Thursday, November 30, 2006

Go Army Beat Navy

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General George Marshall: "I want an officer for a secret and dangerous mission. I want a West Point football player."

Game Notes:
Army Football - Navy Football

President George W. Bush will attend the game Saturday in Philadelphia.

Operation Phone Home

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Posted By:
Hosted By:USO WHQ
When:Thursday Nov 30, 2006at 7:00 PM
Where: O.P.H. c/o USO World Headquarters

P.O. Box 96860Washington, DC 20090US View Map

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Most of you already know that I spend a great deal of my time volunteering for the Rocky Mountain USO. I spend one day a week (Wednesdays) at the USO Center at Denver International Airport, and the rest of the time during the week either at the USO Center or working from home on the USO Shows at the Bug theatre Company. Today a little fellow (around the age of six or seven), came up to me while I was sitting at the USO Center's front desk and told me he found a Bible and wanted to return it. I knew it was the camouflage sort of New Testament that the Gideon's International hand out (they are Dedicated to Bible distribution), just after someone swears into the military. This pocket sized version must have fallen out of someone's pocket and was squished inside the cushion of the seat and this little boy found it. I looked over at his mother sitting nearby and asked if he would like to have it, while looking for his mother's approval. His mother nodded, "yes, but this little boy said he needed to go ask his mother. I waited, knowing she already agreed it was perfectly fine. She told him "yes" and he returned eagerly, letting me know his mother said it was alright. I looked at the front to see if it had a name written in it and it didn't. I asked this little boy if he wanted his name placed in the front. He nodded, yes." I asked him if he knew how to write yet and he sadly said "no." I asked him if he wanted me to write his name in there for him. He said, "yes." I don't recall his last name, but I will never forget his first name. His name is Donovan. Then I asked Donavan what he was going to do with his very own Bible? Donovan looked me straight in the eye and said, "I'm going to send it to my daddy who is in Iraq, so he can pray." Well, I just about burst into tears when I heard this. I then asked my new little friend if he wanted me to write a message in the back of the Bible, to his daddy, just from him. He grew excited again and stated, "Oh, yes." He went on and on about how he loves and misses his daddy and how he falls asleep each night praying for his daddy to come home alive. By this time someone was waiting for me to sign them in. As a routine, I stated, "Welcome, I need to see your military I.D. Please." This person was not in the mood to be troubled. He sort of bit my head off and stated, "Do you see me reaching for it?" That kind of a remark pissed me off for a millisecond (We allow retirees into the Rocky Mountain USO as a courtesy, they certainly don't need to be snotty when we are doing as we are told by asking to see their credentials that allow them access to a special place where other USO's don't usually allow them entrance in the first place). I made this man wait until I was done helping my friend Donavon. Not out of spite for his rudeness, but out of the courtesy I was giving Donavon. You see, the retiree didn't want to be bothered. All Donovan wanted was something to send to his daddy, to help ease his daddy's burden, and to also ease Donovan's burden by sending something so special from him to his father. They both would know what a wonderful treasure that little book of pages would be to both of them (and it certainly was to me). This was one of those moments I would not forget. I've had other incidents that almost make me cry as well. Someone sharing with me that the reason they saw a chaplain visiting the USO one day, was so the Chaplain could deliver a message to someone that their loved one had been killed. Then there was the visit from the soldier that just returned from Iraq. He hadn't had a shower in days. You could smell him coming. I still took the time to be close enough to him to ask him if there was anything he wanted or needed. Then I noticed that he had his social security number written on the inside and outside of his desert boots, written with a Sharpee. Why you may ask (I certainly asked). So if he gets blown up by an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.), his loved one's would have had something for the government to ship home to his loved one's to bury. These are the things you don't see reported in the news, that's why I am sharing them here. How has seeing these things effected me? Every year about this time I send out holiday cards to all my friends and relatives that exchange cards with me each year. This year I decided I needed to think of how I could send a message to those I love and care about, but to also help our troops. What could I do differently this year to make a difference and take the money I would have spent on the cards, photos, and postage, and put it to a great cause, while still getting a message across to those I care about to do the same thing? I thought and thought. Then it came to me. Why not give to others in a way that benefits those that need a greeting the most. Let's see. How much would I or could I contribute to a USO cause, that I would have spent anyway? I would have spent the following:

