June 28, 2006

E O D video clips

June 27, 2006

HADITHA, IRAQ

HADITHA, Iraq (27 June, 2006) -- Marines here say a lieutenant who was leading Marinesand Iraqi soldiers through the volatile streets ofHaditha, Iraq, June 14, showed "uncommon valor" whenhe ran into a barrage of enemy gunfire to pull awounded Marine to safety.

1st Lt. Rick Posselt, a 25-year-old from CrystalRiver, Fla., said he is not the Marine who deservesthe recognition.

Cpl. Michael Estrella, who was killed by sniper fireduring that same patrol, is the real hero and deservesthe recognition, said Posselt.

The mission Posselt, a platoon commander assigned tothe Hawaii-based India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rdMarine Regiment, led the Marines and their Iraqi Armycounterparts on that day was like any other – a patrolthrough the winding streets of Haditha. On thisparticular patrol they were searching for a suspectedinsurgent.

Haditha is a city of 30,000 nestled along theEuphrates River northwest of Baghdad in Iraq’s AlAnbar province.

When Posselt came to an intersection in a marketplace,the Marines began receiving gunfire and saw Estrella,20, fall to the ground.

Shortly after the initial ‘cracks’ of enemy gunfirepelted the ground below and spit up shards of concretearound him, Posselt said his platoon was shot at fromanother direction.

Posselt’s first instinct was to get Estrella to safety– and he did so risking his own life in the process.

As the enemy gunfire continued, Posselt ran to thewounded Estrella and pulled him approximately 15 feetto safety, further exposing himself to more gunfire.

“I just did what my instinct told me to do,” saidPosselt. “I was just trying to take care of myMarines.”

Looking back, Posselt feels any other Marine in hisposition would have done the same thing that day.

“I just happened to be the Marine closest to Estrellawhen he fell,” said Posselt. “I had to get him offthat street and that was really the only thought goingthrough my mind.”

With Estrella out of harm’s way, several Iraqisoldiers returned well aimed and disciplined fire tothe enemy’s position, without injuring any civilianson the street that day.

Still, Posselt does not believe he is worthy ofrecognition, but Capt. Andy Lynch, 31, India Company’scommanding officer, says Posselt will be recognizedfor his brave actions on the battlefield that day.

Sgt. Jason Sakowski, 26, said he also believes Posseltis worthy of recognition.

Sakowski, one of Posselt’s squad leaders, was presentduring the fire fight and called in reinforcements anda medical evacuation while returning and directingfire at the enemy combatants. The enemy combatantsthen fled the area.

“He (Posselt) put his life on the line without eventhinking about it,” said Sakowski, a 26-year-oldnative of Wilkesboro, N.C. “This is my third combatdeployment but it is the first time I have seenbravery to that degree.”

“Muhammad,” a soldier assigned to the 2nd Battalion,2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, was also presentduring the firefight and was one of the Iraqi soldierswho returned fire to the enemy combatants. He agreeswith Sakowski – Posselt’s actions were commendable.

“He (Posselt) showed uncommon courage that day,” saidMuhammad, through a translator. “He set an example forother soldiers to follow. I think he is a hero.”

Posselt gives more credit to Sakowski for his role inthe fire fight than he gives himself for risking hislife to pull Estrella to safety.

“Sakowski accomplished many things at once in themiddle of the firefight,” said Posselt.

Sakowski called for a medical evacuation, directedfire and called in the reinforcements that arrivedwithin a minute of being called out, said Posselt.

“Sakowski made some very important decisions underfire,” said Posselt. “He stayed calm and rememberedhis training in the heat of a battle.”

Posselt also said the Marines are mourning the loss oftheir friend and fellow warrior, Estrella, but arestill focused on training the Iraqi Army to eventuallyprovide security in this region along the EuphratesRiver on their own, allowing U.S. forces to eventuallyleave for good.

“I want to bring the rest of the Marines home safely,first and foremost,” said Posselt, right after amemorial service was held for Estrella at the Marines’fortified base here. “But we also have to help get agovernment established so we do not have to come backhere 10 years down the road with the same situation wehad in 2003. We owe it to Estrella to accomplish themission he came here to complete.”

The Hawaii-based Marine battalion, also known as“America’s Battalion,” arrived in March and arescheduled to depart Iraq this fall and be replaced byanother Hawaii-based unit.

