Archive for the ‘US Military’ Category
As the new site is still under construction (and I cannot post there as yet), I came across this poem which I wanted to get onto the blog for others to read.
This was attributed to the following individual:
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30t h Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq.
Whether or not snopes verifies this. The content is clear. As the men and women on the front lines won’t be spending the holidays at home, I for one, wanted to say Thank you, God Bless you and keep you safe until you return to your families.
A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear, “Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light, Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,” Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘, And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.. Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”
“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright, Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least, “Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done, For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, “Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY
The Washington Post Headline reads.. Senate GOP Blocks $50B War Funding Package… The way the headline reads you would think that Republicans blocked critical funding for our troops denying them much needed bullets and other logistic support.
What was rejected, and rightly so was the placing of artificial goals and expectations as well as operational limitations to get all troops out of Iraq by December 2008. Now while getting our troops out of Iraq is an admirable and worthwhile goal, we must approach that goal in a responsible manner. The Senate Bill that did not get the necessary votes for cloture did not do that. At the moment the situation on the ground in Iraq is very fluid, American forces have been able to quell the violence and destroy much of terror support network. Removing those forces now or establishing a date in which they will be removed will seriously undermine all the progress we had made since the Surge Strategy was implemented. We need to leave Iraq when the mission there is done. Not a day sooner nor a day later. Leaving too soon places all we have accomplished and sacrificed for at great risk and will allow the terrorists to once again call the shots. Leaving too late will have consequences nearly as bad. Deciding when we have reached that point is the tricky part. The people who are in the best position to advise when we have met our objectives there and can begin an orderly withdrawal is General Petraeus and the other commanders on the ground, it certainly is not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
The Washington Post appears to have run its Headline and Article through the DNC Spin Cycle. Which is pretty much par for the course. What the Senate and Hose did was attempt to gain some percieved short term political advantage at the expense of those who are putting their lives on the line. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have both stated that they will not submit another funding bill this year. So next month while Harry & Nancy are enjoying their Christmas vacation, and while Hillary and Obama are out campaigning they should be reminded daily that they left work undone in Washington. They failed to support the troops by providing the resources needed to carry out their mission without strings attached. I can only hope and pray that those daily reminders do not come in the form of increased casualty reports.
Here is the Roll Call Vote
This is attributed to Ben Stein. Whether it is true or not that he wrote it, the sentiment sure adds up in my estimation.
God Bless the Military and their families!
Greetings From Rancho Mirage By Ben Stein
Dear Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, National Guard, Reservists, in Iraq, in the Middle East theater, in Afghanistan, in the area near Afghanistan, in any base anywhere in the world, and your families:
Let me tell you about why you guys own about 90 percent of the backbone in the whole world right now and should be happy with yourselves and proud of whom you are.
It was a dazzlingly hot day here in Rancho Mirage today. I did small errands like going to the bank to pay my mortgage, finding a new bed at a price I can afford, practicing driving with my new 5 wood, paying bills for about two hours. I spoke for a long time to a woman who is going through a nasty child custody fight. I got e-mails from a woman who was fired today from her job for not paying attention. I read about multi-billion-dollar mergers in Europe, Asia, and the Mideast. I noticed how overweight I am, for the millionth time. In other words, I did a lot of nothing.
Like every other American who is not in the armed forces family, I basically just rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic in my trivial, self-important, meaningless way.
Above all, I talked to a friend of more than forty-three years who told me he thought his life had no meaning because all he did was count his money. And, friends in the armed forces, this is the story of all of America today. We are doing nothing but treading water while you guys carry on the life or death struggle against worldwide militant Islamic terrorism. Our lives are about nothing: paying bills, going to humdrum jobs, waiting until we can go to sleep and then do it all again. Our most vivid issues are trivia compared with what you do every day, every minute, every second.
Oprah Winfrey talks a lot about “meaning” in life. For her, “meaning” is dieting and then having her photo on the cover of her magazine every single month (surely a new world record for egomania ). This is not “meaning.”
– Meaning is doing for others.
– Meaning is risking your life for hers.
– Meaning is putting your bodies and families’ peace of mind on the line to defeat some of the most evil, sick killers the world has ever known.
– Meaning is leaving the comfort of home to fight to make sure that there still will be a home for your family and for your nation and for free men and women everywhere.
