Yo's, Kids drawings, squirt guns ("especially with the hot season coming up"), envelopes and paper, batteries (any size), Kleenex, Saline nasal spray, Dayquil, Nyquil, pain relievers, sewing kits 29, small mirrors, gummy bears, gummy life savers, Clorox wipes, Ziploc bags, powder laundry detergent, dryer sheets, cigarettes, Copenhagen, green/black T-shirts, underwear (various sizes), contact lens cleaner, liquid hand sanitizer, after shave lotion, Crossword, word search puzzles, AT&T phone cards. Food items (no home-made food): instant soups, tea bag style coffee, instant hot coco, dried fruits, hard candy, Slim Jims/Beef Jerky; powdered Gatorade, cookies in packages or Ziploc bag, crackers, easy cheese Chex Mix, single serve chips, gum, hard candy, Tic-tacs, breath mints, Trail Mix, microwave popcorn, Granola bars, tuna, spices, condiments, Summer Sausage, power bars, Kool Aid (with sugar), dry cereal (individual boxes, Little Debby snack cakes, Kraft Easy Mac, Ragu Express, powdered drinks (pre-sweetened)/juice boxes, sunflower seeds. Thanks. --Josh Wright, Downey

http://www.thedowneypatriot.net/editorials/editorials03.php

May 11, 2006

Wanted DEAD or Alive

The Marines Prayer


Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whoselove never fails, make me aware of Thypresence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to mybest self, guarding me against dishonesty in purposein deed and helping me to live so that I can face myfellow Marines, my loved ones and Thee without shameor fear. Protect my family. Give me the will to do thework of a Marine and to accept my share ofresponsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant methe courage to be proficient in my daily performance.Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to theduties my country and the Marine Corps have entrustedto me. Make me considerate of those committed to myleadership. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity,and let it remind me daily of the traditions which Imust uphold. If I am inclined to doubt; steady my faith; if I amtempted, make me strong to resist; if I should missthe mark, give me courage to try again. Guide me withthe light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I mayunderstand the answer to my prayer. Amen.

Want to know what combat is like?

Want to know what combat is like?
By Corporal Lawrence, C.

