Supporting the Troops

March 1, 2008

I have been AWOL… (is there such a thing as Official Leave for Civilians?) Perhaps a better term would be AWOB… Absent With Out Blogging. Rather than go into a boring list of reasons, I will attempt to jump back into this.

Today I am sharing a fantastic email from my Favorite Marine: 

Have you ever walk into a room and immediately felt an enormous energy field?  It happened to me about 2 weeks ago. 

I walked into the fitness center in my building and there were 2 people in there; one of the condo owners and the other a petite blond I had never seen before.

The gentleman said, “Speaking of Marines,” as he nodded toward me.  The conversation started going 100 mph from that point on.  One of the first things said was that Dianne was from Berkley, CA – that’s what I thought I heard and we all rolled our eyes because of the protests going on at the campus concerning Marines. 

In reality, she’s from Tampa.  With me asking a few questions I found out a truly amazing thing about Dianne.

The Berkley connection was that she was so outraged over the protests that she got on a plane, by herself, and flew there for the sole purpose to take these people on single-handedly and to tell them to leave “her” Marines alone! 

She even got 2 of them arrested when they spray painted her (followed by her macing them)!! 

What I misunderstood about her living there was that she had just returned from that trip. 

I had an immediate respect and awe for Dianne.  I don’t know of anyone who would do something like this.  I asked her why she had this passion – what was her Marine connection. 

She kept alluding to “her” Marines – the tens of thousands of them in Iraq and Afghanistan; that she doesn’t want anyone “slamming” them, etc. 

Like many of my friends, Dianne started collecting goodies and mailing them to Marines a few years ago when the war started.  One thing led to another and soon all her waking hours were consumed with collecting and mailing packages and she was soon spending well over $2,000 of her own money, per month, to do this.  She didn’t care. 

Oh, and Dianne is a personal fitness trainer who started her own successful business and employs 10 trainers.  Her friends and the local businesses finally convinced her to start a non-profit organization to help her with the financial strain. 

Support our Marines was born on November 10, 2007 – picked because of the birthday of the Marine Corps

What many of you may not know is that more and more Marines are living further away from the main bases so they have less access to buy even the basics than they did 2 years ago.  We have learned that to be successful in this war, we need to get closer to the local population. 

Marines do not complain and we do what is necessary.  We always adapt.  Because of the greater sacrifices expected of the units, packages from home mean all that much more, now. 

“Most of our Marines operate out of very isolated combat outpost and under some of the harshest conditions. No hot water, we use things like WAG bags for our waste, we use plywood built outhouse and sleep in some of the worst buildings and conditions. But on the other hand (some) of our Marines live and operate in conditions that are better than some but worse than most. Overall though, we are determined and committed to accomplishing our missions out here. No matter what the conditions are we will do our jobs as Marines!” Quote from a sergeant with TF 3/2. 

Of course all of these Marines (in AFG and Iraq) are in the U.S. Marine Forces Central Command’s (MARCENT) area of responsibility, (so they are even more near and dear to my heart because I work at MARCENT). 

I wanted you to know about this wonderful woman and what she is doing. 

Please feel free to pass on this email and introduce Dianne to others, too!

Sharon 

Support Our Marines

Sending a wave and a hug to Dianne. We understand why you stands up and fights for “your Marines”… as many of us have also adopted those in the military past and present. The brave men and women, who fight for us, have all become members of our extended family.


Have you Ordered Your Copy?

February 21, 2008

From Michael Yon:

Greetings:

This note comes from Mosul, where Iraqi and American are engaging in a serious fight with al Qaeda, ISI, JAI, Ansar al Sunna, and other groups, in what many believe will be the last major battle of this war.  This amalgam of terrorists, even including a cell of 1920 Revolution Brigades who are unfriendly toward us here (whereas elsewhere the 1920s have joined us in the fight against AQI), is fractured and incoherent.  The groups fight among themselves and provide lethal information about each other to Iraqi and US forces. 

Ansar al Sunna, for instance, has been selling out al Qaeda.  The 1920s have hated AQI since at least 2006, and have been good at killing AQI in Anbar and in Diyala, for instance. Just why these groups are so fractured is not entirely clear, though some reasons are obvious.  AQI and 1920s are different sorts of people with differing agendas, and above it all, there is money in Mosul, and so the individual terror groups can fund their own campaigns without overwhelming need to form alliances.

Mosul is not exactly al Qaeda’s last stand in Iraq; pockets remain in areas south of Baghdad where AQI is being severely damaged by Iraqis and Americans; Diyala (more of same), Salah ad Dinh (deadly for AQI), and a few other pockets.  It is true, however, that Mosul is the last major population center where AQI has any chance whatsoever.

Mosul is a setting, then, where I can finish the final chapters of Moment of Truth in Iraq In between research and writing, I will be signing the special edition inserts for the books.  Moment of Truth in Iraq is being sold in advance through my website. I can only sign a limited number of books and everyone is working hard to have the signed editions also ship to you on April 22 when the book is released.
Again, there are only so many I will be able to sign, so if you wish to support this mission and get a signed edition of the book, it may be ordered at the publisher’s ordering page. (Please remember that you are being charged now and the book will ship on the publication date of April 22, 2008.)

