< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://echo9er.blogspot.com" > Echo9er: June 2005

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Update on Downed Chinook

Via Michelle Malkin.

From Kabul, Afghanistan via NYT:

United States and Afghan troops today reached the site of a downed military helicopter that crashed in a mountainous area this week, the United States military announced. The military said Wednesday that the aircraft appeared to have been brought down by hostile fire.
Keep the fallen heroes and their families in your prayers.

The milbloggers have full coverage of the crash and the 16 brave troops whose bodies have been recovered:

Smash has a roundup. Matthew Heidt, a Navy SEAL, has details on the crew and will discuss the crash on Hugh Hewitt's show today. Writes Heidt:

This is a very sad day for the Naval Special Warfare Community, and I would ask that those of you who are able, will donate to the Naval Special Warfare Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation for the benefit of these families.

Hugh Hewitt will also have on Michael Yon, reporting from Baghdad, and other top milbloggers, as well as Mark Steyn. Listen online here. The show will be raising money for the United Warrior Survivor Foundation.

There is just no way I can post this better. Salute to Michelle.

Casualties - June 30, 2005

Condolences to the Family, Friends, and Comrades of the following Americans who lost their lives while in the pursuit of gaining freedom for others

United States Army

DoD Release #: 665-05 -- Spc. Robert E. Hall Jr., 30, of Pittsburgh, Pa., died June 28 in Ad Dujayl, Iraq, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted position at the gate of his forward operating base. Hall was assigned to the Army Reserve's 467th Engineer Battalion, Greenwood, Miss.

Click on the names above for more information (Salute to Fallen Heroes Memorial)

Korean War Missing in Action Serviceman Identified

Ahhh. It is always good at the Echo9er Blog to post these "Good News!" stories.

After more tha 50 years the Family, Friends, and Comrades of Private First Class Lowell W. Bellar can finally close this chapter of their lives and open another.

PFC Bellar's unit was surrounded and overrun by Chinese Communist forces near the Chosin Reservoir in northeast North Korea. Records compiled after the battle indicate that Bellar was killed in action Dec. 1, 1950.

Welcome home PFC Bellar and may God bless you and your family.

DoD Release #: 661-05

Korean War Missing in Action Serviceman Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. Army soldier, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial in Schererville, Ind.

He is Pfc. Lowell W. Bellar of Gary, Ind. He is to be buried on July 15, the date of his birth in 1931.

In November - December 1950, Bellar’s unit, Company M, 31st Infantry Regiment, was surrounded and overrun by Chinese Communist forces near the Chosin Reservoir in northeast North Korea. Elements of his unit joined other U.S. forces in the breakout and fighting retreat to relative safety further south to an area near the village of Hagaru. Regimental records compiled after the battle indicate that Bellar was killed in action Dec. 1, 1950. More than 1,000 men, primarily Marines and Army soldiers, are still missing in North Korea from the Chosin campaign.

Joint U.S.-North Korean recovery teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) excavated a site in North Korea in September 2001, and again in October, that was believed to be the location where American soldiers were buried. They recovered remains believed to be those of 12 individuals, some of which were later identified as those of Bellar.

Laboratory analysis of the remains by forensic scientists at JPAC led to Bellar’s identification. Comparisons of Bellar’s mitochondrial DNA data with samples from his family were key factors in their finding.

Of the 88,000 Americans unaccounted for from all conflicts, approximately 8,100 are from the Korean War. Remains believed to be those of more than 220 American servicemen have been recovered in joint operations in North Korea since 1996.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

Update - July 15, 2005.

I received this email from a Sergeant who played Taps at this funeral.

I played Taps at this funeral today. It was a very nice service, and the funeral team, and everyone involved did a great job of honoring this fallen soldier so long after his passing. It was great to see so much care taken in spite of the years that have passed.
It was so nice to hear from someone that attended the service. Thank you, SGT, for your selfless service to our country and to our fallen heroes.

One-eyed Sniper will Return to Iraq

This story from The North County Times.

One-eyed sniper will return to Iraq

By: J. Stryker Meyer - North County Times
Last modified Monday, June 27, 2005 8:56 PM PDT

Last Friday, Camp Pendleton graduated 11 of the 27 candidates who started its sniper class. And the honor graduate of that class ---- who declined to be interviewed ---- is a corporal who will soon return to Iraq for his third tour of duty in that angry land.

During his second tour of duty in Iraq, this young man lost one eye to encounters wth the enemy. Friday, this proud graduate received the Jim Gularti sniper school award, named after the former Oceanside Police Department officer and Vietnam-era Marine sniper who works as a civilian instructor at the sniper school.

Gularti, who attended the graduation, said, "This young Marine epitomizes Corps values and family pride. He recovered from personal tragedy to excel in a select goup of Marines. His father is Cambodian. He told me, 'All I have is my son, it's my way of paying back the U.S. for helping Cambodia in the '60s.' This family apreciates all that is right about this country, in some ways, more than those who are born here and take all that it offers for granted."
Now this is a story of Grit and Determination. I wish this young Corporal all the luck in the world. He has survived his initial post in Hell. From the old Mack Bolen paperback book series - "Stay Hard."


Salute to A Collection of Thoughts.

Protesters Disrupt a Fallen Heroes Funeral

Visit Blackfive for this post.

