Keep Your Helmet On!

Be A Part of a Tribute to Fallen Heroes - Help Build the Fallen Soldiers' Bike
Help support the families of our deployed Heroes - Visit Soldiers' Angels' Operation Outreach
Help Our Heroes Help Others - Click Here to visit SOS: KIDS
Nominate your Hero for IWT's "Hero of the Month" - click here for details!
Search Iraq War Today only

Friday, November 19, 2004

Wounded Need us will you help?

A snap-shot from our trip to Landstuhl during the fightings in Fallujah

Every time I come to the US Hospital in Landstuhl and to the Fisher House and meet our wounded heroes I am impressed by the courage and bravery of men and women who fight the war against the terrorism and for other people freedom.

On the 12th November 2004 Rudi, Patti's sister Nita ( who is also Gen. Patton's Great Neice) and I we brought the wounded 53 backpacks from the Soldiers Angels to LRMC and make a bedside visit together with Kathy from the Fisher House. There are over 90 % from the patients are current veterans of OEF and OIF, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines! They all are there. Today I read the wounded from the invasion in Fallujah hits to 412! There you have a steady stream of wounded US Soldiers from the Fallujah offensive in Iraqi. So we must see the 53 backpacks were only a trop in the ocean! In the last days the news told us that about 70 US soldiers and more injured daily in Fallujah. This city is 40 miles from Baghdad and the most of them are flown from Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, to the biggest US military hospital here in overseas.

A lot of Angels have donated their time and money to bring the wounded a backpack. Paul and Berta, CA; Cheryl, CA; Karman, MA; Janette, SC; Stephanie, NC; Georgia, Co; Mandy, NC; Dee, CA; Jennifer and Christopfer, GA; Carol, TX, Paul, Susan and Sarah, FL, Megan OH; Patti, CA; SGT Lee B. and a lot of other Angels.

Soldiers Angels handmade Blankets of Hope

There was no empty bed! We all could see that the bed capacity at the hospital has been increased since our last visit to handle now the 30 until 50 wounded who are coming in daily. We all went from room to room in five wards of the hospital to visit soldiers being treated for injuries. They are ranging from broken bones and minor injuries to missing legs and severe skull injuries. A lot from the wounded were sitting in wheelchairs or they were in their beds. Often you could see they were full of pain but their spirit was high.

They were happy to receive backpacks from the Soldiers Angels. They have nothing if they arrived from the battle to Landstuhl. Our backpacks was filled with handmade blankets, T-shirt, underpants, socks, items for personal hygiene, get well cards, candies and more.

We have seen one young man he was carry with his bed over the ward he has lost both eyes! I have never seen before so much nurses carry wounded with their beds over the floors from the operating room to the sick rooms on the wards.

Not any bed is empty – it is only empty if anyone is on surgery or the nurses change the linen. Nita and I we both had candies and chocolate with us for the staffs. The nurses looked so over worked! They all work so hard, they were so busy and were coping well with the heavy workload.

Kathy Gregory from the Fisher House had a box of homemade candies with her donate from our Angels Laurie from Berlin. The candies we put in the TV-room on the wards or given out to wounded lying in bed. So that every wounded can take on. For the TV- room we had with us special bags with paper, envelopes, pencils, everything to give the wounded the opportunity to write a letter to their love ones home. The few toy`s we received by the donation we have given the Fisher House for the kids from their guest families.

One wounded female soldier was sitting on her bad and was full of pain and the Chaplain talk to her, she was not doing fine. One older wounded could only take a breath by himself he needs a machine for doing this. We are always glad if we can bring backpacks directly to the wounded and if we have the opportunity to go for a friend to visit his comrade we are proud to do this.

So a Lt. USMC asked me to go for him to a comrade he was in Fallujah, “one of my Marine just got hit and he will be there in Germany soon, his name is Cpl. O. and there is also a marine there from …..with a lot of shrapnel wounds, I don`t have his name, can you look for him, too. “Sometimes we have the luck that they are still there. Sometimes they are off for medical treatment to the States to other hospitals, such how are here!