Holiday Cards (100 Cards x .50 = $50.00) $ 50.00Postage (100 Stamps x .37 = $37.00) $37.00Photo Holiday Card Inserts (Set of 100 x .33 = $ $33.00) $ 33.00Holiday Stationery (100 pages x .05 = $5.00) $5.00 Total: $125.00

This year I realize there is an URGENT need for phone cards to be sent to our troops overseas. During this holiday season, please consider helping deployed service members call home by donating what you would have spent in holiday greeting cards to: USO, Operation Phone Home.

Our service members have sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who are with them in spirit and silently supporting them from the other side of the world. But it would mean so much to our service members to be able to hear their voices. Far from home and lonely, they are defending our flag and our freedom. The USO is working hard to bring home as close to them as possible. Please join us in USO Operation Phone Home, a campaign created to make it possible for Americans to extend this touch of home to the men and women of our armed forces. And we will continue this effort until every one comes home.

If you still find the need to communicate with those you exchange cards with each year, why not put together something electronically, say, in the form of a PDF or MS Word File. Cut and paste the images you like, the wording you like, and email it to those you would have sent a card to (and probably keep in touch with via email anyway). I know I will be doing this shortly (don't be offended if you don't get something in the mail, this is what I will be doing from now on and I encourage you to do the same). Why not copy and paste this text and save it as an attached PDF file to your own personal greetings and let others know about this program?

Come on, "USO Operation Phone Home" is waiting for you.

Donate online: and choose the "donate to a specific program" option.

Via phone: 1-800-901-1501
By Mail:(with O.P.H. written in the memo of your check or money order)USO World Headquarters P.O. Box 96860Washington, DC 20090-6860

If you are a corporation interested in making a large donation toward this campaign, logo branding on the phone cards is possible. For more information, please contact the Operation Phone Home Representative (

Sharon F. Smith Kindron

U.S. Army (Ret.)

Producer/Special Events Coordinator

Rocky Mountain USO Denver International Airport

8700 Peña Blvd.,P.O. Box 492093

Denver, CO 80249-9093

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fort Erie soldier Killed in Suicide Attack

Attacks continue to increase in Afghanistan 2 Canadian soldiers were killed in a suicide
bombing near kandahar. Canadian Forces in Southern Afganistan have been increasingly coming under attack. Nato members met in Riga yesterday and came up up short in adding combat forces to support Canadian and American Forces in the south.

RIGA, Latvia – Canada's quest for more help for its troops fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan received a modest response from allies as the NATO summit ended today in this tiny Baltic nation.

Read more on NATO Summit

Lest We Forget Their Ultimate Sacrifices

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Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Girouard, His Battalion's Regimental Sergeant Major

Cpl. Albert Storm, of the Royal Canadian Regiment based in CFB Petawawa

Two Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been identified; meanwhile, a separate suicide attack on Tuesday slightly injured another soldier.

Chief Warrant Officer Robert Girouard and Cpl. Albert Storm have been named as the soldiers killed in a suicide bomb attack near Kandahar. Both soldiers were members of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, based in Petawawa, Ont.

Girouard was from Bathurst, N.B, and Storm was a native of Fort Erie, Ont.

The soldiers' identities have been released amidst news of another suicide attack against Canadians on Tuesday.

The attack occurred near a Canadian convoy in Panjwaii as a patrol made its way back to the main base, confirmed CTV's Steve Chao in Afghanistan.

One soldier was injured receiving flash burns but his condition is not considered serious.

Lt. Cmdr. Kris Phillips called the attack "completely ineffective."

The vehicle was the same Bison Armoured Carrier that was targeted in Monday's attack that killed Girouard and Storm.

The soldiers on Monday had been helping with reconstruction projects outside Kandahar where heavy clashes had taken place over the past several months.

Chao said the suicide bomber pulled alongside the Canadian convoy in a vehicle and detonated his explosives. The bomber was reported to have been driving a small minivan.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences in a statement.