It's one thing to protest the war. It's one thing to advocate and demonstrate for a pet cause. BUT, it is wrong to disrupt the funeral service for a Hero that allows the freedom of these people to protest. These actions are just WRONG.

These things happened at the funeral of Staff Sergeant Christopher Piper. He was laid to rest honorably and with dignity, but. . .

Previous posts here and here.

Salute to Blackfive.

A Guide to US Military Insignia

If you ever wanted to learn Military Rank Insigna or the varuious services, then this is the place to find them.

Dan Franks has been working on a big project. It is now finished and is VERY well put together. It is an interactive presentation showing the Military Insignia of all the military service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines.

He shows the Branch Insignia, Qualification Badges, and Rank Insignia on a varety of uniform types.
I've left out some things, like special duty badges, such as Joint Staff service, and the like, and have confined the presentation to the common uniform insignia. I've done this for two reasons. First, there's about a million special badges across all the armed services. Second, I had to draw about 98% of everything in the presentation by hand. That was just too much work.
Dan's Blog, The QandO Blog, is here, with his post describing the project here.

A Guide to Military Insignia is here.

Salute to Blackfive.

Colored Rice??

Wed Jun 29, 8:35 PM ET
TAIPEI, Taiwan - With Taiwanese youngsters increasingly drawn to Western hamburgers and fries, government researchers are trying to lure them back with something more traditional — sort of: rainbow-colored rice.

Cauleen likes rice. She will have rice over potatos any day of the week, no, make that EVRY meal of EVERY day of the week, if she had the choice.

Fortunately I like rice, too. But i NEED the occasional mashed potatos an gravy or French Fries (American Fries??).

I guess this is a good idea to try to psychologically get kids to think of rice other than, well, rice. See the whole story here.

I guess this also falls in line with colored salt.

On this Day

Thursday, June 30th
The 181st day of 2005
There are 184 days left in the year

Today's Highlights in History

On June 30, 1997, in Hong Kong, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time over Government House as Britain prepared to hand the colony back to China after ruling it for 156 years. (Go to article.)

On June 30, 1868, Mabel Cratty, American social worker and head of the Y.W.C.A., was born. Following her death on Feb. 27, 1928, her obituary appeared in The Times. (Go to obit. Other Birthdays)

On June 30, 1883, Harper's Weekly featured a cartoon about pollution in New York Harbor.
(See the cartoon and read an explanation.)

Reference: The New York Times

The follwowing courtesy Iraq War Today

Today in History
1294 - Jews are expelled from Berne, Switzerland.
1794 - Battle of Fort Recovery, Ohio.
1834 - Congress creates the Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
1859 - Charles Blondin becomes the first to cross Niagara Falls - on a tightrope.
1862 - Day 6 of the 7 Days - Battle of White Oak Swamp.
1893 - The Excelsior diamond (a 995 carat blue-white diamond) is discovered.
1894 - Korea declares independence from China, requesting Japanese aid.
1914 - Mahatma Gandhi's is arrested for the first time.
1934 - In the "Night of the Long Knives," Hitler purges the Nazi Party.
1936 - The federal 40-hour work week law is approved.
1939 - The Heinkel He. 176 rocket plane takes its maiden flight.
1940 - The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is established.
1942 - The New Orleans U.S. Mint in New Orleans closes down.
1950 - President Truman orders American troops into Korea.
1956 - Over the Grand Canyon, a United Airlines DC-7 and a TWA Super Constellation collide, killing 128.
1960 - Zaire (then the Belgian Congo) gains independence from Belgium.
1961 - Explorer-12 fails to reach an Earth orbit.
1962 - Rwanda and Burundi become independent.
1964 - Centaur-3 fails to reach an Earth orbit.
1967 - Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., is named as the first African-American astronaut .
1971 - Ohio becomes the 38th state to approve lowering the voting age to 18, thereby ratifying the 26th Amendment.
1972 - The first leap second day
1977 - Jimmy Carter cans the B-1A bomber; he later "B-1's the B-52"; the U.S. Railway Post Office makes its final train run (NY to DC).
1981 - China's Communist Party condemns the Mao Tse-tung's policies during the Cultural Revolution
1982 - The Federal Equal Rights Amendment misses ratification by three states.
1985 - The 39 remaining hostages from Flight 847 are freed in Beirut. (for info, see here, here, here, and here)
1989 - Attorney General Thornburgh orders Joseph Doherty (IRA) deported to the UK; Congressman Lukins is convicted of having sex with a 16-year-old girl; NASA closes down its tracking stations in Santiago, Chile and Guam; the NY State Legislature passes the Staten Island seccession bill.