Our Angel Kara, sent me an e-mail, “… a good friend of ours has been injured as is in Germany. He is with my husband’s unit, his name is Capt. .. At the moment he is on ward …... Would you mind visiting him for us?”

We have found him and he is a wonderful guy I must say, he has a wife and three kids are waiting for him! His wife and Kara our Angels has not the opportunity to come to Germany to visit him. So we have given him from both “a big hug” and told him that his wife and the kids are being well taken care of. He was very surprised that someone has visited him. He was in a very good mood and was looking for more medical treatment in a naval hospital in the States.

A large Naval Hospital is in Camp Pendleton it is a 123 bed facility, overlooking Lake O'Neill and is located approximately 10 miles from the main gate from Camp Pendleton. The Base is located in Southern California approximately 35 miles north of San Diego and 100 miles south of Los Angeles.

Kara wrote later “....have another one for you. K. D. he is a Marine with the …... Don’t know too much about his injuries, his wife hasn’t heard much yet, just that he is there. Can you visit him for us?”.

We can imagine us how it is that you know that your love one is injured in the war against the terrorism in Fallujah and you hear nothing about him. So we were glad that we could let a backpack for him in the Fisher House and for bringing it later to the Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern. Here, 30 minutes from Landstuhl, is where soldiers not requiring hospital beds but evacuated to Landstuhl stay there during appointments and medical treatment which they have in LRMC. Here the wounded Soldiers can relax and recharge their batteries as they wait for their wounds to heal. The barracks at the moment are full too, 356 until 410 wounded or injured Soldiers could be accommodated there.

My good friend Kathy X call me to look for “..just got word that a friends son was hurt today and may be going to Germany. He graduated with my son T. He is a Marine. His name is S. B. You can see if he is there…”. He was hit in the leg. ! One bullet brazed his knee. The other was going behind his femur. He was in Fallujah, too. But we could not find him in the hospital, because we heard later he was still in a field hospital in Baghdad. A good buddy from him was with him lost his toes and was going for heeling to Germany later.

We read in the ABC Action News on the 11/10/04 „Local soldier spends birthday in hospital after attack in Iraq”, so we say us we have to look for here and bring her a special birthday gift. A female Army Spc. D. a High School graduate has spend her 21st birthday here in Germany in the hospital, recovering from burns she suffered in an attack in Iraq.

Spc. D. was seriously injured when the Humvee in which she was riding was struck by a roadside bomb outside Fallujah.. The 20-year-old M.P. was driving a Humvee from back to base camp in Baghdad when the bomb went off. Her left side is badly burned, but she is alive and expected to recover fast. She joined the Army straight out of high school to earn money for college. She is going further to Texas to another military hospital for more special treatment.

The Chaplains Office in Landstuhl went with me for looking for our wounded SPC D.. We found her on a public phone, to make a phone call at home. We both have wished her a great “Happy Birthday” and have given her a backpack with a handmade “blanket of hope” and a birthday gift “Nürnberger Lebkuchen and 3 roses”. She was very surprised and without words!

The Soldiers Angels with Kathy in the Fisher House

We have given out how much backpacks we had, together with the Fisher house we brought the wounded about 80 backpacks – but it was not enough: We have heard thirty-four wounded were flown in this Friday, 102 were brought in on two planes on Thursday and 68 were admitted on Wednesday. So we will look for more backpacks to bring it our Heores. How much we can do!

And it is always the same terrible story.

A 29-year-old soldier in Iraq was shot in the chest and has been transported to Germany for treatment was shot in the chest by a sniper.

A First Lieutenant a National Guard Soldier injured near Baghdad over the weekend during combat near Baghdad.

A Lance Corporal was shot on the battlefield in Fallujah. He is going further for more medical treatment to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in the Washington, D.C. area.

A Navy Corpsman has been wounded in Iraq. He graduated from High School in 2002. Our wounded hero, 31, lost his left foot in the explosion Wednesday and suffered extensive injuries to his left thigh and right ankle.

It was good to see that the Marines wear all a Marine sweater. This we have not seen before by other soldiers! We have seen again we need backpacks for female wounded. This time had 3 with us but this was not enough.

So we will go back on the 20th November with 40 new backpacks.