Well, I am still here in Iraq, and with regards to this war, I can say I have seen and done some amazing things.
I've seen both cowards and heroes both young and old.
Been both confident and terrified, both at the same time.
I've grown to love and hate people with a fierce passion.
I've given food to the starving, and water to the thirsty.
I've seen the pain and uncertainty in a man, woman, and child's face right before they died.
I've seen the terror in a man's face when my weapon was pointed at his head.
I've looked a man in the eyes right before I put a sandbag over his head.
I've tasted the burn of OC/pepper spray as I sprayed a man in the face.
I've learned Arabic from a 12 year old girl who was my friend.
I've waved hello back at so many passing cars, I felt like I was famous.
I've been on TV 4 times, then watched the media tell lies about us.
I've been in 3 papers, and was amazed at the inaccuracy of my story.
I've seen dozens of marriages fall apart on both ends.
I've seen Iraqis cry, they were so happy that we were here.
I've had Iraqis swear me up and down because I had to search them.
I've heard the launch of mortar rounds as they left the tube.
I've seen those same mortar rounds blow up around me and my friends.
I had a friend show me pictures of his kids, and get killed the very next day.
I've heard the pop-pop-pop of gunfire, and then the ping-ping-ping as it hit around me.
I've seen people afraid to pull the trigger, and not kill...and I've seen people kill when they shouldn't have pulled the trigger.
I've seen men in the cross hairs of the scope mounted on my rifle and I've pulled the trigger so they will never ever be seen again.
I've laid countless hours on my cot trying to sleep but couldn't, because the helicopters were to loud, explosions were to close, their was to much gunfire.
I've taken prisoners, guarded prisoners, and released prisoners.
I've lost weight because my stomach couldn't handle the food here.
I've knocked on people's doors, kicked down people's doors, and almost shot off someone's door. I've sat on a rooftop for 53 days straight looking for bad guys, and learned what patience really is.
I've lost all sense of privacy, but grew closer than a brother with my squad and platoon.
I've cleaned my weapon more than I have cleaned my clothes, because it was more important. I've learned to appreciate all the things I once took for granted.
I've never worked so hard and got paid so little in my life, but even still worked harder.
I've watched videos of Nick Berg getting his head sawed off his body while he screamed, and never wanted to kill so bad in my life.
I remember when a young kid that called us "sadiq-i" (friend) brought us food each day at a checkpoint, and remember when a suicide bomber killed him and 18 other people days later.
I remember a crazy lady telling me lies to waste my time for no reason.
I remember a pretty girl secretly waving hello to me so nobody would see, fearing ridicule.
I remember the screams of people when a restaurant exploded with innocent people inside.
I'll never forget the smell of burning flesh for as long as I live...ever.
I've seen Iraqi people fight alongside us one minute, then fight against us the next.
I've captured dozens of weapons, some of which were gold plated.
I've been in a car accident that would've killed me if I wasn't riding in an armored hummer.
I've smiled and scowled, laughed and yelled at different crowds of people.
I've seen a 13 year old prostitute bring money home to her father to live.
I've smelled the crisp air of a new morning, and the soot and stench of cordite the next morning. I've been so hot, that I stopped sweating and my body started to shut down.
I've been so tired and worn out, but still couldn't sleep for days at a time.
I've seen people accidentally shoot their weapons and almost kill people, and I've seen people intentionally shoot their weapons and kill people.
I've never counted or carried so much ammunition in my life, and I've been around the world more than once or twice with the military.
I've sat back and enjoyed an ice cold Coke, and other times I've called on the radio begging for a resupply of water and food because we were starving literally.
I've seen guys "baby" their weapons, and I've seen guys treat them like hell, fully knowing it was the only thing that might save their lives.
I've said "I hate here" a thousand times, and heard it said a million more times.
I've seen a platoon leader curl up in the fetal position out of terror during a firefight, and a private in that same platoon fight like a savage for his life.
I've seen a medic choke-up and not be able to do his job, and an infantryman next to him bandage up a wounded child.
I've had kids throw rocks at me because I didn't have any chocolate candy to give them.
I almost shot a 14 year old kid that pulled a gun on another kid, the toys look very real here. I've seen kids play in a virtual minefield of explosives and ordinance like they were at Disneyland.
I've heard shots fired and hit the ground, ducked, jumped behind cover, and flat out ignored them I've seen "new guys" in units come here so scared they point their guns at everything they see.
I've been on missions so long, that I've come back to my FOB (base camp) with a full beard.
I've sat up late at night waiting for a friend to come back from a patrol that got hit, like a parent waits for their child who's been out all night.
I've made best of friends with a 17 year old kid, and a 47 year old man, and talked to both like we were old high school buddies.
I've cleaned my friend's blood off of his equipment, and turned it in because he was killed in an explosion hours before.
I've seen enough different people's body parts, that I could put them all together and make a completely new body with them.
I've laughed and joked with Australian soldiers, had conversations with British soldiers, and drank chi (tea) with Arab soldiers.
I've seen how well our bulletproof vest work, and they do stop bullets.
I've read the bible and figured I am in, or near the 'Garden of Eden'; but it hardly looks like paradise to me.
I've seen fisherman fishing, kids swimming, boats and dead bodies floating in the Tigris River. I've asked myself dozens of times "Why am I here", but I know the answer, and I know if asked...I'd come back again no question.
I've missed my family and still do, and I regret not spending as much time with them as I should've before I left.
I've figured out who my real friends are back home, because they have taken the time to write me a letter or an e-mail.
I felt sold out by my chain of command because I made a decision to shoot, and sat through an 'inquisition' for making a judgment call that I would again.
I've gone on my 2 weeks of R&R and enjoyed the downtime, however was anxious to get back to this strange place.
I've been to far too many memorial services of our fallen brothers, and choked up everytime, even if silently so nobody could tell I've seen an enemy sniper cause so much pandemonium, that without a shot being fired the sniper was winning a psychological victory over us.
I've traded 'war stories' with my best friend who worked in the private sector up north through countless e-mails.
I've been disgusted by the double standard that I have seen day in and day out.
I've lost a friend to an enemy sniper's bullet and felt helpless.
I've been given a urinalyses test because people were doing drugs over here.
I've seen the Iraqi people respect the military, and I've seen them totally disregard our presence and "walk all over us".
I've searched a car we stopped in sector and found an Oklahoma license plate in the trunk with '04 tag stickers on it.
I've felt my stomach knot and my heart skip a beat when a vehicle speeding by, cut his wheel and came directly at me...I was going to be blown-up for sure I thought.
I've been terribly sick, but continued to work and patrol through it...mission first.
I've gotten packages and letters from people I don't know, and a smile was brought to my face each time.
I've had my comfort zone tested and violated by these people time and time again.
I've had Iraqis throw fireworks at me on New Years, thinking it was funny that I couldn't tell it wasn't a gunshot.
I've come to the conclusion that some soldiers here will return home by the grace of God, and other soldiers will come home simply because the man to the left or right of him did their job. I've seen lousy soldiers awarded medals for no reason at all, and other soldiers who rightfully deserved recognition for gallantry under fire passed over with not even a pat on the back.
I've seen the clear difference between competence and arrogance in my leadership.