1470 - King Charles VIII of France
1768 - Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, First Lady
1819 - William A. Wheeler, 19th Vice President
1837 - Stephen D. Ramseur, youngest West Pointer to become a Major General

1961 - Dr. Lee De Forest, radio pioneer
1971 - Three cosmonauts, as Soyuz XI depressurizes during reentry
1974 - Mrs. Albert King, Sr. (mother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), murdered in church

Reported Missing in Action

Allen, Merlin R.; USMC (WI); CH46A shot down, KIA, body not recovered
Cole, Legrande O., Jr., USN (CT); A4C shot down, remains returned May, 1989
House, John A. II, USMC (NY); pilot of CH46A shot down, KIA, body not recovered
Howard, Luther H., US Army (NC); drowned, body not recovered
Judd, Michael B. , USMC (OH); CH46A shot down, body not recovered
Killen, John D. III, USMC (IA); CH46A shot down, KIA, body not recovered
McGrath, John Michael, USN (CO); A4C shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998
Runnels, Glyn L., Jr., USMC (AL); CH46A shot down, KIA, body not recovered
Bell, Marvin E., USAF (AR); HH53C shot down while attempting to rescue a downed pilot, remains returned March, 1995**
Burgess, John L., US Army (MI); UH1H shot down, KIA, body not recovered
Dean, Michael F. USAF (CA); HH53C shot down while attempting to rescue a downed pilot, remains returned March, 1995**
Goeglein, John W., USAF (MO); HH53C shot down while attempting to rescue a downed pilot, remains returned March, 1995**
Hill, Gordon Clark, USAF (WA); F4E shot down, presumed KIA
Jenkins, Paul L., USAF (AR); HH53C shot down while attempting to rescue a downed pilot, remains returned March, 1995**
Sadler, Mitchell Olen, Jr., USAF (CA); F4E shot down
Sanders, Williams S., USAF (ME); HH53C shot down while attempting to rescue a downed pilot, remains returned March, 1995**
Schaneberg, Leroy C., USAF (IL); pilot of HH53C shot down while attempting to rescue a downed pilot, remains returned March, 1995
Bridges, Philip W. , US Army (CA); presumed Killed when the explosives truck he was driving blew up, body not recovered.
** In March, 1995, remains were returned that could not conclusively be identified as any of the individuals in the Chinook. Personal items were included with the remains. It is felt that the remains may represent 1-2 people.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Happy Birthday (Belated)

The US Marine Corps had a celebrated birthday on June 26th. From That1Guy:

"I want to go where the guns are."

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time."

"We're surrounded...That simplifies our problems."

At Koto-Ri in Korea, when an Army captain asked him for the direction of the line of retreat, this man 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."

These are quotes from a Marine hero. Today is the birthdate of Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine in history. A man so hardcore, he tried to get himself reinstated in the Corps to fight in Viet Nam... he was sixty-eight.

Happy Birthday, Chesty, wherever you are.

Drink you bastards... drink.

Although I was not a Marine, I would been proud to serve with Chesty Puller. See his bio here.

Salute to The Laughing Wolf

Class of 2009

U.S. Army photo by Leslie Gordnier
CLASS OF 2009 – Members of the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2009 march back to the barracks after taking the Oath of Allegiance at Trophy Point, West Point, N.Y., June 27, 2005. U.S. Army photo by Leslie Gordnier -- Story; More Photos; West Point Photos

Shall we try to ponder the changes in Military Strategy and warfare in general as these future officers learn their trade? What challenges will they face? What triumphs will they accomplish? How many will get the coveted commission?

I served with many officers that were West Point Graduates. Almost all attained the rank of Colonel before they retired. Quite a few were Generals. It was an honor to serve with each and every one of them. I wish the best for each of these new cadets, and hope the future is one of Peace.


Via Defense Link

All Things Breakfast

I really like the Internet. I mean I REALLY LIKE the Internet. I never got on the Citizen's (CB) Radio craze. So when I got my first computer (an Atari 800) and modem, I realized the the Electronic Bulletin Board was the CB that I missed in an earlier age.

Well, as I continue to explore the Internet, I find some good sites. This one is such a site.

I probably LOVE breakfast more than any other meal, and I can honestly say the Breakfast s much higher on the list than the Internet. But, I woundn't have found Mr Breakfast.com without it.

This site has breakfast recipies I have never heard of and some I am glad to have never heard of. From 125 way to make toast, to the Breakfast Club song, this site has over 1200 breakfast recipies. You can even create and print your own custom cereal box.

The following Breakfast Drink is listed as a "Breakfast in bed favrite."

Peach Bellini
(1 serving)

1/3 cup fresh peach juice
2/3 cup Champagne (or sparkling Prosecco sparkling wine)
1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoons sugar or 1 sugar cube
mint sprig for garnish
In glass or bowl, stir peach juice with lemon juice... and sugar if not using cubes.

Pour mixture into a champagne flute.

Gently, top off the flute with the Champangne or sparkling wine, so that there is a layer of peach juice and a layer of champagne/wine.

If using sugar cubes, drop the cube in glass when serving. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint.

Alternate recipe: Replace peach juice, sugar and lemon juice with peach schnapps and a dash of grenadine. Not as pretty, but still pretty tasty.

Recipe number 1464. Submitted 4/27/2005.
Send comments regarding this recipe to recipecomment@MrBreakfast.com.

Salute to J-Walk

Head to Vermont!

Looking for something to do this Summer. You only have until October to enjoy the rest of Moosefest in Bennington Vermont.

This event runs from May through October. Apparently this is the first year of Moosefest, and the organizers are expecting some 200,000 visitors. There are 57 life-size Moose exhibits as well as other Arts and Crafts type stuff.