Wilhelmine Aufmkolk, Germany

Stryker Brigade News: A Soldier's Letter

Stryker Brigade News: A Soldier's Letter: "November 19, 2004
A Soldier's Letter
Provided below is a recent email written by a soldier with the 1-25 SBCT to his parents. We are publishing this with his permission. Thank you for sharing.
0920 15 NOVEMBER 2004 IRAQ
This is a must read,

Mom & Dad," must read today

Thursday, November 18, 2004
Posted at 5:00 PM, Pacific

The decision:
To shop or not to shop at on

Yahoo! News - Top Stories World Photos - AFP

Soldiers from the 1st battalion 24th regiment of the Stryker Brigade secure an area during clashes in Mosul. Iraqi national guardsmen raided a Sunni mosque in Baghdad after Friday prayers, sparking bloody clashes, an AFP correspondent reported, while in Mosul US-backed Iraqi commandos were poised to storm rebel strongholds.(AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

Yahoo! News - Top Stories World Photos - AFP

US Marines of the 1st Battalion

Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP: "US Marines of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines battle insurgents in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq Wednesday Nov. 17 2004. (AP Photo/ LCpl J.A. Chaverri, US Marines) "

US Marines of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines

US Marines of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines battle insurgents in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq Wednesday Nov. 17 2004. (AP Photo/ LCpl J.A. Chaverri, US Marines) EDITORIAL USE ONLY Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

A soldier from the 1st battalion 24th regiment of the Stryker Brigade

A soldier from the 1st battalion 24th regiment of the Stryker Brigade takes position during clashes in Mosul. Iraqi national guardsmen raided a Sunni mosque in Baghdad after Friday prayers, sparking bloody clashes, an AFP correspondent reported, while in Mosul US-backed Iraqi commandos were poised to storm rebel strongholds.(AFP/Tauseef Mustafa) Yahoo! News - Mideast Photos - AFP

Soldiers from the 1st battalion 24th regiment

Soldiers from the 1st battalion 24th regiment of the Stryker Brigade secure an area during clashes in Mosul. Iraqi national guardsmen raided a Sunni mosque in Baghdad after Friday prayers, sparking bloody clashes, an AFP correspondent reported, while in Mosul US-backed Iraqi commandos were poised to storm rebel strongholds.(AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)
Yahoo! News - Mideast Photos - AFP
Iraq Today
RAF jets escort Pakistan airliner: "Two RAF fighter planes were scrambled to escort a passenger jet towards a British airport after the jumbo's crew repeatedly failed to contact air traffic controllers."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Bounties Offered on Americans in Iraq: "A portly Shiite cleric, Abu Qusai sheds his black robe for a training suit and exchanges his white turban for a baseball cap, an effort to mask his identity for a risky trip through what has become known as the "triangle of death." (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Site: Zarqawi Group Beheads Two Iraqi Soldiers: "The group led by al Qaeda ally Abu Musabal-Zarqawi said it beheaded two Iraqi soldiers in broaddaylight in Mosul, a statement found on an Islamist Web site onFriday said. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Grim, Angry Rites as Falluja Buries Its Dead: "The urban battlefield of Fallujais disgorging its dead. Slowly. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Site: Zarqawi Group Beheads Two Iraqi Soldiers (Reuters): "Reuters - The group led by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said it beheaded two Iraqi soldiers in broad daylight in Mosul, a statement found on an Islamist Web site on Friday said."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

French "Expert" condemns US "State Terrorism": "

From Islam Online :

Washington will win the military battle in the western Iraqi city of Fallujah but its strategic looses[sic] will certainly outweigh such a victory, said a French strategic expert.

Branding the US practices against the Fallujah residents as “state terrorism,” Pascal Boniface, Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Studies [sic] in Paris, expected the onslaught to further fan anti-US feelings in the entire Islamic world.

Addressing a seminar organized by the Arab World Institute on Wednesday, November 17, Boniface said the cold-blooded killing of an unarmed, wounded Iraqi by a US soldiers in a Fallujah mosques was not an isolated incident.