Contact Sgt. Seigle at: seiglemf@gcemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil



PHOTO:1st Lt. Rick Posselt, a 25-year-old from CrystalRiver, Fla., was leading Marines and Iraqi soldiersthrough Haditha, Iraq, June 14, 2006, when his platoonreceived a barrage of enemy gunfire. Exposing himselfto the enemy fire, Posselt pulled a wounded Marine –Cpl. Michael Estrella – to safety during the exchangeof gunfire. On this particular patrol Marines andIraqi soldiers were searching for a suspectedinsurgent when Posselt’s platoon, part of theHawaii-based India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd MarineRegiment, came under sniper fire. Estrella, a20-year-old Marine in Posselt’s platoon, was killed inthe same incident. Capt. Andy Lynch, India Company’scommanding officer, says Posselt will be recognizedfor his brave actions on the battlefield that day. Photo by: Cpl. Antonio Rosas

Help one of the Haditha 8 WARRIOR FUND

From: www.goodnightsoldier.com
Date: Jun 27, 2006 2:20 PM

Hey everyone,This is Derek from GoodnightSoldier.com. Please support this. Tyler (one of the Pendleton 8) is from my hometown. I recently sang for his Mom at the Military Mom's Group. Please Help Support him and check out his site at www.fightingfortyler.comThey have set up a legal defense fund. Please help if you can. This is really sad and America should back our forces!!!Thank you all for your support.

Derek

The Warrior Fund

http://www.warrior-fund.org

With the recent news regarding the incident in Haditha, and Hamdania Iraq, a group of former and retired Marines decided to take action to ensure that our military men are treated like American citizens and considered innocent until proven guilty.

We have formed the "Warrior Fund" as a designated mission of UnitedAmerican Patriots (an IRS 501 ( c ) 3 organization) which is run by Major Bill Donahue USMC (RET). Our goal is to raise funds to defray legal feesincurred by members of our armed forces as a direct result of their service in combat. At this time our board of directors consist of me, Captain DonGreenlaw USMC (RET) and Frank Albano. Certified Public Accountant William H. Porterfield is our treasurer and he will handle the accounting issues ofthe Warrior Fund.

They fought for us, now we shall fight for them.

Please take the time to visit our website and review our bylaws,biographiesof the Board members and the petition for assistance which must be completedprior to any funds being disbursed.

Even though charges were formally filed, in the Hamdania case, an Article32 investigation will now begin. It is imperative that the public is made awarethat the filing of charges in no way indicates that these men are guilty,rather there remains the belief that all men are innocent until provenguilty, which is a pillar of the American system of justice and a coreprinciple of the Warrior Fund.

The fact that any service member can be accused of a "war crime" by aquestionable source (We do not intend to disrespect the Iraqis that broughtcharges, only to illustrate that we have no idea who they are, or theirlevel of integrity), and these allegations are taken seriously speaksvolumes about our American system of justice and our belief in the rule oflaw. However attempts by the media and a certain irresponsible member of congress to proclaim the guilt of these Marines without having seen a finalreport from the investigators is sickening.

In closing, if you believe that these men deserve to be treated the same asan average American citizen, please take the time to make a charitablecontribution which you may deduct from your income taxes. Any amount you canspare will directly benefit these fine American warriors. In addition tofinancial support we also need assistance in spreading the word about thefund. Donations may be made online through paypal, or mailed to the addresson

http://warrior-fund.org Very Respectfully,

Rick Van Luvender President The Warrior Fund

http://www.warrior-fund.org

Bin Laden's Liquors

June 26, 2006

Heodown for Heroes :)

Ladies and Gentlemen

The "Hoedown for Heroes" is a western event for active duty injured in the line of duty. It's going to be great - the food and entertainment is premier. It's a springboard event to a therapeutic riding program that we hope to start for C5 patients at Naval Medical Center Balboa. Please help us get the word out to our active duty folks injured in the line of duty. Thank you so much for your help. Contact information is on the attached.

Bill Durdin Family Readiness Officer
1st Marine Division Camp Pendleton, CA
760-725-0332 DSN 365
bill.durdin@usmc.mil

* PIT BBQ * Exhibitions *
* Horse Shoe Competition* Entertainment *
Marshmallow Roasting and Much More!!!!!!

Active duty military injured in the line of duty

Date: Saturday, July 1st 2006

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Place: Hacienda de los Gitanos

Transportation can be provided
Please sign up with the Armed Services YMCA
(619) 532-8156 or
eayoung@nmcsd.med.navy.mil
“There's nothing better for the inside of a man
than the outside of a horse…”
as quoted by Ronald Reagan

Young Americans Trialer

June 25, 2006

Rally for Camp Pendleton Marines

E O D

June 21, 2006

SUPPORT FOR JAILED MARINES

June 20, 2006

ONE TOUGH BAD ASS MARINE

June 19, 2006

HIRE PATRIOTIS

NC TIMES

The Monsters and the Weak

The sun beat like a hammer, not a cloud was in the sky.
The mid‑day air ran thick with dust, my throat was parched and dry.
With microphone clutched tight in hand and cameraman in tow,
I ducked beneath a fallen roof, surprised to hear "stay low."

My eyes blinked several times before in shadow I could see,
the figure stretched across the rubble, steps away from me.
He wore a cloak of burlap strips, all shades of grey and brown,
that hung in tatters till he seemed to melt into the ground.

He never turned his head or took his eye from off the scope,
but pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.
"About eight hundred yards," he said, his whispered words concise,
"beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device."

A chill ran up my spine despite the swelter of the heat,
"You think he's gonna set it off along the crowded street?"
The sniper gave a weary sigh and said "I wouldn't doubt it,"
"unless there's something this old gun and I can do about it."

