Standing Up in Iraq

April 30, 2007

Just two of the many examples that are rolling in, of the Iraqi people stepping up to regain control of their country.

Iraqi civilians attempt to stop truck bomb
    CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Iraqi civilians attempted to stop a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near Al Hamdanyia, Iraq, as it detonated 500 meters before an observation post manned by Multi-National Division – Baghdad forces April 24.

    Witnesses reported several Iraqi civilians attempting to pull the driver from the vehicle and a white sedan attempting to position itself between the truck, carrying the payload of explosives, and chlorine tanks just before the vehicle exploded.

    The driver of the truck and one Iraqi civilian were killed. Two Iraqi civilians were wounded and one was sickened in the attack.

    Soldiers from Troop E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment responded to the explosion, securing the site and proving medical assistance. No soldiers were injured or killed in the incident.

Insurgents fail to disrupt school opening

By Maj. Kirk Luedeke
4-1 Inf. Public Affairs

   BAGHDAD – The Rashid District Council and 1st Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Atwan School for boys April 24, despite insurgent efforts to prevent the event from occurring.

    Prior to the ceremony, small arms fire had been directed at the school, but after NP and Multinational Division – Baghdad forces returned fire, the gunmen fled. “We will not be stopped by the terrorists,” Ra’ad said to the crowd of boys ranging from elementary school age all the way up through high school. “We will all live in peace together.”

    “Education is the future for Iraq,” said Sabeeh Al-Ka’abi, the director of the Rashid District Council, who presided over the school opening with Col. Ra’ad Eyas Amin, the 1st NP Battalion commander.

    The Atwan School is located in the Mechanix neighborhood of the Rashid District in southern Baghdad. The renovation of the school included improvements to the outer wall, installment of new doors, electrical wiring, fans, plumbing, 100 new desks and 40 blackboards for the 650 students who attend classes there.

    After the event, policemen handed out soccer balls to the students. As those gathered began to disperse, shots rang out once again, as the insurgents returned for one more unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the proceedings.

   “This just goes to show how little regard these criminals have for human life,” said Col. Ricky D. Gibbs, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division commander. “They tried to take what was a celebration of a much improved learning institution and instead put children in harm’s way. They did not succeed, and now everyone can see the kinds of tactics they employ,” he said.

Col. Ra’ad Eyas Amin, commander of the 1st Bn., 6th Bde., 2nd Div. National Police, talks to the children at the Atwan School for boys’ ribbon-cutting ceremony April 24.

Sabeeh Al Ka’abi, the head of the Al Rashid District Council, and Col. Ra’ad Eyas Amin, commander of the 1st Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Division National Police, take in the scene at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Atwan School for boys in Baghdad’s Rashid District.


Stealing one more Hug

April 30, 2007

I squeezed out my last hug… brushed back the tear that was threatening to roll down my cheek

… and sent my L’il Trooper back into the belly of the beast.

We miss and love you David

(He does clean up well doesn’t he? )

I changed the picture, so that the focus would remain on my gorgeous L’il Trooper.


Sorting my thoughts

April 30, 2007

I have been away for a bit and my thoughts are running laps around me. As soon as I am able to collect a few of them I will put them to words.

Until then, please check out Terri’s post at A Soldier’s Mind 

Every tough challenge we face, every obstacle that blocks our way should be hit head on and surmounted “inch by inch.” When we fail to move forward, we fail.

Military Families

April 26, 2007

I am a small and precious child, my dad’s been sent to fight…
The only place I’ll see his face, is in my dreams at night.
He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.
I may be sad, but I am proud. My daddy’s got your back.

I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war…
My mind is filled with worries that I have never known before.
Every day I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.
I may be scared, but I am proud. My son has got your back.

I am a strong and loving wife, with a husband who had to go.
There are times I’m terrified in a way most never know.
I bite my lip, and force a smile as I watch my husband pack…
My heart may break, but I am proud. My husband’s got your back…

I am a Soldier… Serving Proudly, standing tall.
I fight for freedom, yours and mine by answering this call.
I do my job while knowing, the thanks it sometimes lacks.
Say a prayer that I’ll come home.
It’s me who’s got your back.

by Autumn Parker

Marriage is not an easy task under everyday challenges. It takes a labor of love

to keep the fire burning, the wheels rolling, the family fed, the bills paid,

The family healthy.

Now, face the same challenges while your loved one is at war.

The shoulder you would like to lean on…

That strength in which you pull from…

Is Fighting for all the World

So far from home

A Military wife is a cast from a special mold.

And then we have those who are raising a family…

This is a group of women that defies all the laws of weakness.

Who else is so gifted at explaining to a young child

that Daddy really is here with us at Christmas?

We just can’t see him.

Who else can persuade a teenager to step up and honor the family by excelling in school?