"The resolve and courage demonstrated by Chief Warrant Officer Girouard and Cpl. Storm represent Canadian values and beliefs in the finest tradition," said Harper. "They will be missed by the Canadian Forces family, and their loss is also Canada's loss."

Harper is in Latvia Tuesday for a NATO summit where he is expected to seek more support for Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

Also Tuesday, Phillips said Canadian and Afghan troops were involved in the fatal shooting of a civilian in the Panjwaii district.

The man was on foot and ignored orders, including warning shots, to stop as he approached a position taken by Canadian and Afghan troops.

It is unknown if he was shot by Canadian or Afghan fire.

Recent calm is broken

Kandahar province has been relatively calm recently aside from some sporadic fighting.

"There has been talk for a while of a relative peace, and a hope that peace would last through the winter," Chao said Monday. "This obviously has not happened."

"It's also becoming more clear the Taliban is using suicide bombers as a main key tactic to attack NATO forces down here and instill a sense of fear in Kandahar City."

Brig.-Gen. Grant said the most common type of attack by insurgents is either small arms, or rocket-propelled grenades.

So the fact they're resorting to suicide bombings "shows they are desperate right now and they are trying to send a message."

"The professionalism, though, of NATO forces and the Canadians in particular will make sure they carry on with their mission here. We are not deterred by this attack," he added.

For Canada, there had been no fatalities since Sgt. Darcy Tedford and Pte. Blake Williamson died in an ambush west of Kandahar City on Oct. 14.

There are about 2,500 Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan. Including Monday's deaths, 44 have died since 2002, plus one diplomat.

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Supporting The Canadian Forces

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Veterans Report is the most comprehensive newsletter available to help Veterans stay current on benefits changes, learn about important legislation, get great discounts, and use the benefits earned in service. Make sure that you and your colleagues subscribe for this free update publication.

27 NOVEMBER 2006

Bipartisan Effort Urged to Pass Veterans' Bills
Deal of the Week: Motorola RAZR V3 Sale
New National Cemetery at Fort Jackson
Get the Credit You Deserve
Check out Cool Gear on Kit Up!
Operation Interdependence Offers C-Rats
Volunteer Drivers Needed
Public Warned About E-mail Scam
Featured Job: Electronic Technician Maintenance II
Senate Passes Record VA Funding Bill
Winter Sports Clinic Registration Deadline
Care Packages Top One Million
Commander Advises Discretion in Cyberspace
Give Exchange Certificates to Deployed Troops
Marines, Sailors Now Accepting Donations for Toys For Tots
Santa Trek to be Tracked Worldwide
Send Packages to Troops, Families
Volunteers, Donations Sought for Children's Christmas Tour
Print and Post This Week's Veterans Report
Headline Military News

**A Note from our Sponsor**

Treats for Troops Support Program
You can send care packages with personal messages of support and sponsor troops through our Foster-A-Soldier Program. Read our newsletter.

Bipartisan Effort Urged to Pass Veterans' Bills
House Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) has urged colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work together to pass H.R. 6314. More

Deal of the Week: Motorola RAZR V3 Sale
For just $79.99 get the unique, ultra thin RAZR V3 in black, blue, silver or pink. Features quad band, long-range Bluetooth capabilities & VGA camera. PLUS! Take an additional $25 off your order. More

New National Cemetery at Fort Jackson
Fort Jackson has been selected as the site for a new national cemetery. Construction is slated to begin in fiscal 2008, with interments beginning about a year after that. More

Get the Credit You Deserve
Thanks to the American Council on Education (ACE) you can take academic credit for most of the military training and experience you have received, including Basic Training (boot camp). More

Check out Cool Gear on Kit Up! just launched Kit Up! Members list all the stuff you weren't issued but couldn't have done without during your military life. Kit Up! can be a device, software, book, DVD, or a resource like a website, chat room, or blog. More

Operation Interdependence Offers C-Rats
The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System is pleased to announce a new partnership with Operation Interdependence a national non-profit organization that provides each deployed service man or woman with Civilian Rations. More

Volunteer Drivers Needed
More than 9,000 volunteers drive veterans to their VA medical center and clinic appointments as part of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN). More