A thunderclap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered;
while citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.
Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,
The threat to oh so many ended by a single round.

And yet the sniper had no cheer, no hint of any gloat,
instead he pulled a logbook out and quietly he wrote.
"Hey, I could put you on TV, that shot was quite a story!"
But he surprised me once again ‑‑ "I got no wish for glory."

"Are you for real?" I asked in awe, "You don't want fame or credit?"
He looked at me with saddened eyes and said "you just don't get it."
"You see that shot‑up length of wall, the one without a door?
before the mortar hit, it was a grocery store."

"But don't go thinking that to bomb a store is all that cruel,
the rubble just across the street ‑‑ it used to be a school.
The little kids played soccer in the field out by the road,"
His head hung low, "They never thought a car would just explode."

"As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse,"
He swallowed hard, the words came from his mouth just like a curse.
"Today the fight's on foreign land, on streets that aren't my own,"
"I'm here today 'cause if I fail, the next fight's back at home."


"And I won't let my Safeway burn, my neighbors dead inside,
don't wanna get a call from school that says my daughter died;
I pray that not a one of them will know the things I see,
nor have the work of terrorists etched in their memory."

"So you can keep your trophies and your fleeting bit of fame,
I don't care if I make the news, or if they speak my name."
He glanced toward the camera and his brow began to knot,
If you're looking for a story, why not give this one a shot."

"Just tell the truth of what you see, without the slant or spin;
that most of us are OK and we're coming home again.
And why not tell our folks back home about the good we've done,
how when they see Americans, the kids come at a run."

You tell 'em what it means to folks here just to speak their mind,
without the fear that tyranny is just a step behind;
Describe the desert miles they walk in their first chance to vote,
or ask a Soldier if he's proud, I'm sure you'll get a quote."

He turned and slid the rifle in a drag bag thickly padded,
then looked again with eyes of steel as quietly he added;
"And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
that we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak."

Michael Marks



This is a link I found for it.

http://www.iwvpa.net/marksm/reportin.htm

This is the International War Veterans' Poetry Archives index of authors.

http://www.iwvpa.net/admin/directory.htm

June 18, 2006

MY SPACE

SSgt Chambers USMC


Staff Sergeant Chambers,

I, like a majority of Rolling Thunder, Tennessee Chapter
4, am in total awe of your performance at the Run for The Wall 2004!
I'm sure you have heard hundreds, if not thousands, of praises and accolades for your tribute, but please a moment to read one more.

When my wife and I rode by you in the first wave of bikes, it brought tears to our eyes. After we completed the run, we rode back up to the Washington Monument, parked, and walked toward Thunder Alley, near where you were posted. It was about 2pm when we took the photo attached. We were all in complete shock to see you, the very same Marine, still standing his post. We toured Thunder Alley and as we left about 3pm to head out of DC, we stopped and spent a few moments watching you again, making that our lasting memory of our first Run for the Wall. A few nights ago, I read the article published in the New Hampshire, Chapter 1 Newsletter, I immediately woke my wife up and had her read the article.

We sat here speechless learning that you took this task completely upon yourself, no orders, no commands, no relief, just a great man doing a great thing just for us. Your singularly noble act is quite frankly, beyond compare.

Should you find it within yourself to undertake the same task in 2005, we will be there when the last bike passes and I would consider it an honor and a privilege to shake the hand of one of the greatest men I have never met. Your selfless act of reverence and respect for veterans stands as an example for all Americans. It is my sincere hope that you are the shining example that your entire generation chooses as its role model.

Finally, there is one thing I must say to you that I have never said nor written to anyone before: Semper Fi!

Sincerely and with great respect,

Dean S. Nash
First Sergeant, US Army
Retired

Response:

Your kind words and prior service act as an inspiration for me to take the hill, and is the reason I stand tall and lead from the front as a leader of Marines should do. This Country needs to see my pain, and sacrifice as I demonstrate a small, yet monumental act of respect towards others, a salute of compassion. I hope to inspire them to reach out to fellow Americans, and have them demonstrate just an ounce of my sacrifice and compassion. Ammunition is a very important thing it sometimes acts as a tool to help us get where we are going, I also feel there are rounds that we all need to posses and they are called rounds of morality. These fire much more true and can be even more piercing than real led. I need to reach out to citizens and have them lock and load and stand at the ready for the healing to begin.

