More G.N.F. 06-29-07

June 29, 2007

Soldiers Seize Bomb ‘Factory’

By Sgt. 1st Class Robert Timmons
4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs

BAGHDAD – Multinational Division – Baghdad Soldiers seized a bomb-making “factory,” along with another large weapons cache while on patrol in the eastern portion of the Rashid District of the Iraqi capital June 11.

“This is tremendous work by our Soldiers to take more than 300 (improvised explosive devices) off the streets,” said Col. Ricky D. Gibbs, commander of 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

Troops from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, and Company A, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 4th IBCT, discovered the factory, a complex of small buildings deep in the thick palm groves of East Rashid, after receiving word of the objective’s location from other Coalition Forces.

The find consisted of one vehicle wired and loaded with explosives as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device; 54 82mm mortars; 27 155mm artillery shells; one 500-pound bomb; 64 anti-tank mines; two 200-pound bombs; three 100-pound bombs; 30 130mm projectiles; 30 hand grenades; 200 artillery boosters; 10 40mm rounds; one bag of blasting caps; one rocket of unknown caliber and origin; one bag of booster charges; six bags of propellant; 300 five-gallon cans of nitric acid used to make homemade explosives; one bag of breaching charges and 15 bags of anti-personnel mines with 100 mines per bag.

Also found in the cache was enough wiring and bomb-making material to create more than 300 improvised explosive devices.
In a separate cache near the complex, an additional 125 five-gallon containers of nitric acid were found.

Three other vehicles were also found at the site wired as car bombs, but did not contain explosives. A Coalition explosive ordnance disposal team catalogued the weapons and explosives found and will dispose of them properly, preventing them from being used against innocent Iraqi people or Iraqi Security and Coalition Force personnel.

“This find further emphasizes our ability to get after the extremists and take away their tools of destruction, as none of these weapons and explosives will ever be used to harm others,” Gibbs said.

(Photo by Spc. Ben Washburn, 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs)

Spc. Marquis Dawkins of Brooklyn, N.Y., an infantryman assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, surveys the more than 120 five gallon cans of nitric acid, a component used to make bombs, discovered at a bomb-making “factory” in Baghdad’s East Rashid District June 11

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G.N.F. 06/29/07

June 29, 2007

Whew! Too close for comfort…

Body Armor Saves Soldier’s Life

Staff Sgt. Jeremie Oliver, from Chesterville, Maine, shows off the protection that saved his life after being shot by an insurgent in the Baghdad neighborhood of Ameriya June 17. Oliver, from Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, was in his Bradley Fighting Vehicle when he took the round to the chest. Oliver was later seen by medical personnel who cleared him for duty. “I know I am lucky to walk away from this event; however, I also know that it was not luck that my body armor worked,” he said. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jack Androski, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment)
Staff Sgt. Jeremie Oliver, from Chesterville, Maine, shows off the protection that saved his life after being shot by an insurgent in the Baghdad neighborhood of Ameriya June 17.  Oliver, from Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, was in his Bradley Fighting Vehicle when he took the round to the chest. Oliver was later seen by medical personnel who cleared him for duty. “I know I am lucky to walk away from this event; however, I also know that it was not luck that my body armor worked,” he said.   (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jack Androski, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment)


Haifa Street Project

June 28, 2007

As the self proclaimed “Groupie” site for the Haifa Street Project…

Can we, your loyal fans, have some pics to post?

We realize that you have official jobs in the Military and providing us with entertainment comes second (Ok, maybe even third behind emailing your family)

But, if you get a few free moments, we would love some Pre Concert teasers.

 


A new little Princess!

June 28, 2007

Please stop by Dr. Bulldog’s site and welcome the little one. She is BEAUTIFUL!

Doctor Bulldog  <— Click here

Hey Doc… One of our 4-9 Cav Soldiers became a daddy to a fantastic L’il Trooper this past winter. I am thinking perhaps Baby Gene and Princess C should start dating in a few years.

  

Hugs to the Mrs. 

Thank you for sharing with us. We look forward to many years of happy pictures!