Corporal Lawrence, C.
__________________This I pledge, and I'll take it to my death I'll lay my life down for you and die over again I and I, I'm not ashamed of the Most High Even if I die tonight, if I die tonight

May 10, 2006

Bikers hit road to raise money for war wounded

By Karen Jowers

May 10, 2006Army Times staff writer

Three motorcycle riders begin their trek from Virginia to Texas on May 15 to raise money and awareness for severely wounded and disabled troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The riders will end their journey May 19 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where many troops are being treated, including some with severe burns.

All money raised will go to the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, a nonprofit association that helps disabled veterans of the war on terrorism. The riders will make a presentation to the coalition at a benefit concert May 19 in Austin, Texas. They will return to Fairfax, Va., on May 25.

As the riders go through Nashville, Tenn., on May 16 and 17, they will pick up another rider, Josh Forbess, a wounded veteran who remains on active duty after he was severely injured in a helicopter collision in Iraq.

One ongoing effort of the coalition is its Wounded Hero Emergency Financial Relief Program, which gave more than $594,000 to 277 families between August 2005 and January 2006. Those families received emergency relief for housing, utilities, medical bills, credit card and other debt, and other needs.

The "Ride for America's Patriots" is led by Tom Donegan, the owner of RE/MAX Premier in Fairfax, who decided to help raise money for the coalition after meeting disabled Iraq war veteran J.R. Martinez at a convention in 2005. Martinez, a national spokesman for the coalition, is now medically retired from the Army. He invited Donegan to visit him at Brooke, and Donegan took him up on the offer but added his own twist.

Donegan described the ride in an announcement as "a rolling tribute to raise awareness and funds to help those who had sacrificed for us."

The riders' itinerary:
Arrive in Bristol, Tenn., 4 p.m. on May 15
Arrive in Nashville, Tenn, 2 p.m. on May 16
Arrive in Little Rock, Ark. 4 p.m. on May 17
Arrive in Dallas, 3 p.m. on May 18
Arrive in San Antonio, 2 p.m. on May 19
Leave San Antonio, 8 a.m. on May 22; arrive in Baton Rouge. La., 5 p.m. May 22
Arrive Birmingham, Ala., 5 p.m. on May 23
Arrive Bristol, Tenn., 5 p.m., May 24
Return to Fairfax, Va., on May 25.

Daily updates on the riders' progress will be available at www.rideforamericaspatriots.com.

Donations can be made along the way or through the Web site.

URL: http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1764832.php

CELEBRITIES Tributes to the Troops

see the tributes by celebrities, send a tribute to the troops, send an ecard, etc....

http://www.militarycity.com/promos/salute/index.php?gns=1


AL ASAD Air Base, Iraq

Many service members deployed to a combat zone receivewounds and injuries that require medical attentionfrom Al Asad Surgical. Unfortunately, the doctors andnurses are forced to cut the uniforms off of theseinjured men and women, thereby causing them to loseone of their very limited pieces of clothing. One manwanted to help.

Larry Murray, a video storage wide area networktechnician with DataPath Inc., wanted to ensure thatthe service members who are tended to are comfortableand are not left with nothing to wear.

"One evening I went to the base theater to catch amovie and there were a couple of Marines sitting infront of me," said Murray. "It was obvious that theyhad suffered combat wounds. One was on crutches theother was limping along painfully. During the NationalAnthem, these two wounded troops struggled to stand atattention when they easily could have just sat there.It dawned on me that I should go by the local hospitalto see if they needed anything."

The next day Murray and a co-worker, John Whitney,visited the hospital and stopped by the nurse'sstation. There they learned when wounded troops arebrought in, their uniforms are usually cut off ofthem.