It is my honor to stand before you and show you that your sacrifice and the sacrifice of our brothers that have fallen will never go in vain. Your answer to our country's call to duty came with a very heavy price. I will never rest until you receive all your benefits that Uncle Sam promised you. I will never take a benefit from the VA before you receive yours. When Veterans passed by me on the motorcycle, I didn't see middle aged Americans pass by me. I saw young men and women with a common cause riding by. I saw you as if you were my troops unloading out of my hello as I was sending them to war, one more beach to take before we can rest, that beach is one of many holes, and never ending political sand traps. I will inspire that ounce of compassion within the politicians. I will re-light their torches. I will remind them of the key they posses that unlocks that door of promises to vets of their honorable and faithful service to our Nation. This is not a line I want the Veteran to receive only when they die. I have said it to many times at funerals, and I often wonder if this country ever really paid their dues to this man or his family that lies before me, so I give the most genuine "this flag is presented to you on the behalf of a grateful nation, as a token of our appreciation, for the honorable and faithful service of your husband ...................... I then add,,,,, your family is in our prayers and may he rest in peace...... I guess he can say he finally got his peace, and the pain finally went away, heck it may have been even quicker than it would of taken to get the prescription at the VA,,,, or even diagnosed at the VA first off. Since when is having to go the Hospital a day trip? Technology we have should be able to pay for any hospital to receive the Veteran and care for them. too much common sense or what?

I don't mean to ramble on and I may use parts of this email to email other Veterans but your the first. :) I just want you to know that I have the grid coordinates on the mission, it is kind of amazing to wonder how all this sits in my heart but it does. I am in tune with the past, and care for our family, and respect my elders. Please do not hesitate to forward this to Veterans to let them know, or concerned citizens.

Semper Fi, Motivated SSgt Chambers

THE COMPLETE LIST OF E-MAIL ADDRESSES & FAX NUMBERS FOR CONGRESS, SENATE & GOVERNORS

VOICES FROM THE FRONT LINES

June 17, 2006

US NAVY SEALS

TELL THE COMMANDANT

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OWFjODg5YTE4NzVjNjMxMmEzZWUyNDE0ZTQwZjg0Zjc=

http://www.grunt.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=92312

Tell the Commandant [Michael Ledeen]
I've just sent this letter to General Michael Hagee, the Commandant of the Marine Corps ( comrel@hqmc.usmc.mil ). You might want to pile on:

Dear General Hagee,

I'm dismayed by your recent behavior.

It seems to me an outrage, and quite possibly illegal to boot, to put Marines in the brig and to shackle them, when no charges have been filed against them.

It seems to me an outrage for you to brief the likes of Congressman Murtha before the investigation was complete, and even then you should have told him to wait, to let justice take its course.

It seems to me an outrage for you to reinforce the utterly false notion that your Marines are out of control by zooming off to Iraq to deliver sermons on proper ethics. Every Marine officer with whom I am familiar has received extensive ethical training, and they daily remind their Marines of their ethical obligations. You know this well. Why, then, do you act as if they have a moral deficit?

And it seems to me an outrage for you to fail to say, in response to all questions about these allegations, that Americans are innocent until proven guilty, and nobody has even been charged in this matter.

I think it was your duty to say these things to the American people, instead of giving the impression you believed the worst.

It also seems to me an outrage for the Corps to act as if the "Hadji Girl" song praised the killing Muslims, when the lyrics told a story—a fictional story, mind you—about terrorists trying to lure a Marine to a place they could kill HIM. Have you actually read the lyrics?

This sort of preemptive surrender inevitably has a bad effect on the morale of the Corps, and does nothing to deter future political attacks. You have gained nothing except the contempt of the Corps' enemies, who know that if they can destroy the unique image of U.S. Marines, they will have taken a giant step toward defeating us in the current war.

I do hope that in your remaining weeks as Commandant you will find many opportunities to stand by your Marines. They sure deserve a lot better than they've received.Posted at

9:48 AM

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1875786.php

Shackles removed from confined Marines, sailor

By Gidget FuentesTimes staff writer

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Military officials on Friday said they have decided to remove shackles put on seven confined Marines and one sailor whenever they’re outside their individual cells at the Camp Pendleton brig, a Marine Corps spokesman said.

The eight men, confined at the brig since May 24, were being held with “maximum” restraints based on their battalion commander’s decision following an initial investigation into the shooting. As of Friday, they were shifted into what’s called “medium-in” restraint in pre-trial custody, which does not require shackles to be worn, although they remain escorted anytime they are outside their cell, according to 2nd Lt. Lawton King, a base spokesman.

Under “medium-in,” they won’t have any personal restraint while inside the brig, but once outside – such as to go to a court hearing – each “is restrained with handcuffs attached to a leather belt … and their respective escorts carry along leg cuffs in the event they are needed,” King said.

The decision to lower the restraint level came after a June 15 review by the brig commander, he said.

The seven Marines and Navy corpsman, all members of the Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines currently deployed in Iraq, were first confined to quarters in Iraq on May 12 after allegations rose over the April 26 death of an Iraqi man in the village of Hamdaniya.

Families and defense attorneys representing three of the men had been complaining publicly and to base officials about the confinement measures that were imposed. The brig houses Marines and sailors who are awaiting court hearings or courts-martial as well as those convicted and serving a sentence.

Each of the men are in an 8-foot by 9-foot cells, alone, in a section called “special quarters,” where they receive their meals. Each gets one hour a day to spend at an enclosed outdoor courtyard, where they could exercise if they want, and they can meet with their attorneys in a small private room and with family members in a visitors’ room during weekend and holiday visiting hours.