Moosefest-Bennington Vermont - May-October 2005

Make tracks to Bennington, Vermont....... Yes.... A whole herd of Marvelous Moose- zany, colorful, humorous, delightful, charming, wonderful Moose are coming to Bennington in 2005! Moosefest 2005 will offer events and promotions from May 2005-October 2005 throughout the Bennington, Vermont area. Patrons & Artists will be promoted in print, on the web, at events & in the streets!!

The Urinal as Art

Clark Sorenson has designed, put on exhibit, and sold a few of his collection of Flower Shaped Urinals and other Nature Inspired Sculptures. The exhibit is called "Nature's Call." For only $7500.00, you can have this beautiful Nautilus Shell Urinal in your bathroom.

Nautilus Shell Urinal - 17

All pieces are made of high fire porcelain and fired to cone 10 in an oxidation atmosphere. The urinals are made of the same material of commercial toilets and can be installed and used. Each has been hand built and is a one-of-a-kind work of art - these pieces are not molded or mass produced . . .

This would go good with the Aquarium Toilet, and Sink.

Casualties - June 29, 2005

Condolences to the Family, Friends, and Comrades of the following Americans who lost their lives while in the pursuit of gaining freedom for others

United States Army

DoD Release #: 658-05 -- 2nd Lt. Matthew S. Coutu, 23, of North Kingstown, R.I., died June 27 in Baghdad, Iraq, where enemy forces engaged his convoy with small arms fire. Coutu was assigned to the 64th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

Dod Release #: 659-05 -- The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on June 27 near Taji, Iraq, where their AH-64D Apache helicopter crashed. Both soldiers were assigned to the Army's 3rd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed were:

Chief Warrant Officer Keith R. Mariotti, 39, of Texas.
Chief Warrant Officer Steven E. Shepard, 30, of Purcell, Okla.

United States Navy

No DoD Releases at this time

United States Air Force

No DoD Releases at this time

United States Marine Corps

No DoD Releases at this time

Click on the names above for more information (Salute to Fallen Heroes Memorial)

On this Day

Wednesday, June 29th
The 180th day of 2005
There are 185 days left in the year

Today's Highlights in History

On June 29, 1995, the shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir docked, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth. (Go to article.)

On June 29, 1868, George Ellery Hale, the American astronomer, was born. Following his death on Feb. 21, 1938, his obituary appeared in The Times. (Go to obit. Other Birthdays)

On June 29, 1861, Harper's Weekly featured a cartoon about Kentucky's neutrality during the early months of the Civil War.
(See the cartoon and read an explanation.)

Reference: The New York Times

The follwowing courtesy Iraq War Today

Today in History
1613 - Shakespeare's Globe Theater burns down
1767 - The British Parliament passes The Townshend Acts, levying taxes on America.
1776 - Virginia adopts its state constitution, and names Patrick Henry as governor.
1862 - Day 5 of the 7 Days-Battle of Savage's Station
1863 - Lee orders his forces to concentrate near Gettysburg, PA.
1913 - The Second Balkan War begins.
1916 - The first flight of a Boeing aircraft.
1940 - The U.S. passes the Alien Registration Act.
1949 - South Africa begins implementing apartheid with the banning of mixed marriages; U.S. troops withdraw from Korea following WW II.
1952 - The USS Oriskany becomes the first aircraft carrier to sail around Cape Horn (she was decommissioned in 1989, and now is due to be scuttled in May 2006 to form the world's largest artificial reef.
1954 - The Atomic Energy Commission votes against Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer's reinstatement.
1964 - After more than eighty days of Senate filibuster, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed.
1965 - USAF Captain Joseph Henry Engle reaches 85,530 m in the X-15.
1966 - The U.S. bombs fuel storage facilities near North Vietnamese cities.
1967 - Israel re-unifies Jersualem, removing barricades.
1969 - The first Jewish worship service is held at the White House.
1970 - The U.S. concludes a two-month military offensive into Cambodia.
1971 - Soyuz 11 docks with Salyut 1 for 22 days .
1972 - The U.S.S.R. launches Prognoz 2 into Earth orbit.
1982 - The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is extended.
1984 - The U.S.S.R. offers to start talks on banning SDI.
1985 - NASA launches Intelsat VA

1858 - George Washington Goethals, engineer (Panama Canal)
1865 - Shigechiyo Izumi, achieved oldest authenticated age (120 y 237 d) ; William E. Borah lawyer/(Sen-ID)
1934 - Carl Levin (Sen-MI)
1948 - Fred Grandy, actor (Gopher-"Love Boat")/(Rep-Iowa)

1852 - Henry Clay, Senator, Secretary of State, "The Great Compromiser"
1923 - General J.C. Gomez, Venezuala's first vice president, assassinated
1978 - Bob Crane, actor (Hogan's Heroes), murdered

Reported Missing in Action

Lindsey, Marvin Nelson, USAF (LA); RF101C shot down, no parachute seen
Jones, Murphy N., USAF (LA); F105D shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - retired from the USAF as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998
Hardy, William H., US Army ; Released by DRV February, 1973 - alive as of 1996
Owen, Timothy S., US Army (NY); disappeared while conducting a night ambush
Aldern, Donald D., USN (SD); A7A shot down, no parachute seen

Air Force Officer MIA from Vietnam War is Identified

What a way to start the Blog Posting Day.