Honoring The Wounded Warriors

June 28, 2007

Today as I participate in the RVF, there is a special couple I would like to honor; Colleen and SSG Terry T. Saffron, Jr.

SSG Saffron was severely injured in combat during his deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on May 5, 2004.

Colleen has, since the date of her husband’s injury, managed to care for him and her 3 children while also returning to school to graduate with honors. Recently, along with 2 other active duty spouses Kimberly Marrero and Tania Mercurio, Colleen has begun a non profit organization to help wounded soldiers and their caregivers.

Because I am fairly new to the fantastic work they are accomplishing, I have decided to copy and share quips from their website:

The mission of  Life Transformed is to provide education and resources to our war wounded and their caregivers through private and corporate entities. To increase awareness of the long term needs of these families and support them as they re-enter the civilian sector.

They provide training and education to war  wounded and care givers, allowing an easier transition, both physically and mentally into the workforce.

Caregivers and wounded warriors will be trained and credited for positions as soon as they are able to re-enter the workforce. We hope to build Life Transformed into a foundation that encourages private and public sectors to actively participate in the transformation of a wounded warrior and his family to a civilian professional.

“Through kind donations from corporate companies, we are PROUD to announce that TEN War Wounded or Fallen Soldier families will benefit from a wonderful pilot program. 

Corporation’s are offering an opportunity for the family members to own their own Travel Website business at absolutely “no cost” to the family ever! $100% of commissions made go to directly to the family recipient, no hosting or domain fees. The family will receive full technical support access at all times to help them succeed.”

Read more here… Congratulations Ten Families! 

Hugs out to the Saffron family, who when faced with adversity, took a giant leap. They went beyond what was ever asked of themselves and reached out to others in need. Let’s get the word out. There are many Wounded Warriors who need our help.

I particularly love this quote on their website:

“Walking the road with our heroes, when they cannot walk alone.”

An added note from Colleen:

Our 501c3 status should be cleared very soon and by the end of the year we can hand statements out so people get tax deductions for any giving they do.  So pray with us for the endeavor to get funded well so we can keep helping people. We started in March and so far 10 families have received web based businesses and 1 family has received a computer with all the special software they need since their injury created a severe visual impairment.

And of course… Hugs to my fantastic L’il Trooper and the 4-9 Cav!


Sharing a few Pictures

June 27, 2007

All pictures courtesy of the 1st Cav News

Bardstown, Ky., native Sgt. Christopher Cichocki, a chemical defense specialist for Company C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, feeds grass to a goat in the village of Naif Al Hasan, Iraq June 20. An Iraqi boy (right) gave Cichocki the grass and also brought out a baby goat by that he wanted to show to the Soldier. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp, 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Bardstown, Ky., native Sgt. Christopher Cichocki, a chemical defense specialist for Company C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, feeds grass to a goat in the village of Naif Al Hasan, Iraq June 20. An Iraqi boy (right) gave Cichocki the grass and also brought out a baby goat by that he wanted to show to the Soldier. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp, 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)  

It looks like the child has taken the Soldier to the Petting Zoo!

Tacoma, Wash., native Spc. Austin Gamache, the mail clerk for the 610th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, sorts mail in a 20-foot metal shipping container he converted into the battalion’s mail room. (U.S. Army photo)

Tacoma, Wash., native Spc. Austin Gamache, the mail clerk for the 610th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, sorts mail in a 20-foot metal shipping container he converted into the battalion’s mail room. (U.S. Army photo)

Please note that the mail trailer is not nearly as full as it could be. Lets get those packages rolling to our guys and keep Spc. Gamache hopping!

Spc. Leo Pacheco, a rifleman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, entertains local children on the streets of northern Ghazaliya. A few months ago, the once prominent upper-middle class neighborhood had turned into a battleground of sectarian violence. The Soldiers from Fort Bliss, Texas helped stop the violence in the area. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Erik Klapmeier, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment)Spc. Leo Pacheco, a rifleman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, entertains local children on the streets of northern Ghazaliya.  A few months ago, the once prominent upper-middle class neighborhood had turned into a battleground of sectarian violence.   The Soldiers from Fort Bliss, Texas helped stop the violence in the area. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Erik Klapmeier, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment)

Great form Spc. Pancheo!  CNN headlines might read “Fierce Iraqi Citizens fight off American Soldier”

J/K… I love seeing the happy faces!