Look, soldiers and Marines and sailors and airmen and Coast Guardsmen, there are eight billion people in this world. The whole fate of this world turns on what you people, 1.4 million, more or less, do every day. The fate of mankind depends on what about 2/100 of one percent of the people in this world do every day“ and you are those people.
Also joining you is every policeman, fireman, and Emergency Medical Technician in the country, also holding back the tide of chaos.
Do you know how important you are? Do you know how indispensable you are? Do you know how humbly grateful any of us who has a head on his shoulders is to you? Do you know that if you never do another thing in your lives, you will always still be heroes? That we could live without Hollywood or Wall Street or the NFL, but we cannot live for a week without you?
We are on our knees to you and we bless and pray for you every moment. And Oprah Winfrey, if she were a size two, would not have one millionth of your importance, and all of the Wall Street billionaires will never mean what the least of you do, and if Barry Bonds hits hundreds of home runs it would not mean as much as you going on one patrol or driving one truck to the Baghdad airport.
You are everything to us, as we go through our little days, and you are in the prayers of the nation and of every decent man and woman on the planet. That’s who you are and what you mean. I hope you know that.
“If It Weren’t For the United States Military There Would Be NO United States of America”
“Home of The Free, Because of the Brave”
Iran is still active in supporting terrorism and insurgents in Iraq… Like anyone expected otherwise…
The quantity of Iranian bomb-making components being found in Iraq is increasing despite a fall in attacks and 20 Iranian-trained agents are still operating south of Baghdad, a top U.S. general said on Sunday.
Extensive Iranian influence in Iraq remained evident, said Major-General Rick Lynch, despite signs of a possible easing of tensions between Washington and Tehran over security in Iraq.
Lynch said his troops were chasing 20 “targets” he identified as Iraqi Shi’ites who were agents for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’s (IRGC) elite Qods Force.
“They were trained in Iran and they’re conducting operations in our battle space,” Lynch told reporters. “They’re Iraqis but they’re IRGC surrogates and they’re still out there.”
Lynch said in August that military intelligence suggested there were about 50 IRGC troops in southern Iraq training Shi’ite militias in the use of mortars and rockets.
Despite Progress in Iraq, Pelosi & Company still intend to keep the surrender option on the table. Below are some of the Postitive elements in a USA Today article.
- Rocket and mortar attacks in Iraq have decreased to their lowest levels in more than 21 months.
- terrorist acts including car bombings and other spectacular, al-Qaeda-style attacks dropped by 77% in the capital.
- Associated Press figures show a sharp drop in the number of U.S. and Iraqi deaths across the country in the past few months.
And some Recent comments from Pelosi and John “Cut-N-Run” Murtha from this AP article.
It’s a war without end, There is no light at the end of the tunnel. We must reverse it.
Bush will have to accept some timetable on troop withdrawals if he wants the money. I don’t think you’ll see the House pass anything without restrictions.
One thing is certain, cutting off funds or placing an artificial timetable for withdrawal will definately reverse the trend. There will be an increase in violence, terrorism, and body counts, both Iraqi’s and Americans.
There has been a great deal of recent progress made in Iraq, now is the time to increase pressure on the terrorists and insurgents, and allow the political progress to further develop throughout Iraq.
Nancy Pelosi and company are once again threatening to abandon troops deployed in Iraq to make a political statement. At a time when very significant progress is being made in Iraq in quelling the violence and defeating the terrorists, Democrats seem desperate to snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory.
House Democrats are planning another veto showdown with President Bush on the Iraq war. And this time, they say they won’t back down.
The House planned to vote as early as next week on a $50 billion war spending bill that would require Bush to begin withdrawing troops. The measure identifies a goal of ending combat by December 2008, leaving only enough soldiers and Marines behind to fight terrorists, train Iraqi security forces and protect U.S. assets.
In a private caucus meeting on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told rank-and-file Democrats the bill was their best shot at challenging Bush on the war. And if Bush rejected it, she said, she did not intend on sending him another war spending bill for the rest of the year.