"These injured men and women were coming in and losingthe only piece of clothing they had with them," saidMurray, who is also a technical sergeant for theGeorgia Air National Guard. "The hospital was inimmediate need of clothing supplies. (Whitney) and Ialso noticed there was a large television but no DVDplayer."

According to Murray, he and Whitney went to the postexchange to purchase clothing to stock the near emptyshelves at the hospital.

"We purchased shirts and clothes to help hold thehospital over until there was a more permanentsolution," said Murray. "(Whitney) spent over $150 outof his pocket that day just on movies. He also boughta lot of clothes for the service members, too."

According to Whitney, knowing that service membersneeded help touched him and made him want to donate."(Murray's) story of the Marines in the base theatermade me realize that I had not done enough to helpout,

" said Whitney, a satellite engineer assigned to4th Infantry Division, Camp Liberty, Iraq. "TheseMarines are young. A lot of them are far from home forthe first time. They are here willingly, risking theirlives to help out. If this is not a worthy cause, thenwhat is?"

Murray then contacted friends and family in the UnitedStates and asked them for assistance. He also askedhis guard unit to help in stocking the shelves at AlAsad Surgical."We heard about the demand through Lee Carson, one ofour commercial sales managers, who is in the GeorgiaAir National Guard with Larry Murray,



" said StephaniePlumecocq, advertising manager for Glock, a pistolmanufacturer. "After (Carson) approached our vicepresidents with the idea to donate, I received ane-mail saying to do whatever is necessary to help outand to send whatever they need."

Glock donated T-shirts and coffee mugs to make theservice members here more comfortable. They also paidto mail 12 large boxes filled with items collectedfrom the employees of Glock and their families.



Murray did not just look to high-end businesses forassistance. He also called some of his friends.

"(Murray) began to send requests and pleas to supportour forward deployed troops and the base hospital atAl Asad," said John M. Cowart, treasurer for U.S.Military Veterans Motorcycle Club, Atlanta Chapter."We were all compelled to help. We are all priorservice, so we know how hard it is being away fromeverything and being injured on top of it. We had tohelp."

Other organizations were just as enthusiastic todonate to the cause. According to Susan A. Parris,operations manager for Pine State MortgageCorporation, the people in the United States are happyto assist deployed service members in any waypossible.

"America loves all of our service members," saidParris, Troop Drive coordinator for U.S. VeteransMotorcycle Club, Atlanta Chapter. "They are ourgrandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers,husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts,nephews, and cousins. They all make up our family; ourAmerica."

Murray was able to get many different companies andorganizations together to help fulfill the needs of AlAsad Surgical. Organizations like Woodstock MiddleSchool, Boy Scout troops, motorcycle dealerships andmotorcycle bars donated something to assist theservice members deployed to the Al Anbar Province. Theitems received also varied. Wounded service membersreceived books, clothing, home baked goods, hygienegear, stuffed animals, movies, and other snacks andsupplies.

Minutes before traveling home after a 12-month tourwith DataPath, Murray said, "I'm not sure how manypeople I have helped, but if it made one woundedperson smile for a minute and let them know that theyare appreciated, it was certainly worth the efforts ofall the people back home."

Photos included with story:Larry Murray poses with a mailbox at Al Asad, Iraq,May 4.

* Murray, a civilian employee and technical sergeantfor the Georgia Air National Guard, sent requests tofriends, family and co-workers asking for donations tohelp comfort injured service members at Al AsadSurgical. Murray is a video storage wide area networktechnician with DataPath Inc., and a native ofAtlanta, Ga.

Photo's by: Lance Cpl. Brian J. HolloranService members at the hospital surgical facilityholding up t-shirts and CD's received.



http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/main5/1CC6505ADB760CEF8525716A004B2EAF?opendocument

United States Marines Wed, 10 May 2006 6:51 AM PDTAL ASAD, Iraq (May 10, 2006) -- Many service members deployed to a combat zone receive wounds and injuries that require medical attention from Al Asad Surgical.

May 09, 2006

WAR WEARY AMERICAN MARINE :)

The train was quite crowded, so the U. S. Marine walked the entire length looking for a seat, but the only seat left was taken by a well-dressed middle-aged French woman's poodle.

The war-weary Marine asked, "Ma'am, may I have that seat?"

The French woman just sniffed and said to no one in particular, "Americans are so rude.

My little Fifi is using that seat."