Who else is as skilled at creating distractions for the family …

keeping the fears and tears from creeping in?

The Military Family is an asset to our country.

They realize that sacrifices need to be made.

They know that goals must be met.

They remain strong in the face of adversity.

America will remain a strong country because Military wives are raising families with strong values.

I Salute you!

I am dedicating this day to the families of those deployed. I get a lump in my throat when I think of the young children smiling and waving flags. They are so proud of their Mommys and Daddys, yet you can detect the underlying uncertainty.

I would love to pick up each child and be able to reassure them that everything will soon be ok.

I would love to take each spouse, each loved one, out to dinner and calm their fears.

Their courage, while facing the home front battles, strengthens my resolve.

Thank you for being so strong and for showing ‘this Mom’ that we are here for each other.

Ya’ll Inspire Me!

Brigade Video

There it is night.  Here it is day.
While you are sleeping, I am at play
Running and laughing but stopping to say
I miss you, Daddy, when you are away

We may be mountains and oceans apart
So high and wide, but that’s OK
My love can find you wherever you are
(or how ’bout I meet you half way?)
I tell my heart, “Don’t be lonely” but it won’t obey
I miss you, Daddy, when you are away

At breakfast and dinner and bedtime we pray
For God to protect you and help you be brave

I smile and remember why you are so great….

Tickles and wrestling at the end of the day
Teaching me, Listening to the things that I say
Hugging me, Kissing all over my face
Fighting so bravely for the United States…

Oh, I miss you, Daddy, when you are away

We may be mountains and oceans apart
So high and wide, but that’s OK
My love can find you wherever you are
(or how ’bout I meet you half way?)
I tell my heart, “Don’t be lonely” but it won’t obey
I miss you, Daddy, when you are away

I miss you so badly when you are away
Keep fighting bravely for the United States 

by Karen Mason

(Tomorrow’s Good News Friday is on hiatus. Be assured, there is plenty of good news to share. However, I am spending a few days with My L’il Trooper and will be out of town, away from the news and the Internet.)

A few photos of the 4-9 Cav in Action

April 25, 2007

(I added this one for Judy… hugs)

Photos by my L’il Trooper (I will be adding more)

Perhaps my shortest post ever!

April 25, 2007

Please take a few minutes and check out this post at Wake Up America

(a little teaser….  )

Wednesday Hero

April 25, 2007

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Sunny Kay

Col. Cyril Richard “Rick” Rescorla
68 years old from New York City, New York
16th Air Assault Brigade, Parachute Regiment (England)
Platoon Leader of 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) (U.S.)
September 11, 2001

Col. Rick Rescorla is a multiple time hero. In 1957 he enlisted in the British Army and began training as a paratrooper with The Parachute Regiment of the 16th Air Assault Brigade.

He went on to serve with an intelligence unit in Cyprus, a paramilitary police inspector in the Northern Rhodesia Police (now the Zambia Police Service). When his military career ended in England he joined the Metropolitan Police Service in London.

But he found the paperwork too boring and quite at the behest of a friend who encouraged him to join the United State Army. Which he did.

In 1963, Rescorla enlisted, with his friend, in the United States Army. After he completed basic training he attended officer training school and was assigned as a platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

He was shipped to Vietnam and participated in the Battle of la Drang. While in Vietnam, he was given the nickname “Hard Core” by his men for his bravery in battle.

In 1968, Resorla became a U.S. citizen and continued his service in the Army Reserves until 1990 when he retired. In 1985 he joined a financial services firm, located in the World Trade Center, as security director.

In 1993, when the WTC was bombed, Rescorla was instrumental in evacuating people from the building. Afterwards, he enacted a policy in which all employees of the firm practiced evacuation drills every three months.

September 11, 2001. Rick Rescorla was supposed to be on vacation getting ready for his daughters wedding. Instead he was at work covering a shift for one of his deputies so that he could go on vacation.

When American Airlines Flight 11 hit Tower 1, Rescorla ignored officials advice to stay put and opted instead to put his evacuation drills to use. While evacuating the 3,800 employees of his firm in Towers 2 and 5 he kept reminding them “be proud to be an American …everyone will be talking about you tomorrow” and sang God Bless America over his bullhorn.

When Flight 175 struck Tower 2, Rescorla had already evacuated most of the employees from his firm as well as many others from other floors. He then went back in, despite being told he needed to evacuate himself.

The last known words anyone heard him say were, “As soon as I make sure everyone else is out”. Tower 2 collapsed with Rick Rescorla last seen heading to the 10th floor looking for more people to help.

As a result of his actions that day, all but six employees of his firm made it out alive. One of those being him and three others being his deputies who followed him into Tower 2, Wesley Mercer, Jorge Velazquez, and Godwin Forde.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.