Public Warned About E-mail Scam
Social Security has issued a warning about a new email scam message that is being circulated with the subject "Cost-of-Living for 2007 update." More

Featured Job: Electronic Technician Maintenance II
Integrated Technology Solutions is actively searching for an SCA Electronic Technician Maintenance II to support the Naval Air Station North Island, Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE) contract, San Diego, CA. More

Senate Passes Record VA Funding Bill
Veterans across the nation will benefit from a record budget increase for a variety of construction projects for the military and Department of Veterans Affairs. More

Winter Sports Clinic Registration Deadline
The deadline for registering for the 2007 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is November 30, 2006. More

Care Packages Top One Million
The USO will soon be distributing its one millionth Operation USO Care Package. Initiated in 2001 by the USO of Metropolitan Washington, the Operation USO Care Package program distributes care packages to servicemembers deploying. More

Commander Advises Discretion in Cyberspace
General Paul V. Hester, the Pacific Air Forces commander, stressed recently that what is posted on the Internet could get pieced together with other information that could jeopardize yourself, your family or your fellow servicemembers. More

Give Exchange Certificates to Deployed Troops
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) operates 53 PX/BX facilities throughout Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Even the most basic operation provides access to toiletries, phone cards and cold drinks. More

Marines, Sailors Now Accepting Donations for Toys For Tots
Marines and Sailors around the world are working together during the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) "Toys for Tots" 2006 campaign, underway from now until Dec. 18 in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. More

Santa Trek to be Tracked Worldwide
In advance of the holiday season and its 51st season of tracking Santa Claus on his annual journey around the world, the North American Aerospace Defense Command activated its "NORAD Tracks Santa" Website for 2006. More

Send Packages to Troops, Families
Just in time for the holidays, Operation Homefront has launched "eCarePackage," an online service that allows citizens to send care packages to deployed troops and their families. More

Volunteers, Donations Sought for Children's Christmas Tour
As the holidays draw near, the Hampton Roads (Va.) Chief Petty Officer Association (HRCPOA) is calling out to the khaki community throughout the mid-Atlantic region to help them bring Christmas cheer to children. More

Monday, November 27, 2006

Insurgent Chase

This video shows our soldiers coming under fire by a hit and run sniper squad. A pursuit ensues ... watch what happens.
wmv, 2.6 MB

"Get Some Yeah Get Some"

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myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

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AC 130 and Predator footage

Predator and AC130 footage (Iraq, Afghanistan) The war on Terrorism
description:Supporting our military men and women, American, Allied & Iraqi Troops in the war on terror.

Download and play with Divx player

Sunday, November 26, 2006

War Poems

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War Poems from Tom Zart

Determined though scared, I walk my beat,
On the deadly streets of Baghdad.
Searching for any who plot our harm,
Or by our death are joyous and glad.

Standing in shadows caused by the moon,
I'm reminded of my nights back home.
I wonder if the woman I love
Is growing tired of sleeping alone?

I feel remorse for all who live here,
For this place is a madman's hell.
And those who wish to keep it that way
Must be killed or locked away in jail.

My greatest fear is not my death,
But that I'll end up in a wheelchair.
Disabled for the rest of my life,
Depending on others for my care.

My wife, she prays for my safe return,
As night and day more GI's are killed.
She knows quite well, whatever it takes,
The oath I've given will be fulfilled.
Most of you have probably heard this story... If not here is the news article links and Info

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Local News Contact for Jessiah Jameson
Body: Reporters name: Darien Trotter
Cell (615) 353-2231

Producers name: Micah Terrell
News Room (615) 353-2231

This TV Station has reported on Jessiahs disappearance, and seemed very helpful and willing to accept any and all information and or leads to help find out what happened.

Detective Fontella Woodson has been assigned as the lead Detective to the case . Number is (931) 245-8236. ext. 1006

Please, anyone with any kind of information or who knows ANYONE with some sort of contacts in the area GET THE WORD OUT!!!!

So here is a list of articles regarding Jessiah Jameson. I know that there are more out there as people from AL and NY have said that they have seen it on the news. If you know of these TV stations please add to the list and repost.