James Daniels flies past Brandon Jones during the Black Jack Basketball Championship game on FOB Prosperity, Baghdad, Iraq June 17. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

James Daniels flies past Brandon Jones during the Black Jack Basketball Championship game on FOB Prosperity, Baghdad, Iraq June 17. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Wahoooo…. Our guys don’t need an airplane in order to fly!

The Ballers’ center, Swayne Jordan tries to get past the Headhunters’ Brandon Jones during the Black Jack Basketball Championship game on FOB Prosperity, Baghdad, Iraq June 17. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs) The Ballers’ center, Swayne Jordan tries to get past the Headhunters’ Brandon Jones during the Black Jack Basketball Championship game on FOB Prosperity, Baghdad, Iraq June 17.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

(one more Basketball pic) Ummm excuse me. Would you mind stepping to the side for a sec? You are blocking my shot.
Sgt. 1st Class Duane France, of St. Louis, from Company A, 2nd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, watches as the runners bolt out of the starting gate during the first 5K run at Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah June 16. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Courtney Marulli, 2nd BCT, 2nd Inf. Div. Public Affairs)

Sgt. 1st Class Duane France, of St. Louis, from Company A, 2nd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, watches as the runners bolt out of the starting gate during the first 5K run at Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah June 16. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Courtney Marulli, 2nd BCT, 2nd Inf. Div. Public Affairs)

Way to go… I appreciate ya’ll making me look bad. I just told Mr. J that it was too darn hot for me to get out and run.

While searching a house in Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighborhood June 14, San Antonio, Texas-native Spc. Ruben Chavez of Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, gets some help beating the summer heat from children he found playing in a kiddie pool in the kitchen. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mike Pryor, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs)

While searching a house in Baghdad’s Adhamiyah neighborhood June 14, San Antonio, Texas-native Spc. Ruben Chavez of Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, gets some help beating the summer heat from children he found playing in a kiddie pool in the kitchen. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mike Pryor, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs)

Media Headlines: Iraqi Children keep Americans at bay with superior Water Tactics.  I am becoming quite skilled at this!


Wednesday Hero

June 27, 2007

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Jenn

Staff Sgt. Darrell R. Griffin Jr.

Staff Sgt. Darrell R. Griffin Jr.
36 years old from Alhambra, California
2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
March 21, 2007

“He was a really patriotic young man”, said Darrell Griffin Sr. “He said that the people there really needed us and he felt it was the right place to be. He wished we didn’t have to have wars, but since that’s the way mankind is, he felt he was contributing an important part to his country”.

SSgt. Griffin lost his life in Balad, Iraq when his unit came under fire as it was returning to base after conducting security operations in the Iraqi capital.

The eldest son of six children, SSgt. Griffin worked as an EMT before joining the California Army National Guard in 1999. He enlisted in the Army two years later, and in July 2001, was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, in Ft. Lewis, Washington. He served with that unit in Iraq from October 2004 to September 2005.

On his second tour of duty, SSgt. Griffin had been awarded the Bronze Star for valor in 2005 when he was credited with saving the lives of three U.S. and two Iraqi Army soldiers injured during battle in Tal Afar. He had also received the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachute Badge, and the Meritorious Unit Citation.

“Griff was the type of man you want to have by your side in a fight,” Maj. Brent Clemmer, his former company commander, wrote from Iraq. “He was the type of squad leader every young soldier wants to have”.

“Darrell was my husband, my Soldier, my gift from God who was also the love of my life and always will be.” Said his wife, Diana. “He was also ‘a Soldier’s Soldier of Strength and Honor’ whose commitment to duty, honor and loyalty will be forever remembered by all who know and love him. The news of his death saddens us deeply and we ask for your prayers in our time of grief. Please also continue to keep our Soldiers in your prayers

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. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.