The Marine walked the entire train again, but the only seat left was under that dog. "Please, ma'am. May I sit down? I'm very tired."

She snorted, "Not only are you Americans rude, you are also arrogant!"

This time the Marine didn't say a word, he just picked up the little dog, tossed it out the train window, and sat down.

The woman shrieked, "Someone must defend my honor! Put this American in his place!"

An English gentleman sitting nearby spoke up, "Sir, you Americans often seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You hold the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your autos on the wrong side of the road. And now, sir, you've thrown the wrong bitch out the window."

1000 Yards Stare

General Franks :)

May 07, 2006

Thank You :) Marines


Josh,

Thanks once again for the box, which was highly decorated. It will go a long way. I went to recon battalion and gave it to those heroes!! They are on the go all the time and will appreciate it very much. Once again thanks my friend!!!

"Attack, Attack, Attack"
SgtMaj Howard

Josh,

I received package and items will go a long way in the field with the Marines. Thanks for the continued support. Thanks once again Josh.
SgtMaj sends..

"Attack, Attack, Attack"
SgtMaj Howard Sends

SgtMaj Howard T.H.
I MEF (SSEC)

Josh,

Got your package yesterday, passed along to the Marines… thank you for your support and time and effort you put into all of your projects. From the Marines of MTACS-38, Semper Fi.

SgtMaj Don Gallagher

AL ASAD IRAQ


Josh,

I got the box last night. Thanks a lot! There’s a lot of great stuff in there. I’ve been pretty busy today, so I haven’t been able to dive into the music CDs yet, but that was such a great idea. Gunny Smith said he loved his, so I’m sure there’s a ton of great stuff on there. I also haven’t had a chance to take a picture yet, but I’ll try and get around to it soon. Thanks for all the work you put in back there for deployed Marines. We appreciate it.
Semper Fi,

1st Lt Letchford USMC


Josh,

Good Morning. We received your package today. Thanks for the
goodies. They have been consumed. Sometimes it is like living with a
pack of wolves.

SFC Salter


Hey Josh,

We got your package yesterday. Thanks. Hey, how do you get the Rotovue from New River? Do you subscribe? That was a cool touch. We were able to catch up on some local news. I'll take care of the flag ASAP. The candy of course went quick too. We'll be a dentist's wet dream when we leave here. Thanks for everything. The Marines are starting to look forward to your packages.
Take care.

GySgt Richard "Pony" Schultz


JOSH,

YEAH MAN I JUST RECEIVED THE BOX WITH THE CANDIES AND HOT CHOCOLATE, BAND-AIDS AND SUCH.

THANKS ALOT.

IT WAS A GOOD ONE, THE CANDIES ARE GONE, THE OTHER STUFF I GAVE IT TO A MARINES WHO LOOKED LIKE HE COULD USE ALL THE SHAMPOO, LOTIONS AND STUFF YOU PUT IN THE BAGGY.
OK, MAN TALK YOU LATER..

GySgt Gomez USMC


Josh,

I just recieved you box, with the flag, it was awsome, we all enjoyed it, I am working on getting that picture of us. The one with me and my dad will have to wait till i get home, I am sure that he will enjoy doing it,

Sgt Himsworth

Hey dude you package came in the mail today. So yeah I'm going to take about 75% of what you sent me into work to put in the "no time for lunch" area which consists mainly of candy and soda and coffee. So all the other guys can share in the fun while we're at work. So yup thats all. I'll let you know the reaction.

Spc Hamilton

Hi Josh,

I'm here safe in Iraq and have received your care packages, thank you very much! Also got some from some other people that I passed out, I'll be passing out some of your posters when I get back to work on Friday. Sounds like you're getting better, that's good.
Thank you again for your support, I'll pick up a teashirt from the PX for you.

HM2 Dustman Sean


Josh,

We got your package yesterday. I am sorry we didn’t take any pictures of the actual box as it got a little roughed up in the mail. We do have a bunch of pictures though, that I can and will send soon. Everyone here was grateful for all the candy inside. The DVD’s were great too. There was a lot of music downloading last night. All of the motivational stuff was cool. It must have took you a while to collect all that stuff. It was definitely worth the wait. Thanks for all the effort you have put forth on our behalf. We really appreciate it. I will get you a coin and Tshirt as soon as they get in. We also need to order some more flags, but you’re on the list. Thanks again for all the emails and everything else that you do. Take care of yourself and I’ll talk to you soon.