One hell of a nice message to be sending the troops around Veterans Day…. Of Course that is a holiday that the Moveon.org crowd probably will not be observing…
One has to wonder if the Democrat Presidential Candidates will be supporting this…
The United States Marine Corps was founded November 10, 1775 in (shockingly enough) a bar found in Philadelphia named Tun Tavern. It was decided over beers and bravado that if the colonies were to stem the invading hordes of bears, they would need to take the fight to straight to the bear’s lairs. Serving on land and at sea, early Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid on foreign soil in the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of the Corps’ first commandant, Capt. Samuel Nicholas. (Top Center in the picture above)
Since then the Marine Corps has contributed to virtually every conflict in our nations history. 294 Marines have been awarded the Medal of Honor. The first recipient was Corporal John F. Mackie, (Top Right in the picture above) who during the attack on Fort Darling at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia, “fearlessly maintained his musket fire against the rifle pits on shore, and when ordered to fill vacancies at guns caused by men wounded and killed in action, manned the weapon with skill and courage.”
The term “flying Sergeant” has all but dropped from the Marine Corps lexicon. But in the early days of Marine Corps aviation, it was not uncommon to see a grease-stained mechanic working on an aircraft engine one minute and climbing into the cockpit or navigator’s seat the next. One such Marine was Robert G Robinson(Left Center in the picture above). Gunnery Sgt Robinson who was an observer in the First Marine Aviation Force was wounded 13 times in the chest, abdomen, legs, and nearly losing his left arm cleared a jam in his gun and fought off the 9 enemy scouts while his pilot Lt. Ralph Talbot was able to get the aircraft back across friendly lines. In mid-1919, Robinson was discharged from the Marine Corps and entered the Marine Corps Reserve as an officer. He retired four years later as a First Lieutenant and moved to St. Ignace, Michigan. He died at home on October 5, 1974, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Talbot, a native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, who himself shot down a German aircraft during the battle and evaded the numerically superior force, also was awarded the Medal of Honor. But Talbot, a one-time student at Yale University, was killed in a plane crash 11 days after the daring aerial battle. The pair were the first Marine aviators awarded the nation’s highest award for battlefield valor.
You can not talk about Marines without menitoning one of the most decorated Marines that ever served. Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller (bottom Left of the Picture above) was a colorful veteran of the Korean War, four World War II campaigns, and expeditionary service in China, Nicaragua, and Haiti. He was the only Marine to win the Navy Cross five times for heroism and gallantry in combat.
A Marine officer and enlisted man for 37 years, General Puller served at sea or overseas for all but ten of those years, including a hitch as commander of the “Horse Marines” in China. Excluding medals from foreign governments, he won a total of 14 personal decorations in combat, plus a long list of campaign medals, unit citation ribbons and other awards. In addition to the Navy Crosses, the highest honor the Navy can bestow, he holds its Army equivalent, the Distinguished Service Cross.
Here are some of Chesty Puller’s more notable quotes..
“We’re surrounded. That simplifies the problem.”
“Don’t forget that you’re First Marines! Not all the Communists in hell can overrun you!”
“Paper-work will ruin any military force”
When an Army captain asked him for the direction of the line of retreat, Col Puller called his Tank Commander, gave them the Army position, and ordered: “If they start to pull back from that line, even one foot, I want you to open fire on them.” Turning to the captain, he replied “Does that answer your question? We’re here to fight.”At Koto-ri in Korea
“The mail service has been excellent out here, and in my opinion this is all that the Air Force has accomplished during the war.”
Chesty Puller in a letter to his wife while in Korea
“They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an
enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!”
– Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC –
This quote was made during the 1st Marine Divisions break out from Chosin Reservoir. When the Marines were cut off behind enemy lines and the Army had written them off as being lost because they were surrounded by 22 enemy divisions. The Marines made it out inflicting the highest casualty ratio on an enemy in history and destroying 7 entire enemy divisions in the process. An enemy division is 16500+ men while a Marine division is 12500 men.
Other Photos depicted above Marines on Patrol in Dong Ha, Vietnam; Scaling the wall at Inchon; The 1st Marine Division breaking through Chinese lines in the battle of Chosin Reservoir; and of course the most famous depiction of Marines, the raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima.
Happy Birthday to the Marine Corps… and Thank you!!!
The monthly toll of U.S. service members who have died in Iraq is on track to being the lowest in nearly two years, with at least 36 troop deaths recorded as of Tuesday, but the military cautioned it’s too early to declare a long-term trend.
So when can we expect that public apology from Hillary Clinton to General Petraeus for her comments at the Senate Hearing on progress in Iraq.
“The reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief,”