Another "Good News" Story. After almost 40 years, the family, friends and comrades for Lieutant Colonel Darel T. Leetun can close a chapter and open another.

LTC Leeetun went missing in September, 1966 when his plane came under enemy fire and was shot down in North Viet Nam. There was no emergency beacon signal and no parachute observed.

Welcome home LTC Leetun and may God Bless you and yours.

DoD Release #: 656-05

Air Force Officer MIA from Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial.

He is Air Force Lt. Col. Darel D. Leetun of Hettinger, N.D. Leetun will be buried with full military honors July 8 at Arlington National Cemetery.

On Sept. 17, 1966, Leetun led a bombing mission over Lang Son province, North Vietnam when his F-105D ‘Thunderchief’ aircraft was hit by enemy fire. Other pilots in the flight observed the aircraft crash, but did not receive emergency beeper signals nor observe a parachute.

Vietnamese and U.S. specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) conducted three investigations between 1991 and 1995 as they sought information on Leetun’s crash site. During one of the investigations, Vietnamese villagers led investigators to a hillside location where human remains were found. Additional site investigations by a Vietnam team and a JPAC team in 1999 and 2004 respectively yielded no new evidence.

JPAC scientists and Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory specialists used mitochondrial DNA as one of the forensic tools to help identify the remains as those of Leetun.

Of those Americans unaccounted-for from all conflicts, 1,833 are from the Vietnam War, with 1,397 of those within the country of Vietnam. Another 750 Americans have been accounted for in Southeast Asia since the end of the Vietnam War. Of the Americans identified, 524 are from within Vietnam.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

News story here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


US Army Photo
MEDEVAC — U.S. Army Sgt. Amanda Watkins, right, a flight medic, escorts stretcher bearers with a wounded Iraqi soldier to a waiting Black Hawk helicopter for medical evacuation. Watkins is assigned to the 1159th Medical Company. The company helicopters serve as airborne emergency rooms, treating wounded Iraqi and Coalition Forces soldiers, Iraqi civilians and suspected insurgents. U.S. Army photo -- Story

"Our whole purpose in life is to get the medics to the patients, and the
patients to the hospital. If we have a patient where every second counts, we
push the aircraft harder. . ."
Other News

Police Graduate 86 from Training
Rumsfeld: Iraq Progress 'Solid'
Rumsfeld Praises Shiia Majority
Rumsfeld Discusses Iraqi Forces
Abizaid: Insurgency Has 'No Chance'
Apache Copter Crash Kills 2
Navy Qualifies Patrol Boat Officers
Texas Guard Troops Secure Communications
Airmen, Soldiers Open Lines of Communication
Explosives Disposal Tests Experts in Iraq
Troop K Keeps Routes Safe, Trains Iraqi Army
Soldiers Train Iraqi Firefighters to Save Lives
Airmen Add Armor to Convoy Vehicles

Afghans Rescued from Floodwaters
Abizaid Visits Afghan Army Troops
Afghan Ready to Begin West Point
Soldiers Discover, Neutralize IEDs
Indiana Guard Enlisted Leaders Recognized
Bagram Airfield Hooks Marine Prowlers
Afghan Crash Site to Become Training Area
Afghan Village Benefits from Students' Efforts

Rumsfeld Addresses Detainee Issues
Guantanamo Troops Contribute
Abizaid Addresses Public Support
Commentary: Support for Troops

Veterans Court May be Created

An interesting story from The Seattle PI:

Veterans court may be created (6/28/2005)

Seattle is considering launching a new court to help homeless veterans take care of the legal problems hanging over them without getting thrown in jail. . .

. . ."We're trying to marshal all the resources that exist to help them overcome the reasons that they live on the street," Presiding Judge Fred Bonner of Seattle Municipal Court said.

On this Day

Tuesday, June 28th
The 179th day of 2005
There are 186 days left in the year

Today's Highlights in History

On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in France, ending World War I. (Go to article.)

On June 28, 1902, Richard Rodgers, the American composer who was a major force in 20th century musical comedy, was born. Following his death on Dec. 30, 1979, his obituary appeared in The Times. (Go to obit. Other Birthdays)

On June 28, 1884, Harper's Weekly featured a cartoon about the presidential election of 1884.
(See the cartoon and read an explanation.)

Reference: The New York Times

Monday, June 27, 2005

Iraq Transition of Power

It has been a year since Iraq signed the letter stating its sovereignty. I have said it here before, and I will say it here again. This war against terrorism is a necessary evil. The cost is high, but the cause is right. Regardless of your politics, the freedoms we hold near and dear to our hearts deserve to be held by others. If that means taking the fight across the world to eliminate as many terrorists as we can, then I am all for it.

We, America, must stand for Democracy and Freedom at all costs, as we have done so in the past. We America, must lead the way to demonstrate Democracy and Freedom. We, America, must sacrifice for what is right.

Oppression is not the way to lead a country or people. Deomcracy and Freedom is the way to lead a country and people. We, America, must lead the way and provide that knowledge to those who are in need. -- Hooah!