GySgt Richard Schultz
Tower Chief
FOB Al Taqaddum, Iraq

POLITICS :)

A little boy goes to his dad and asks, "What are Politics?"
Dad says, "Well son, let me try to explain it this way:

#1. I'm the head of the family, so call me The President.
#2 Your mother is the administrator of the money, so we call her the Government.
#3 We're here to take care of your needs, so we'll call you the People.
#4 The nanny, we'll consider her the Working Class.
#5 And your baby brother, we'll call him the Future.

"Now think about that and see if it makes sense."
So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad has said.

Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him. He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper.

So the little boy goes to his parent's room and finds his mother sound asleep.

Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny's room.

Finding the door locked.

He peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny.

He gives up and goes back to bed.

The next morning, the little boy says to his father, "Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now."

The father says, "Good, son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about."
The little boy replies, "The President is screwing the Working Class, while the Government is sound asleep.

The People are being ignored and the Future is in deep shit.

The Pilot Show

May 06, 2006

May 04, 2006

Zarqawi ~ what a dip shit







Part 1 (Dumass Part)
Part 2 (Grab the hot bbl)

Makes you wonder

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=1922578

Operation Gratitude ~ Drive


Operation Gratitude Kicks Off Patriotic Drive with Checkers/Rally's NASCAR Event
Double Drive-Thru Chain Joins Operation Gratitude Patriotic Drive at Restaurants across the Country

ENCINO, CA--May 4, 2006Operation Gratitude today announced that Checkers/Rally’s Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHKR), the nation’s largest chain of double drive-thru restaurants and America Supports You are supporting Operation Gratitude’s effort to send care packages to U.S. Troops deployed overseas. In honor of Military Appreciation Month, May 2006, Checkers®/Rally’s® has joined the Operation Gratitude Patriotic Drive to collect items for care packages that will be sent to America’s brave military men and women overseas in time for the Fourth of July.

This will be Operation Gratitude’s Third Annual Patriotic Drive, during which thousands of volunteers and supporters locally and across the country will participate in the assembling of at least 40,000 care packages. The packaging takes place at the California Army National Guard Armory, 17330 Victory Blvd; Van Nuys, CA
on the following dates from 10a.m. to 5p.m. daily:

May 20-21, 2006 (Armed Forces Weekend)
May 27-29, 2006 (Memorial Weekend)
June 17-18, 2006 (Father’s Day Weekend)

Items requested for donation include:
Cooling devices: mini battery-operated fans and bandana cool ties
Entertainment items: DVDs, CDs and hand-held games
High-tech gear: computer flash drives, disposable cameras and international calling cards
Snack foods: small packages of beef jerky, trail mix, energy bars and sunflower seeds
Personal letters of support

“Operation Gratitude and the California Army National Guard are deeply appreciative for the support of American citizens and Corporate Sponsors all across the country” said SSG Elizabeth Cowie, Operation Gratitude Military Liaison. “Together we will let our troops know that Americans do care.”
Learn more...

About: Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude ( http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jqb8fvbab.0.iekw7lbab.9dmzolbab.15469&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.opgratitude.com) is the California- based 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that sends care packages addressed to individually named U.S. troops deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Guantanamo Bay, Kosovo and on military ships all over the world. Operation Gratitude was founded in March 2003 and is funded entirely by private donations and staffed exclusively by volunteers. Its mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and to express to all troops the appreciation and support of the American people. For safety and security, the assembling of packages occurs at the California Army National Guard, 746th QM BN Armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude has delivered more than 111,000 packages to American troops deployed overseas. Website: http://www.operationgratitude.com

Operation Gratitude
Carolyn Blashek
email: http://us.f366.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=cblashek@aol.com
Phone Hotline: 818-789-0563

About Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc.
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=jqb8fvbab.0.ylqrcvbab.9dmzolbab.15469&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.checkers.com) is the largest double drive-thru restaurant chain in the United States. The Company develops, owns, operates and franchises quick-service Checkers and Rally’s double drive-thru restaurants. In 2005, Checkers/Rally’s was awarded two of the industry’s most coveted recognitions: Best Drive-Thru in America 2005 in the QSR Drive-Thru Study for Rally’s, and Nation’s Restaurant News Hot! Again Award for Checkers’ sizzling business performance. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR.

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc.
Kim Francis
Director of Communications