NATO Summit

Canada must speak out at NATO summit

Submitted By:

Supporting The Canadian Forces

Next week, the leaders from the 26 member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will meet in Riga, Latvia to discuss the future of the alliance. Canada needs to pay attention;relations with our NATO allies are more important than ever, and yet reaching consensus on NATO's future may be harder than ever.

The Riga summit will be dominated by discussionof the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. NATO currently has 31,000 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan on a mission far removed, by geography and by mandate, from its Cold War endeavors.

Those countries Canada, the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States .. losing soldiers in the unstable south are rightly frustrated by their allies' persistent refusal to deploy their soldiers to these more dangerous combat zones.

Also on the agenda, though more implicit, will be the future of the allianceitself. How far should NATO extend its membership? Is NATO a club for statesthat share the values described in the organization's charter: democracy,liberty, and the rule of law? Or should it be restricted to the democracies ofthe North Atlantic area? In short, is NATO aglobal alliance, or an alliance with global reach?

The questions of Afghanistanand NATO's future are tightly connected. NATO's founding concept was mutualdefence: Under Article 5, each ally agreed to come to the assistance of another if it was attacked.

NATO first invoked it on Sept. 12, 2001, long after the Cold War had ended. Inthe face of persistent doubts about NATO's relevance in a post-Soviet securityworld, the war on terrorism seemed to infuse the alliance with new purpose.

However, it also put into question the tacit bargain that had allowed the NATO allies to defend themselves against the Soviet Union even as they disagreed on a range of other policies.

During the Cold War, an informal agreement guided how member states co-operated on missions, like the invasion of the Suez Canal or the Vietnam War, that were beyond the North Atlantic region and on which not all the allies agreed.

The allies tacitly agreed never to make these out-of-area interventionsmake-or-break questions for the alliance. They would always be secondary tomutual defence; allies could participate if they wished, or take up the slack of defence in Europe in order to allow another member to shift its troops abroad.

But since the Cold War's end, NATO's mandate is less tied to mutual defence. In Bosnia and Kosovo the NATO allies acted to stop ethnic cleansing; on the U.S. Gulf Coast NATO co-coordinated the delivery of aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and in Afghanistan, NATO is charged with providing the security necessary to allow reconstruction.

This blurring of the line between the primary mandate of mutual defence and the secondary one of intervention means the tacit Cold War rules on contentious policies no longer apply. In a way that earlier interventions weren't, Afghanistan is being portrayed as a decisive mission for the credibility of the alliance.

The alliance is thus charting new territory. Part of the reason the issue has been so fraught is that today debates about the future of the alliance are not buffered by the mandate of mutual defence.

NATO's future matters to Canada beyond the immediate question of Afghanistan. How NATO "goes global" will profoundly shape Canada's foreign and defence policy.

In Riga, the allies will discuss the importance of building effective operational relationships with the European Union, the African Union, and the United Nations. This networked strategy is one Canada must support.

Partnerships will allow NATO to act globally, while continuing to focus on its transatlantic core.

Canada needs NATO to be more than a forum for states with shared democratic values. If NATO becomes too large to allow for effective political and military co-operation, or alternatively, less operational and just a talk shop, its members will stopinvesting time and effort into it.

The Europeans will co-operate among themselves, and the Americans will directad-hoc coalitions as they are needed. The organization would fall into disuseand Canada'svoice on the international scene would be smaller and quieter.

This is what we risk if NATO does not work out its differences over Afghanistan.

For Canada,NATO must remain a transatlantic institution because, as a small country, weprofit from both the predictability of an institutionalized setting and aframework that amplifies the international impact of our influence and resources.

NATO needn't be the world's police force, or the army of the community of democracies. It remains, however, Canada's best venue for co-operating with the allies with whom we share history, identity and a track record of working together.

In the late 1940s, Canada helped create an organization that gave us a voice in Europe for more than 50 years.