Day of Great Hope
"Earlier today, 15 months after the liberation of Iraq, and two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a free and sovereign Iraqi government ... After decades of brutal rule by a terror regime, the Iraqi people have their country back. This is a day of great hope for Iraqis and a day that terrorist enemies hoped never to see. The terrorists are doing all they can to stop the rise of a free Iraq, but their bombs and attacks have not prevented Iraqi sovereignty, and they will not prevent Iraqi democracy."
---President George W. Bush, June 28, 2004

Freely Elected, Determined
“The Iraqi people and their freely elected government … are determined to face down those who would destroy their hopes. They are determined to carry out a political process that will lead to a free and democratic Iraq. And we believe that the region, and indeed the world, will be more secure when that day is realized."
---Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Int'l Conference on Iraq

Transition to Sovereignty (Photo Essay)
One Year Ago

Related Stories
Progress in Iraq Takes Back Seat to Violence in Media
Rumsfeld Clarifies Status of Iraqi Security Forces
Myers: Strategy Right, U.S. Must Stay Course in Iraq
Abizaid: Insurgents Have 'No Chance'
Despite Perception, War in Iraq Going Well
World Community Pledges to Support Free, Democratic Iraq
Political Process Will Stay on Course

Timeline & Fact Sheets
Backgrounder: Iraqi Interim Government
Fact Sheet: The Transition to Iraqi Self-Government
Iraq Timeline 2002 - 2005
White House: Renewal in Iraq

Words of Wisdom

Words of wisdom from highly decorated Special Forces Combat Veteran and ex-POW Major Mark Smith:

There is not much more to say or add to this. HOOAH!!

I Believe

1. When one free American is engaged by an enemy, the entire Nation must be dedicated to his defense.

2. When an enemy stalks us, the time for talk is over.

3. If any country, group, religious sect or individual threatens America, we must kill them.

4. There is no need to search for answers as to why some overseas do not like us. We should not care.

5. The military is not a social experiment and the debate ends when one signs the dotted line.

6. Presidents have very little to do with the economy going up, but can play a great role in it going down.

7. No school teacher or social worker has the right to tell my minor child that things I have taught are morally wrong are alright.

8. Anyone breaking into my house deserves to be shot. Regardless of his habit, social background, ethnic group or even if his family is hungry.

9. Every nationality which denies an American; services, land rights, home ownership or the right to work should be treated by those same rules in the USA.

10. Any nation which refers to Americans in a derisive way; foreigner, farang, Yankee, honkie, white/black man and etc, should be prepared to be referred to in those same terms or local equivalent.

11. That no minority in America has the right to refer to White Americans in a derisive way (honkie, cracker, redneck) any more than White Americans have the right to refer to people as; Niggers Gooks, Greasers or Rednecks.

12. If you desecrate my flag, I have the right to show my "political dissent" by kicking your butt.

13. Whatever discharge you got from the military should only be changed to correct technical errors and must be an open book to all future employers, voters etc.

14. The Boy Scouts are allowed to keep homosexuals out of the camp site.

15. Michael Jackson is a serial molester.

16. O.J. is a multiple murderer and Scott Peterson deserves a lethal injection now.

17. The KKK members who killed the White and Black "Freedom Riders" should be hung now, regardless of how old they are. The same goes for those that bombed churches, schools and homes.

18. If you are high on PCP, the police can beat you till you stop resisting.

19. If you are caught in civilian attire, using civilians as a shield, killing soldiers or civilians, you are not covered by the Geneva Convention/Law of Land Warfare and can be shot on the spot. If I decide to capture you out of the goodness of my heart, you have no rights.

20. If you go on the internet and advocate the killing of Americans, including our military personnel, I have the right to beat you to death if I meet you.

21. John Kerry could not carry the C-rations of a real warrior.

22. We have every right to call our country America and don’t care if the rest of North and South America do not like it. You are two hundred years late.

23. That dope dealers deserve to be shot.

24. No illegal alien should get anything but a trip home the first time and substantial jail time the second.

25. If a foreign country starves it’s own people, we have no legal or moral obligation to feed them, but we may arm them to rebel if it is in our interests.

26. North Korea should be allowed to wallow in it’s own crap until it’s own people rise up and kill the leadership, then and only then should we help them.

27. We won the Cold War because Ronald Reagan outspent the Soviets.

28. Johnny the Taliban should have been hung.

29. Germany and Japan will never overcome their past crimes and should never be allowed to debate a right to permanent status on the UN Security Council. That France sits there was a favor and the French should never be allowed to forget it.

30. You have no right to sue McDonalds because you are a slob or R J Reynolds because you smoke. Your choice stupid.

31. If you want to talk trash about how much you dislike soldiers or just real men, stop trying to pick me up in bars when you are drunk.

32. Any woman that would put up with the shame Bill Clinton brought to the Presidency and her has no right to even think of being President. You can’t deal with your own problems.

33. Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Ramsey Clark et al were traitors and should still be in jail.

34. Universities are for learning and if someone, professor or student, tries to turn it into a political entity, all public support should cease.

35. No American today is responsible for slavery and has no need to apologize to anyone. Too many soldiers died to make it disappear.

36. You come to America, swear allegiance to my flag and then claim you are really English, Thai or whatever, your citizenship should be revoked and you should be sent back to be "who you really are".