Attention to what has been happening here and with me is growing slowly, in fits and starts, in newspapers and on radio. 

A new RUBs dispatch is posted on the site, “At Long Last, Justice,” a follow-up to an earlier dispatch about the problem of Sunni detainees held in Iraqi prisons, sometimes for months and years, without being charged.  “At Long Last, Justice,” also talks about the importance of maintaining a media full court press in Iraq on the reform and reconciliation efforts as well as on the combat operations. Media attention on stories like the one in the new dispatch actually influence the outcome, for the good, because Iraqis are a media savvy people.

Hopefully my book will bring stories like these to the attention of more people. As always, your help is greatly appreciated and crucial.

V/r

Michael

I am anxiously awaiting his second book! If you would like to get one of the signed copies, you need to hurry and place your order. There are only a few times that I have actively pushed any products on my blog. Michael’s book is one that I stand behind. No one else has brought us such an accurate up-close view of the War against Terror in the Middle East.

Hugs to you, Sir… Stay safe and keep the reports rolling in.

(To help you keep the dream Alive!)


Pass on the Message

February 21, 2008

I have a complete post (I promise)

But, right now it is banging around in my head. When I get a couple hours (I type very slowly) I will  air my complete thoughts on the assault of our Troops.


Wednesday Hero

January 16, 2008

Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus

Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus
28 years old from Wolf Creek, Montana
3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
July 29, 2006
Marine Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus was the nephew of Montana Senator Max Baucus. He joined the corps in 2002 and was sent to Iraq in March of 2005.

Cpl. Baucus was killed alongside fellow Marines Sgt. Christian Williams, 27 yrs old from Winter Haven, Fla. and Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield, 19 yrs old from Clovis, Calif. during combat operations in Al Anbar province.

“Phillip was an incredible person, a dedicated Marine, a loving son and husband, and a proud Montanan and American,” Sen. Baucus said. “He heroically served the country he loved and he gave it his all.”

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. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.


Incredible Story from Iraq

January 14, 2008

Debbie Lee and our Troops in Iraq

Iraq’s Progress, Safety and Blessing

Darkness surrounded her as the helicopter lifted, whipping the air around her with a reverberating thump, thump, thump. A tall blonde in a war-torn Middle Eastern land, Debbie Lee felt a familiar ache in her heart.

She stood in a Western Iraqi city where her son, Marc Alan Lee, gave his life. He was the first Navy SEAL to die while fighting terrorists in Iraq.

As she stepped onto the sand where her son was killed, Debbie Lee became the first mother to visit the city where her son died for America in the Iraq War. She walked through Camp Marc Lee and saw where her son slept and ate. “I feel very blessed,” Lee said. “It was a miracle to me to be where Marc was, to see what he saw and walk where he walked.”Please read the rest of the story here:  Human Events


Gratitude

December 26, 2007

My favorite Marine sent me the following link:

watch the movie
click here>>>>>   Gratitude Campaign
This is an excellent idea for those of you who feel uncomfortable, running up and hugging our Warriors!

Mr. J seems to think I make our guys a bit uneasy……… when I steal hugs from them.

 Very soon, our 4-9 Cav will be home and we can all say “Thank You” in person!


Wednesday Hero

December 19, 2007

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Leo

SSgt. Mike Mills

SSgt. Mike Mills


On June 14, 2005 SSgt. Mike Mills’s life was forever changed. The HETT(Heavy Equipment Transport System) he was riding in was hit by an IED. The attack resulted a cracked clavicle and scapula bones, dislocate shoulder, broken left hip, 4 out of 5 bones broken in his foot and being set on fire. The driver in the truck behind him ran with a cooler of melted ice which he threw on Sgt. Mills to put him out. He spent three months in the Brooks Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston, TX with the injuries listed above plus 2nd, 3rd and deep tissue burns to 31% of the left side of his body. The first thing he remembers thinking after the attack was that his soldiers needed him and he needed to get back to them.

“Then the guilt set in about what I did to my family. I’ve totally screwed that up. Look at me, no don’t. I look hideous. How can I face my kids looking like this. They’ll be embarrassed to be seen with me. What if they won’t love me anymore? Speaking of love, my wife, oh my god. How can I expect her to stay with me. I’m not a man anymore. She’s not going to want be intimate with a freak. What if I can’t work, how do I support myself, my family.

I had the nightmares and couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating and was loosing weight. I didn’t really care. If I didn’t start eating, they where going to put the feeding tube back in. Who cares, I’ve totally screwed up my life anyways.”

But he found out just how much is wife loved him, when she stood by his side throughout the entire ordeal. She was there for every wound dressing and even learned how to change the dressings herself.

SSgt. Mike Mills now runs the site For The Veteran… By A Veteran in which he helps veterans, soldiers and their families find information they may not have been given after their medical discharge or retirement.

Some may say that Mike gave his country more than enough when he was severely maimed by an IED on that fateful day of June 14, 2005, but Mike continues to give to his fellow servicemen, as well as to his nation!

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. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.