At Riga, Canada should again make its voice heard, to ensure that it will be heard in Europe and on the international stage for another 50.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Russia begins shipping air defense missiles to Iran

watch here

Download New Army Game

Download New Army Game Special Forces Overmatch v2.7

The long awaited America's Army: Special Forces ("Overmatch") v2.7 has been officially released. With more than 7.5 million registered users, America's Army ranks among the top five online PC action games played worldwide

Trailer Video America's Army: Special Forces ("Overmatch")

Friday, November 24, 2006

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A Mothers Tribute


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Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some salutes from people when she drove from Benton, Ark., to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in her newly-painted, custom Hummer H3 March 2. The vehicle is adorned with the likeness of her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who where all killed by the same improvised explosive device blast in Fallujah, Iraq, in December.

For Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on Iraq's urban battlefield. "I wanted to let people know (Marines) are doing their jobs honorably, and some of them die," said the 39-year-old from Portland, Ore. "I don't want people to forget the sacrifices that my son and the other Marines made."

Leading up to her son's death, Comfort had received several letters from him prior to his return. He had been deployed for five months, and Comfort "worried everyday he was gone until she got the letters and found out the date he was coming home," she said. Marines knocked on the front door of her home in Farmington, Mich., at 3 a.m. with the dreadful news. "I let my guard down when I found out he was coming home," she said. "There are times that I still cannot believe it happened. It's very hard to deal with."

Comfort came up with the idea for the rolling memorial when she and her two other sons attended John's funeral in Portland, Ore. "I saw a Vietnam (War) memorial on a car, and I said to my son Josh, 'we should do something like that for John,'" she recalled. "He loved Hummers."

She purchased the vehicle in January and immediately took it to Airbrush Guy & Co. in Benton, Ark., where artist Robert Powell went to work on changing the plain, black vehicle into a decorative, mobile, art piece. "I only had the vehicle for two days before we took it in," she joked. Two hundred and fifty man-hours later, Powell had completed the vehicle. The custom job would have cost $25,000.

Out of respect for Comfort's loss and the sacrifices the Marines made, Airbrush Guy & Co. did it for free. Comfort only had to purchase the paint, which cost $3,000.

"I love it," she said. "I'm really impressed with it, and I think John would be happy with the vehicle. He would have a big smile on his face because he loved

Hummers." Comfort gave Powell basic instructions on what to include in the paint job. But in addition to the image of her son in Dress Blues and the faces of the nine other Marines, there were several surprises. "He put a lot more on than I expected," she said. "I think my favorite part is the heaven scene."

On the left side of the vehicle, a detail of Marines are depicted carrying their fallen comrades through the clouds to their final resting place. The American flag drapes across the hood, the words, "Semper Fi" crown the front windshield and the spare tire cover carries the same Eagle Globe and Anchor design that her son had tattooed on his back.

"All the support I have been getting is wonderful," she said.

Comfort decided to move back to her hometown of Portland, and making the cross-country trip from Arkansas was a way for her to share her son's story. It's also her way of coping with the loss. "Along the way I got nothing but positive feedback from people," she said.

"What got to me was when people would salute the guys (Marines). It's hard to look at his picture. I still cry and try to get used to the idea, but it's hard to grasp the idea that he's really gone."

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - A Soldier who pleaded guilty to conspiring to rape a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and kill her family described how he was approached by a fellow Soldier with the plan to carry out the attack.

Soldier Describes Genesis of Rape Plan
Associated Press | November 16, 2006

Spc. James P. Barker, one of four U.S. Soldiers accused in the March 12 rape and killings, pleaded guilty Wednesday and agreed to testify against the others. He will avoid the death penalty, said his attorney, David Sheldon.

Barker told military judge Lt. Col. Richard Anderson that 21-year-old former Army private Steve Green approached him with a plan to attack the family as they drank whiskey purchased from Iraqi soldiers.

"He brought it up to me and asked me what I thought about it," Barker said. "By the time we started changing clothes, it was more or less a nonverbal agreement that we were going to go along with what we were discussing."

The plea agreement calls for Barker to serve at least life in prison. Anderson was expected to decide in a hearing Thursday whether Barker should be allowed to seek parole.

Barker, 23, described changing clothes, then climbing through backyards as the five Soldiers left the checkpoint they had been manning to carry out the attack.

"We went through a chain link fence on the back of the property that had been cut on a previous patrol," he said.