Jeremiah Sullivan III, a San Diego attorney representing the sailor, a 20-year-old third-class hospital corpsman, has likened the conditions to worst than what convicted felons at the federal “Supermax” prison must endure.

David M. Brahms, a retired brigadier general and attorney in Carlsbad, Calif., who’s met with many of the families, is representing a 21-year-old lance corporal.

The men are “shafted and shackled in the worst conditions being imposed,” Brahms said June 14. “Saddam [Hussein] has a better circumstance than these guys.”
The eight men will remain in special quarters in individual cells, said Maj. Jeffrey Nyhart another base spokesman. Base officials say the brig, which is a Level II confinement facility, does not have “solitary confinement,” unlike prisons including Fort Leavenworth.


A side of the Marine Corp one rarely gets to see,....... the Brig ! Trust me the Marine Corp has always started punitive measures prior to courts martial.

It's the way it is. I know in the 1960's when I was in they still had Marines confined (when on board ship anyway) to bread and water. During waking hours the Marine had to stand all day in his cell with his toes against the bars, etes front, and was allowed out of his cell once every 3 days (for a meal,... and then he was brought to the mess hallunder guard, and NO ONE was allowed to even say hi to him). I guess theywere still going by 18th Century rules at sea. Then back to bread and water, etc.

They also shaved your head,... made you wear your shirt buttoned all the way to the neck,... and your boots "unbloused." (The same way as anew recruit at Parris Island).They were probably saddened when "Flogging" went out of the rule book. Like the people say,.... The Marines ? Thats a tough branch to be in. Trust me,... it is.

Viet Vet

June 16, 2006

SUPPORT THE TROOPS

WRITE TO STEVE BENSON


If you would like to write STEVE BENSON direct about his drawing please feel free to do so at :

steve.benson@arizonarepublic.com

June 14, 2006

INSURGENTS - Afghanistan

Batting Average :

Stream


64Kb MPEG4 (dialup)
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Download


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256Kb MPEG4 (82 MB)
MPEG1 (329 MB)

Congress Gives Itself a Raise

What else would Congress do ? If they ever did anything usefull it would be amazing. You think they would do anything that made any sense.........Hell No !

WASHINGTON (June 13) -

Despite record low approval ratings, House lawmakers Tuesday embraced a $3,300 pay raise that will increase their salaries to $168,500.

The 2 percent cost-of-living raise would be the seventh straight for members of the House and Senate.

Like last year, Matheson led a quixotic drive to block the raise. He was the only member to speak on the topic. "I do not think that it is appropriate to let this bill go through without an up or down vote on whether or not Congress should have an increase in its own pay," Matheson said.

June 13, 2006

The Vietnam Era (60's, 70's Music)

click onto the title
Turn up your sound,
scroll down,
select,
and enjoy.

Slain Marine's parents appeal to Bush to save cross

In a letter to Bush, the Martinos write, "Our son loved his country and the many rights and liberties it provided. … Our son died with a strong belief that he was fighting to preserve the freedom of all Americans. Please let us have OUR freedom from activist judges and their personal interpretation of our Constitution."
As WorldNetDaily reported, U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson ordered the city of San Diego May 3 to remove the mountain-top cross within 90 days or face a fine of $5,000 a day. Thompson ruled the 29-foot structure unconstitutional in 1991, but the case has remained in courts and become an issue of public policy.
Cartoon angers Marines' supporters
Jun. 13, 2006 12:00 AM

Editor's note:
A cartoon last Wednesday by The Republic's Steve Benson has drawn strong criticism from supporters of the U.S. Marines. The cartoon used the Marine emblem in a criticism of the military's investigation of an alleged massacre in Haditha, Iraq. Following are some of the more than 160 letters about the cartoon we've received from around the country.

Cartoon is an outrage
Jun. 13, 2006 12:00 AM

As a former U.S. Marine (1949-1952), I am outraged by the cartoon that appeared in your Wednesday paper. There is no justification for this atrocity.

In this great country a person, or persons, is considered innocent until proven guilty. Thousands of Marines and other service personnel have given their lives over the past two centuries to protect this concept.

No one has been charged in the Haditha incident. It is still being investigated. It is unthinkable that this cartoon would be published at this time. It is a slap in the face to those of us who have suffered and died to protect the lives and liberties of the rest of our citizens.

Donald W. Roland, Salome

Marines deserve an apology
Jun. 13, 2006 12:00 AM
I am disgusted that you allowed the desecration of the symbol of the United States Marine Corps to be published in your paper.

The Marine Corps is a very proud organization and is proud of its history. We are a band of brothers, not a band of murderers.

The fog of war is a very large part of many battles, and I'm confident that the Marines that Steve Benson suggests are murderers saw it differently while engaged in combat.

Benson should apologize to the world's premier fighting force.

Kenneth Etringer, Green Bay, Wis.The writer is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps.