He said the murder as well as the prisoners abuses in the infamous Abu Ghreib and Guantanamo Bay detentions demonstrate an established policy and doctrine.
The French expert described the Fallujah offensive as a ” strategic loss” for the Bush administration.

The Americans would undoubtedly win the fighting but they would strategically lose the battle as they did with the Iraq invasion, Boniface said.
The French expert considered the Fallujah operation as a new proof of American troubles in the Iraqis quagmire.

He refuted American allegations that the offensive was to eliminate terrorists from the city.

Boniface expected the onslaught to fan the already spiraling anti-US sentiments across Arab and Muslim countries and create more generations of those described by Washington as terrorists, not only in Iraq but in other parts of the world.

He added that the operation also killed stone dead the legitimacy of the planned January elections and its outcome.

The interim government lost credibility among Iraqis and Arabs who see it as a puppet in the hands of the US occupation forces, said the French expert.
Boniface hailed Arab popular reaction to the Fallujah offensive.

He said that despite the absence of democracy and political pressure groups, the Arab public opinion is turning into a mighty force interacting with developments in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.

The French expert noted that the emerging force of the public opinion, motivated by the Arab satellite channels, is now seen by the west and the Americans as the official spokesman of the Arab world.

The well-connected Paris-based IRIS (Institute for International and Strategic Relations) is not to be confused with the highly regarded IISS, (International Institute for Strategic Studies).

(Axis of Weasels)

In Command Post: Irak

Al Zaquawi HQ an Intelligence Windfall: "

Elaborating on a previous post, from Middle East Online :

The US-led assault on Fallujah has “broken the back of the insurgency” in Iraq by taking away its safe haven, scattering operatives and disrupting their command networks, the top US marine commander in Iraq said.

Lieutenant General John Sattler said the city was secure 11 days after the start of Operation Dawn, but not safe. Heavy fighting was still erupting in some quarters of the city as marines and Iraqi troops clear buildings of holdouts.

“Based on some of the records and ledgers we’ve been able to uncover, we feel right now that we have … broken the back of the insurgency and we’ve taken away the safe haven,” Sattler said.

The offensive would force the insurgents to set up operations in less familiar areas with untested allies, he added.

(Intelligence Reports)

In Command Post: Irak

US Marine, Iraqi Soldier Killed in Fallujah: "

From Reuters via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :

The marine and soldier died during continuing mop-up operations in the former insurgent bastion, raising the coalition toll in the fighting to retake the city to 51 US dead and eight Iraqis, the top US Marine commander there said.

US-led troops continued to engage in sporadic battles against rebels in Fallujah after launching a major assault to wrest the Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad from insurgents 10 days ago.
Iraqi volunteers and US troops were able to clear 24 corpses from the battered city and evacuate five civilians.

The Iraqi Red Crescent said 150 families remained stranded.

From the New York Times :

The Department of Defense has identified 1,212 American service members who have died since the start of the Iraq war. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans this week:

HEFLIN, Christopher T., 26, Sgt., Marines; Paducah, Ky.; First Marine Division.

QUALLS, Louis W., 20, Lance Cpl., Temple, Tex.; Fourth Marine Division.

WULLENWABER, Luke C., 24, First Lt., Army; Lewiston, Idaho; Second Infantry Division.


In Command Post: Irak

Marine Intelligence Report warns against Premature Withdrawal: "

From The Age :

Senior US marine intelligence officers in Iraq are warning that insurgents will rebound from their defeat if planned cuts to US troop levels in Fallujah go ahead.

The rebels could thwart retraining of Iraqi security forces, intimidate local residents and derail January elections, the officers say.

They fear that despite the insurgents’ heavy casualties in the week-long Fallujah battle, their numbers will continue to grow, there will be further guerilla attacks and fighters will foment unrest among Fallujah’s returning residents, using the idea that expectations for better conditions have not been met.

The warning is contained in a classified report prepared by intelligence officers in the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force last weekend as the Fallujah offensive was winding down. The leaked assessment was distributed to senior officers in Iraq, where one called it “brutally honest”.
The intelligence assessment offers a stark counterpoint to more positive assessments by military chiefs in the wake of the Fallujah operation, which they say completed its goals well ahead of schedule and with fewer Iraqi civilian and US casualties than expected.