37. If you were born in America and try to treat a refugee as something less, you need your butt kicked.

38. Humans take precedent over every animal on earth, including whales and cute little seal pups.

39. Marriage is between a man and woman, there are no "alternative life styles", only abnormalities.

40. There is no debate, we are allowed to own and bear arms.

41. If I am participating in a legal activity; smoking, praying or just looking at two gay caballeros kissing and you touch me, I have the right to break your arm.

42. The fighting capabilities of our combat arms are too important for our military to be required to allow women in. Besides it remains against the law.

43. There never was a precedent set by Israel for women in combat, only a smart propaganda campaign to cause problem in the Arab ranks and to belittle them.

44. Stalin was every bit as big a criminal as Hitler.

45. Any American who works his butt off has no requirement to "share the wealth" with those not so fortunate or motivated.

46. We are Americans and any ethnic race or religious differences are not even in the equation.

47. Fidel Castro is a war criminal for his actions in Africa, South/Central America and in Vietnam. He will never do enough CNN Specials to overcome that.

48. Ted Kennedy is a grotesque creature with no right to speak on moral issues.

49. Bill Clinton was disgraced and impeached by his own actions and no one else’s.

50. Richard Nixon had more class than Bill Clinton and resigned.

51. The French lost the high ground on challenging U.S. "interfering in the internal affairs" of any Nation by their actions in Canada, about Quebec.

52. The left in America may owe Vietnam something, but the rest of us do not. We gave them fifty-eight thousand of our best.

53. You never bring democracy by investing in Socialist States. You only allow them to stay longer.

54. The only thing Ron Kovic, Bobby Mueller and others terribly wounded in Vietnam got was an unlucky break and have no special insight into the morality or politics of the war.

55. Only the Enlisted Infantry Soldier or Marine truly knows the day to day hardships of war and the human cost on both sides.

56. Jenkins, the defector to North Korea should have been dealt with in the harshest way.

57. The glorification of POWs must stop and those that fought on to the last bullet and prevailed, held up as examples to be emulated.

58. No nation should ever be forgiven for brutalizing our POWs in their care, until a total change of leadership takes place.

59. The leftist "mainstream media" are the greatest assets the enemies of America possess and that no "talking head" has any special insights into how the world works.

60. Any media person who enters the enemy camp should be given no consideration when the military targets these instillations.

61. Any American, who slips into the enemy camp to support their efforts, should be targeted as the traitor they are.

62. There is a new world order; we won.

63. Our longest war deserves more space in High School textbooks than Jackie Kennedy, the Space Program, bra burnings and even Martin Luther King.

64. Any Collegiate or Pro athlete who cheats through steroids, corked bats or betting deserves to be banned for life.

65. Representative Franks has no right to speak on morals after his adventures with the Congressional Pages.

66. Monika would be just another fat girl at the bar if not for Bill Clinton.

67. The next time Jesse Jackson takes off on his own to interfere in any foreign problem or hostage negotiations, he should be arrested upon return.

68. Sean Penn is a punk with a certain expertise at impersonating real men.

69. JFK died at the hand of Oswald and the myths of the left about JFK planning to pull out of Vietnam are just that. Nobody loved and used the dark arts better than JFK.

70. The New York Times, CBS and CNN should hang their heads in journalistic shame after their actions in Iraq and the last election.

71. Dan Rather should say he never made it through Marine Boot Camp and thus never refer to himself as a "former Marine". Any real Marine will tell you, there is no such thing.

72. Fighter pilots are a unique breed.

73. Chopper pilots fly machines which by all rights have no business being in the air. But fly they do.

74. Infantrymen have a closer relationship with Chopper pilots, FACS and Fighter pilots than with any other breed of fighting men.

75. If you are going after an enemy head of state, you send the SEALS to his luxury boat, Marine Force Recon to his beach side villa, Rangers to his mountain retreat and the U.S. Army Special Forces to his Palace downtown.

76. No author should write a book on war or a specific battle without talking to all ranks involved.

77. The leadership of most military associations ends up in the hands of the support troops.

78. We do our children a disservice by teaching English as a second language.

79. Rap is not music.

80. Jimmy Carter should be embarrassed to even venture a comment on foreign policy.

81. The next time young Koreans start demonstrating against us, we should start withdrawing troops.

82. Most of Eastern Europe has a greater appreciation for America than our traditional allies, especially the French and Germans.

83. Old people know more than anyone and remain a largely untapped resource.

84. Only those who stood beside them in war will ever truly understand Soldiers.

85. Time colors the memory of the coward, but sharpens the recall of the brave.

86. Police on horseback exercise better crowd control than motor officers or those on foot.

87. Shoeless Joe Jackson had more class than Pete Rose.

88. AIDS is at it’s primary source, a self inflicted wound.

89. A child accessing internet porn has inattentive parents.

90. There is no greater sense of freedom than experiencing America astride a steel steed with those who have fought for her beside you.

91. Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, told exactly that and those like Kerry and his VVAW "Band of Brothers" were lesser men than they will ever be.

92. The Green Beret is a hat and the man wearing it is what it is all about.

93. They know more about being an American in Rainelle West Virginia, Kokomo Indiana and Akron, Ohio than most folks in Washington DC.

94. If you marched against my war, burnt my flag and besmirched my good name, you owe me and all like me an apology.

95. A man who has never had a dog will have a hard time understanding leadership.

96. A Solider may leave the Army, but the Army will never leave him.

97. If you do not like our President, in a few years you will get another chance, but if you are from another country, you have no say.