Benson maligns troops
Jun. 13, 2006 12:00 AM

I am appalled by the Benson cartoon depicting the emblem of the United States Marine Corps as if it were bleeding and the pennant below the globe saying, "United States Massacre Cover-up."

The "artist" has made the leap (as have most of the media) that these allegations are true and the Marines are guilty of some war crimes. I ask: Will this "artist" have the integrity to recant his position if these allegations prove to be untrue?

While satirical editorial cartoons are protected by the First Amendment, a fact I truly appreciate, I believe that this picture slanders the reputations of the millions of men who have, are currently and will in the future wear the uniform of the United States Marine Corps.

The public must not lose sight of the fact that it is extremely easy to malign the fine men and women in the military while the "artist" sits safely in his home.

Richard Van Luvender, Havertown, Pa.

June 16, 2006

Benson:

I won’t bother addressing you properly because that would be a sign of respect that you don’t deserve. I’m writing about the drawing you drew alluding to the US Marine Corps emblem.

Always remember, the United States Marines DO NOT make American Foreign Policy. They only enforce it, much to the chagrin of men such as your self.

I don’t know how old you are, but I would suspect that you are not my age. I suspect you were in diapers, if even born yet, when I was a young man and a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines. I was sent to Vietnam and WIA in the Khe Sanh Area of South Vietnam in 1968. I shall never forget the screams of young Marines that had been so horribly wounded and dying while men, such as yourself, were safely sleeping in their beds every night. Those young men were the cream of the crop then, and are the cream of the crop today—not men like your self! The only reason you can do what you do is because somebody’s son or daughter paid the ultimate price!

If you don’t believe that, you’d better pray that the rule of law always remains, and this country doesn’t turn to anarchy, which I think your despicable drawing supports. One is "presumed innocent until proven guilty" in these United States which apparently you do not subscribe to. Your ignorant drawing has managed to piss off thousands of active duty, retired, and former Marines. I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes!

As for that communist rag you call a newspaper, I hope every person, who is either active duty, retired, or former military, cancels their subscription. In case you haven’t noticed, subscriptions are rapidly falling all over the United States.

John A. Alstad
USMCR
1966-1970
Montana

June 12, 2006

PACE CAUTIONS AGAINST PRE-JUDGING MARINES

Arizona Republic. Their cartoonist is Steve Benson.





Please email or write to thses nice fokes to let them know how you feel, about their little jack ass idea of a cartoon they got here. It's becasue of brave men like the Marines & countless others who defend our great nation, they are able to write such bullshit.

You can drop a line to these nice folks at:

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/sendaletter.html

June 10, 2006

Lcpl Worley Young Marines








Battaglia relieves Himsworth as Division Sgt. Maj.

Sgt. Maj. Ronald D. Himsworth, 2nd Marine Division’s outgoing sergeant major, left, prepares to hand over the noncommissioned officer’s sword to Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, standing next to him, during a relief and appointment ceremony here June 9. Battaglia, who was previously 8th Marine Regiment’s sergeant major, will assume his new leadership role while Himsworth moves up to be the II Marine Expeditionary Force’s sergeant major. Photo by: Cpl. Mike Escobar

Sgt. Maj. Ronald D. Himsworth, 2nd Marine Division’s outgoing sergeant major, is presented a Bronze Star Medal during a relief and appointment ceremony here June 9 for his exceptional service to the division. Himsworth will be the II Marine Expeditionary Force sergeant major while Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia assumes his new leadership role as 2nd Marine Division’s sergeant major. Photo by: Cpl. Mike Escobar

June 09, 2006

Air Force Hero To Defend Accused Marines

Honored Veteran Takes Lead Defense Position

by Senior Correspondent Kevin R.C. "Hognose" O'Brien

Aero-News has learned that USAF Col (Retired) George Everett "Bud" Day MOH, one of the most highly decorated veterans of the Vietnam War, or of US history for that matter, has undertaken to defend "up to 20" Marines who have been accused of crimes up to and including murder in connection with an alleged massacre in Haditha, Iraq.

Col. Day is a veteran, peculiarly enough, of World War II as a Marine, and later of the Army, and then of Korea and Vietnam in the United States Air Force. In Vietnam, he started and led the Misty Super FAC program, which includes among its old boys Dick Rutan and several other aviation luminaries. In a tradition begun by Day, each Misty pilot had a unique numbered callsign beginning, of course, with Misty 1 (Day, of course; Rutan was Misty 40).

Day was marked for success in the Air Force early in his flying career, when he made a "no-chute" ejection from a doomed F-84F and survived. "I bailed out of a burning F-84 in 1957 in England," he wrote in response to an enquiry from the Free Fall Research Page. "My parachute did not open, but lucky for me I landed in the Queen's forest, and the riser cords of the chute wove in and out of the pine tree I fell in. I bailed out between 300 and 500 feet and lived."

On August 24, 1967, then-Major Day was breaking in a new pilot on F-100F "Misty" "fast FAC" duty in the southern reaches of North Vietnam. He was instructing pilot Corwin Kippenham on how best to approach the target, a missile site, when their aircraft was hit. At over 500 knots it became a fireball.