Senior military officers in Iraq and Washington who have read the report cautioned that the assessment was a subjective judgement by some marine intelligence officers near the front lines and did not reflect the views of all intelligence officials and senior commanders in Iraq.

“The assessment of the enemy is a worst-case assessment,” the senior military intelligence officer in Iraq, Brigadier-General John DeFreitas, said.

“We have no intention of creating a vacuum and walking away from Fallujah.”

A senior officer in Washington said the view from the tactical intelligence level had generally been more pessimistic than that from officers at the strategic level.


In Command Post: Irak

French Casualties in Iraq: "

From the BBC :

Three Frenchmen have died fighting with insurgents against US-led troops in Iraq, reports say.

The men, all of Arab origin, were killed in the country over recent months as the insurgency has flared.

Two of the men were aged 19 and the third was 24 years old, a French official said.

Authorities estimate that around a dozen Frenchmen of North African or Arab background have travelled to Iraq to join the insurgency.

The men were identified as

  • 24-year-old Tarek W, from Paris, killed on 17 September
  • 19-year-old Redouane el-Hakim, killed on 17 July
  • Abdel Halim Badjoudj, 19, killed on 20 October.

Note that a handful of Australians, Britons and Americans were caught fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

(Axis of Weasels)

In Command Post: Irak

Al Sadr Aide, 104 Others Arrested: "

From the AFP via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

Iraqi police have arrested a senior aide to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr in the southern city of Najaf.

”Sheikh Hashem Abu Raghif was arrested at his home Wednesday night after detainees were forced to confess that he had ordered torture against prisoners detained by the Sadr movement,” Sheikh Ali Smeism said.

Before it was ousted from Najaf after an August offensive led by the US army, the Sadr movement had established its own tribunals and jails in the holy city.

Meanwhile Iraqi police and national guards have detained more than 100 suspected militants in raids around Haifa Street, a rebellious Sunni Muslim stronghold in Baghdad.

In all 104 people were arrested, including nine who were suspected of having escaped from the US-led offensive against the rebel city of Fallujah over the past 10 days.


In Command Post: Irak

Marine to stand court-martial in slaying of his alleged lover: "The court-martial of a Marine accused of killing a married woman with whom he allegedly had an affair is scheduled to begin Nov. 29."

In San Diego Union-Tribune: In Iraq

Al-Zarqawi command centre found: "US troops sweeping through Fallujah found what appeared to be a command centre used by followers of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as a general declared the battle for the city had "broken the back of the insurgency"."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Bodies of 4 Iraqis flown to US for autopsy--victims of videotape shooting? in

Militants Try to Stir Arab-Kurd Violence (AP): "AP - Insurgents battling U.S. and Iraqi forces in the northern city of Mosul have been trying to drag the Kurdish minority into their fight and set off a sectarian war, Kurdish and Arab officials say."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

Marine commander shows pictures of insurgent weapons, hideouts in Iraq & Terror

Gehanna is Burning: "Smoke rises continually from the acres of garbage that fill the river bend in the Green Zone, US occupation headquarters, across the Tigris from our apartment. Apparently, with the security risks of dozens of garbage trucks entering and departing the Green Zone daily, someone decided to dump it all along the river, outside the concrete walls. It must be like the constantly burning “Gehenna” or hell that Jesus mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount. My memory is that Gehenna is an image of the valley below Jerusalem where the garbage was dumped and burned."

In Electronic Iraq

The Streets of Baghdad: "We had our daily car bomb today when a suicide bomber drove his car into a US patrol as it passed near the Yarmouk police station. Several Iraqis were killed, with no report yet on US casualties. I felt the rumble even though I was on a street far away from the blast-at least 5 miles distant. Walking and driving on the streets Baghdad I find myself in a sea of chaos. Traffic is mayhem for many reasons. The current fuel crisis being the lead cause. Lines at petrol stations stretch for miles at some of the stations. A common scene at these lines is that of people pushing their cars because they are already out of gas or to save what precious little may be left in their tank."

In Electronic Iraq