The killings in Mahmoudiya, a village about 20 miles south of Baghdad, were among the worst in a series of alleged attacks on civilians and other abuses by military personnel in Iraq.

Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, 24, and Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, 22, members of the 101st Airborne Division along with Barker, have also been charged in the case. Cortez has deferred entering a plea and Spielman will be arraigned in December. Pfc. Bryan L. Howard, 19, also deferred entering a plea at his arraignment in October.

Green pleaded not guilty last week to civilian charges including murder and sexual assault. He was discharged from the Army for a "personality disorder" before the allegations became known, and prosecutors have yet to say if they will pursue the death penalty against him.

Barker described in vivid detail how he raped Abeer Qassim al-Janabi with Cortez and Green before Green killed the girl, her younger sister and parents.

"Cortez pushed her to the ground. I went towards the top of her and kind of held her hands down while Cortez proceeded to lift her dress up," he said. "Around that time I heard shots coming from a room next door."

The defendants are accused of burning the girl's body to conceal the crime.

Howard, Cortez and Spielman could face the death penalty if convicted. Cortez and Spielman are both being held in confinement and Howard is restricted to post.

Barker did not name Spielman and Howard as participants in the rape and murders but said they were at the house when the assault took place and had come knowing what the others intended to do.

At one point, the judge asked Barker why he had decided with the other Soldiers to commit the rape and murders.

"I hated Iraqis, your honor," Barker said. "They can smile at you, then shoot you in your face without even thinking about it."

The Soldiers were stationed in a violent area known as the "Triangle of Death" because of frequent attacks on Soldiers patrolling the roads. Soldiers in Barker's unit were often asked to spend weeks manning remote checkpoints, where several from the unit died.

Sheldon told reporters during a news conference following the hearing that Barker took responsibility for his actions, but he also said the U.S. Army was to blame for the way the war in Iraq was being fought.

"The United States Army did not ... put enough Soldiers on the checkpoints," Sheldon said. "It's very important that the public knows that this type of thing can happen again if the Army doesn't take measures to put enough troops on the front line in the war against terrorism, the war in Iraq."

Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion



After the attack on Pearl Harbor
He applied for sea duty in the war.
Where Lieutenant John F. Kennedy
Became known for his bravery and more.

In the dark hours before dawn
On August 2, of 43.
Kennedy commanded a torpedo boat
Through the blackness of night at sea.

PT – 109, was on Solomon's patrol
With a 12-man crew in a plywood craft.
A Japanese destroyer plowed through the night
Ramming and cutting Kennedy's boat in half.

Two of the crew just disappeared
A third was badly burned.
Kennedy himself was thrown to the deck,
Where in pain his leadership he earned.

Some of his men had never learned to swim
As he gathered them on the bobbing bow.
The hours passed tell it seemed it would sink
So they made for an island and here's how.

He ordered those who could to swim
The others were to hang on to a beam.
Kennedy grabbed the injured sailor
And off they tread through the ocean stream.

With his teeth clenched on the burnt man's vest straps
Skipper Kennedy swam 3 miles.
5 hours later they all made it
Despite their hardships, sharks, and trials.

The next problem was how to summon up help
Without arousing the enemy all around.
After several attempts swimming to other islands
Eventually two natives in a canoe were found.

Kennedy scratch a note on a coconut
To be delivered to a base 38 miles away.
The message made it and they were saved
And their courage still lives us today.

By Tom Zart - email
Most Published Poet
On The Web

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Operation Al Fajr

Check out the Marines of India Co. 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment,

take over the streets of Fallujah.

wmv, 7.7 MB

Additional Wounded Warrior Legislation to be Introduced
Week of November 20, 2006

U.S. Senator Larry Craig announced recently that he will soon introduce legislation to expand benefits for veterans not covered under current provisions of the Wounded Warrior benefit. The expanded definition, if adopted by Congress, will allow servicemembers injured outside the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operation -- from October 7, 2001, but before December 1, 2005 -- to receive payment for serious injures. Officially know as Traumatic Injury Protection under SGLI (TSGLI), the original legislation created a new benefit rider last year to the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Program (SGLI). For more information on Traumatic Injury Protection, visit

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Get The Military Benefit Guide