Day ejected, followed by Kippenham, and they landed in North Vietnam near the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam. Day had a broken arm -- broken in three places -- and a dislocated knee, and the North Vietnamese grabbed him only a mile or so from where Kippenham boarded a helicopter to safety. Later Day escaped, only to be wounded by US fire when he slept too near an enemy artillery site, and ultimately recaptured after being wounded yet again.

In almost six years of captivity, Day endured unspeakable tortures, and, his fellow captives recall, drove his captors wild. In one case he responded to them by singing "the Star Spangled Banner," which earned him a particularly violent beating -- as the other prisoners all joined in, and the guards saw it as a loss of face.

There's no official list of most highly decorated veterans, but Day and Army Colonel Bob Howard are more or less tied for the top title. There was a more highly decorated veteran in World War II, though: Douglas Macarthur. In all, Day has a staggering 70 awards and decorations, not to mention such post-service honors as having the Sioux City Airport named after him.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1977, Bud Day put his long-dormant law degree and he has been a lawyer and an activist for veterans ever since. He has not always won, but government attorneys have come to fear him almost as much as the North Vietnamese prison guards did.

These days, the old warrior even sees a rosy side to his bleak years of captivity: "Freedom has a special taste!" His legal record is a formidable as his military record; he has frequently argued appellate cases, and has taken cases to the Supreme Court and argued them there.

While there has been much reaction to probable charges in the Haditha case, no details have been released, charges laid, nor defendants named by officialdom -- yet. But the defendants, whoever they may be -- and we hadn't heard numbers like "20" before -- will not lack effective counsel.

Rank and organization: Colonel (then Major), U.S. Air Force, Forward AirController Pilot of an F-100 aircraft

Place and date: North Vietnam, 26 August 1967

Entered service at: Sioux City, IowaBorn: 24 February 1925, Sioux City, Iowa

On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.

This is great news.

I am appalled and disgusted that these Marines are in solitary confinement and shackled when out of their cells. Inmates at Gitmo get better treatment, prayer time, recreation, etc.

I wish that I was a member of the US Congress, there would be all sorts of hell to pay if I had the authority to ask questions about this. The Commandant of the Marine Corps would be standing in front of my desk answering questions the next morning after I found out about it.

Thanks for sharing this email. We will keep a very close watch on what happens.

Senator Douglas John John.Douglas@senate.ga.gov



June 07, 2006

EOD

WAR

Marines "Get some"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...=Marines+fight

Another video of US mortars bombarding insurgent position

http://www.youtube.com/v/JlJl2jIZ_Zw

I know how we all feel about terrorist propaganda, but this is mostly US mortars incoming from where the rocket was fired. It looks like an air burst mortar round, as you can see the shrapnel hitting the ground. I just love seeing the receiving end of US firepower.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=l2DiNkBpXoY

June 06, 2006

Normandy, France. 6th Of June, 1944: D-Day

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife, For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier,
who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps,
a pension small.

It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

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Lance Cpl. Jonathan L. Smith

Camp closing marks progression in Marines’ mission
By: 1st Lt. Nathan Braden, 1st Marine Division

CAMP SMITTY, Iraq (May 26, 2006) -- Marines of D Company, 2nd Assault > Amphibian Battalion finished what they started. They closed this camp > here at the end of May, after opening it nearly a year ago.

They named the camp in honor of Lance Cpl. Jonathan L. Smith, when they opened it in July 2005. Nearly a year later, they took down the sign that honored their Marine.

Camp Smitty served as a forward operating base for Marines operating > south of Fallujah. It was opened by Marines from B Company, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion. Marines, many who now serve in D Company, chose to name the camp “Smitty” after the nickname Marines called > Smith.

Smith was a mechanic with the company’s maintenance platoon. He was a > passenger in a seven-ton truck that was struck in an improvised explosive device attack June 6, 2005.

A short but poignant gathering was held on one of the last afternoons > Camp Smitty was open. Capt. William E. O’Brien, D Company’s commander, gathered the Marines together in one of the camp’s large, empty warehouses and explained the history behind Camp Smitty, the important role it played in the Marines’ mission south of Fallujah, and, lastly, > but with the most detail, the Marine for whom the camp was named after.

“There are two reasons why we came down here,” said O’Brien, the 35-year-old commander, from Moline, Ill. “It’s the best way to help the regiment and it’s fitting that we are the ones to decommission the camp.

“I still talk to Jonathan’s parents,” O’Brien added. “I told them that > if they closed this camp, then we would do something special.”

The closing of Camp Smitty signified the progression of gradually consolidating forward operating bases and turning over responsibility > for security to Iraqi Security Forces.>> Lance Cpl. Neil Roeder, a 21-year-old from Minneapolis was Smith’s friend and described the events that killed Smith.

“I was in the vehicle behind Smith’s when we were attacked with the > IED,” said Roeder, who was a crewman with B Company last year. “The seven-ton he was in took all the shrapnel from the daisy-chained IED. He was the first KIA the company had.”