98. Internet companies who would censor the net to eliminate words like democracy for Communist governments have no shame and should be shunned.

99. The awards above the left breast pocket tell more about a military man’s participation in battle, than any war story he might tell.

100. Our forefathers meant exactly what they said in the Constitution and need no interpreters, unless English is your second language.

Major Mark A. Smith
United States Army, Retired

Salute to Jennifer

Will the REAL $6 Million Man Please Stand Up

Here is a REALLY GREAT story about advancements in Medical Technology.

Some of you may not be old enough to remember the TV Show The 6 Millian Dollar Man, about an Air Force Pilot who crashed and the Government "Rebuilt" him, giving him Bionic powers - Sight, Strength, Speed. The show spawned The Bionic Woman. Great Science Fiction at the time.

Well, it appears that Science Fiction has finally made way for Science Fact. From the Research Institute of Chicago (www.ric.org) comes the story of a man that injured himself while wokin as an electrician. He lost both arms and now, with the help of bionic devices, is able to control movement just by "thinking" about it. What an advancement. What possibilities. The news looks promising.

Bionic Man Moves Artificial Arm With Brain

Breakthrough Could Change Lives Of Amputees, Patients With Spinal Cord Injuries

POSTED: 12:55 pm EDT June 23, 2005
UPDATED: 4:07 pm EDT June 23, 2005

CHICAGO -- Researchers have developed artificial arms that can be moved as it if they were real limbs, simply by thinking about making them move, according to Local 6 News.

When Jesse Sullivan's brain tells his arm to do something, it's done in seconds.
The world's first bionic man, Jesse Sullivan, 54, accidentally touched live wires while working as a utility lineman in Tennessee. He suffered severe burns, causing him to lose his arms.

Complete story here.
Pictures here.

Salute to Espresso Roast Blog.

Korean War Missing in Action Serviceman Identified

Another "Good News" Story. After more than 50 years, the family, friends and comrades for Corporal John O. Strom can close a chapter and open another.

CPL Strom went missing in November, 1950 when his unit came under attack and fought hard battle for several days. Almost 400 of CPL Strom's unit were unaccounted for after they withdrew from the battlefield.

CPL Strom was finally discovered in 2002.

Welcome home CPL Strom and may God Bless you and yours.

DoD Release #: 650-05

Korean War Missing in Action Serviceman Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial in Fergus Falls, Minn. on Wednesday.

He is Cpl. John O. Strom of Fergus Falls, Minn.

On the night of Nov. 1, 1950, Strom’s unit, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, came under attack by Chinese communist forces near the village of Unsan in North Korea. His battalion sought to escape the larger Chinese unit, and evacuated along a route well documented in U.S. records.

The fighting raged on for several days, and by Nov. 4, those men able to escape withdrew to friendly lines south of the Kuryong River, though more than 380 soldiers of the 8th Cavalry Regiment were unaccounted for.

In July and August 2002, a joint team of U.S. and North Korean specialists investigated a site near Unsan where a villager had reportedly reburied remains believed to be those of a U.S. serviceman from another location. The team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated both sites and found human remains as well as a few pieces of non-biological evidence. The team was also given Strom’s military identification tag found by the villager.

Laboratory analysis of the remains by forensic scientists at JPAC led to Strom’s identification. Comparisons of mitochondrial DNA results were key factors in their finding.

Of the 88,000 Americans who are missing from all conflicts, approximately 8,100 are from the Korean War. More than 1,800 remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, 126 from the Cold War, and 78,000 from World War II. Remains believed to be those of more than 220 American servicemen have been recovered in joint operations in North Korea.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at
http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169 .

For more about the return of CPL Strom, see this entry over at Iraq War Today, and the news story here.

Salute to Pam.

Casualties - June 27, 2005

Condolences to the Family, Friends, and Comrades of the following Americans who lost their lives while in the pursuit of gaining freedom for others

United States Army

DoD Release #: 646-05 -- Spc. Charles A. Kaufman, 20, of Fairchild, Wis., died June 26 in Baghdad, Iraq, where a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV. Kaufman was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry, Arcadia, Wis.

United States Navy

DoD Release #: 651-05 -- Petty Officer 1st Class Regina R. Clark, 43, of Centralia, Wash., died June 23 in a convoy that was attacked by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Fallujah. She was a culinary specialist deployed with Naval Construction Region Detachment 30, Port Hueneme, Calif., and was temporarily assigned to II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Clark: News Story here, (Reference: The News Tribune), and here (Reference KOMO TV).

United States Marines

DoD Release #: 648-05 -- The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Veashna Muy, 20, of Los Angeles, Calif.
Cpl. Chad W. Powell, 22, of West Monroe, La.

Both Marines died June 23 while traveling in a convoy that was attacked by a suicide, vehicle-borne, improvised explosive device in Fallujah, Iraq. Both Marines were assigned to 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

DoD Release#: 647-05 -- Cpl. Ramona M. Valdez, 20, of Bronx, N.Y., died June 23 while traveling in a convoy that was attacked by a suicide, vehicle-borne, improvised explosive device in Fallujah, Iraq. She was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Click on the names above for more information (Salute to Fallen Heroes Memorial)