Save time and money -- this guide will tell you everything you need to know about your benefits including the GI Bill, Tuition Assistance, Military Pay, VA Loans, TRICARE and more. Supplies
order one today.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Authorize the Award of the Cold War Service Medal

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Join Cold War Veterans Association Today

ELIGIBILITY: The Cold War Veterans Association (CWVA) is a tax-exempt, federally-recognized 501(c)(19) veterans service organization open to honorably discharged veterans and active-duty personnel who served at any time during the Cold War period .. September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991. (NOTE: RESERVISTS and National Guardsmen who engaged in basic training, advanced training, and/or annual training during this period ARE ELIGIBLE.)

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pace to Guard: Fewer, More Predictable Deployments Coming

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Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with Soldiers after a town hall meeting at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, Nov. 14. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen

Nov 15, 2006


Marine Gen. Peter Pace told about 500 National Guard troops wrapping up a year-long deployment with Kosovo Force 7 the most important thing the military can offer them is a basic idea of when and how frequently they'll be called up for duty.

Questions from the group focused on the frequency and length of National Guard deployments, as well as train-up time between mobilization and deployment. This pre-deployment training typically brings Guardsmen's full active-duty time to 18 to 24 months.

Pace said the benchmark he'd like to see on the active force is a one-year deployment, followed by two years at home station before deploying again. For Guardsmen and reservists, the ideal would be five years at home between one-year deployments, he said.

Efforts under way are helping make this goal achievable, Pace said. The Army is building its active brigade combat teams from 33 to 42, and now has 36, he noted. At the same time, the National Guard is reducing from 34 brigades that weren't totally manned or equipped to 28 brigades that will be, he said.

These initiatives will provide 18 to 19 Army brigades, as well as one or two Marine regimental combat brigades, ready to deploy at any given time. Pace said this would ensure "a sustainable tempo".. for troops that matches his deployment benchmarks.

The problem for now, he said, is that current operations require 25 brigade-size units at a time. That demand will require more frequent deployments until the force restructure is completed, he said. Another problem is that many Guardsmen and reservists needed for these rotations already volunteered for deployments in the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Deploying volunteers as individuals, rather than calling entire units to duty involuntarily, "made really good sense -- until Iraq came along," he said. "And then we needed units in Iraq."

Many troops in those units already had served voluntary deployments in Afghanistan, so they weren't required to deploy again. That left holes in their units that had to be filled by pulling troops from other units, he said, solving the short-term problem but exacerbating the long-term one.

"We're up now, after doing this for four or five years, to having some units having to pull from seven, eight or nine different units to kludge together the unit you need,".. Pace said. "We need to stop that. And we need to stop it on a predictable basis."..

Pace said the best way to do that is to "reset the clock and do it properly."..

Every Guardsman and reservist would be told "where you are in your cycle, when you are going to be eligible to go for one year and when you're not going to be eligible for the next five years," he said.

The cycle would continue, regardless of whether a deployment-eligible troop actually deployed. "And we'll just keep the cycle going so that trainers, recruiters, everybody in the unit understands when you are eligible to go and when you're not," he said.

This predicable timeline will help Guardsmen and reservists tailor their time between deployments to hone skills they will need for their next deployment, the chairman said.

In doing so, he said, they can reduce the training they need after they're mobilized for that deployment and speed up the timetable, he said.

"Nirvana for me would be that you have four to six weeks of active duty at home before you went, because you would have already been trained up well enough and all you'd have to is get out and do your final touches before you fought,".. he said.

This would be a win-win situation, the chairman said. "If we need you quickly for something, you'll be available more quickly," he said. And troops will have the advance notice they deserve to plan, prepare and plan for a deployment.

Pace emphasized that while this formula would work well for routine missions that can be planned ahead, it won't necessarily work in cases "where something strange happens in the world and we need more troops."..

When that happens, "we just fight the nation's battles,".. he said. "But we can give you a predictability of when your unit would be subject to mobilization and activation. And then, if the nation needs more than 20 brigades at a time, we would have to dip into the rest of the pool."

Happy BirthDay Bryce

You and the rest of the Death Dealers have a safe trip Home

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Nov. 11 2006

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