“We were doing IED and cache sweeps north of Fallujah,” added Sgt. Derek H. Evans, 20, from Livonia, Mich., an assistant section leader with D Company, who served with B Company last year. “He was hit because he volunteered to ride back to Camp Fallujah for supplies.”

Camp Smitty was erected on an existing machinery manufacturing plant > used to make machinery for other industries. The plant owner owns > another factory close by to the north, employing about 1,000 workers there.

The camp served a vital mission in combating the insurgency south of Fallujah. It provided the Marines a forward base to secure the area while Iraqi Army soldiers and Iraqi Police officers were trained and > stationed in the nearby cities of Ameriyah and Ferris.

“We were taking a lot of indirect fire from down in this area. We didn’t have any Coalition presence in the area,” O’Brien said. “We came down to establish a foothold in the battle space and establish a > presence until we could get some IP’s and IA’s down here.”

Getting the camp up to snuff was no small chore.

“It was a good five days of straight, continuous fortifying and providing security,” Evans said. “We filled thousands of sandbags. Privates to staff sergeants were sandbagging because it just needed to get done. Then, there was a big sign in the maintenance bay that dedicated this place to Smith.”

“I didn’t want to come back to the same area for this deployment, but I’m glad I’m here to close it down,” Roeder said. “We sandbagged all the windows and didn’t have any AC’s. It was pretty miserable, but it was the best time I had here. It was the time I remember most. This was our home. It feels good to know that we started it and we are ending it. We had no idea it would be useful for this long.”

“After the deployment, there was always ‘Do you remember at Camp Smitty when…’ stories,” Evans added. “It was a pride thing. The amtrack community is pretty small and everyone knows we built the camp. We took pride in it. I’ll never forget Camp Smitty.”

Decommissioning a camp involves removing anything and everything related to an American presence and a thorough cleaning of the area. It’s basic clean-up work and not the glamorous type Marines typically want to do, but fitting because it was named after one of their own, O’Brien said.

“It means a lot to me and the Marines who knew Jonathan,” he said.

“Take a moment to remember a Marine who made the ultimate sacrifice,” O’Brien said of the Marine who was born in Georgia, but grew up in Eva, Ala. “I appreciate you all coming down here and working so hard. Smith was characteristically a hard worker too … he dropped over 100 > pounds just to join the Marine Corps.”

Smith was one of the more popular Marines in the company.

“Smith was just a hell of a guy. He was respected by everyone who worked with him,” Cpl. Nick I. Jason, 22, from Sarasota, Fla., an assistant section leader with D Company, and who served as a crew > chief with B Company last year. “He could fix all of our mechanical problems. Whenever my vehicle had a problem, he was the first one I > would go to because I knew he knew what he was doing.”

“I went to Smith’s house and meet his family before our deployment,” said Cpl. Mike R. Rozier, 24, a crew chief from St. Louis, who served with B Company last year. “He was a good overall Marine, he did what he was told and got the job done. We always try to get in good with the mechanics so we all knew him pretty well.”

The Marines had mixed reactions about closing down the camp, but the > overall mission the camp served wasn’t lost on the Marines.

“It’s sad to see the base close down because it was named after a friend of mine, but at the same time it’s a big step in completing our mission and getting out of here,” Jason said. “I hate to see it go but it’s almost for the better. It’s bittersweet.”

Most of the area surrounding Camp Smitty will now be patrolled by Iraqi Security Forces. There are several Iraqi Police stations nearby and they are taking on the responsibility of more independent operations.

For Marines who lost their friend, it’s a fitting end.

“As the ISF get more experience operating independently in the smaller areas they will move on to be responsible for larger areas,” Rozier said. “It’s another step in the right direction of getting the mission done. It’s definitely a positive step.”

June 05, 2006

Wind Talkers

Native actor Adam Beach ("Windtalkers") plays the roleof Ira Hayes.

The film is slated for release inAugust.

Click below for more:

http://www.flagsofourfathers.net

June 04, 2006

Send a Letter

See http://michellemalkin.com/archives/005321.htm for the photos:

The UK Times has taken photos of Shiites killed by Insurgents, and implied that they were killed by our Marines. The press is surely salivating at a chance to smear our Marines.

This must not stand. And the Times must not be allowed to make a covert correction without a public acknowledgement. The editors must apologize for this blatant smear.

Send a letter to the editor here (include postal address and daytime telephone number for publication): letters@thetimes.co.uk

Also e-mail:
Gerard Baker, US editor of the UK
Times...gerard.baker@the-times.co.uk

WELCOME TO BOOT CAMP



Parris Island, S.C.
A recruit inches his way under a barbed-wire obstacle in a simulation of a beach landing under fire during “ The Crucible. ”


http://www.parade.com/articles/editions/2006/edition_06-04-2006/AMarines_lede

June 02, 2006

On the Ground with Charlie Company

June 01, 2006

Care Packages & Care Package Supplies