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Sunday, November 21, 2004

From A Hero In Iraq

Home reminds soldier why fight

As the days slowly pass or quickly flash and we soldiers fight a seemingly unwinnable war against evil and hate, we sometimes lose hope and become as stagnant and dead as much of the life in areas of desert in our area of operations.

But then prayers are answered, the volume is turned up again, joy reenters our lives. Brotherhood and the feelings of hope and freedom reenter our hearts and minds and fill our souls.

The small things matter again, the chaos then returns to order and we young men can hear the wind in the trees again, the feel and zest of life.

We see the light at the end of the tunnel, the wounds begin to heal. The mind begins to learn again. Laughter is heard once more. The mission is then clarified once again: Put it all on the line, everything you can give. Bring the fight to the enemy, protect those you fight for.

Put the villains in their place, regroup, ruck-up and drive on.

Thank you, friends and family, and thank you, Christine, for revamping the hope that was fading.

Thank you, Seward, for all of your thoughts and prayers. Have a great day, and God bless.

Sgt. Timothy Hartmann

Seward County Independent

A picture released by the Multi National Force-Iraq

A picture released by the Multi National Force-Iraq shows soldiers with the Iraqi Special Forces along with US Marines clearing houses in the devastated city of Fallujah, 50 kms west of Baghdad. The US military said that its forces and Iraqi troops had detained 1,450 people during the massive operation against insurgents in Fallujah(AFP/MNF-I)

Yahoo! News - Mideast Photos - AFP

A US Apache helicopter hovers above a US soldier

A US Apache helicopter hovers above a US soldier in the Iraqi northern city of Mosul. Nine Iraqi soldiers were executed in Mosul on Saturday as US and Iraqi troops chased down insurgents in the city amid continued violence across the country, including an ambush that killed one US soldier in Baghdad(AFP/Tauseef Mustafa) Yahoo! News - Mideast Photos - AFP

Rare infections among some U.S. fighters - (United Press International)

Arlington, VA, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- A rare blood infection has emerged among U.S. military personnel who were injured in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes reported Saturday.
Rare infections among some U.S. fighters - (United Press International)

Buffalo News - 'I have no regrets'

BETHESDA, Md. - Three days after an Iraqi grenade shattered two of his limbs and nearly ended his life, Cpl. Mark P. O'Brien found himself in intensive care in the National Naval Medical Center, with a tube down his throat and his head swollen to the size of a basketball.
Looking up at his parents for the first time in months, the young Marine from East Aurora grabbed a marker and scrawled a note, using a hand that had never before been used for writing.

In awkward shaky letters, it said: "I have no regrets."

A week later, O'Brien, 21, looks and feels much better. And if he has a regret now, it's that he can't go back to Iraq and continue the fight for a cause he sees as just, continue the fight alongside his buddies.

"I'm doing great, I really am," O'Brien said in an interview in his hospital room last week. "I'm relieved and I'm sad at the same time. I'm out of Iraq, but . . . it's hard to explain. I still want to be there. All my friends are there, and I'm really worried about them."

Of course, O'Brien has plenty to contend with on his own.

During up to six months of rehabilitation, the former lacrosse star at Iroquois Central High School will learn to use a prosthetic right arm and prosthetic right leg.

He will learn to write all over again. And he will begin to build a future he never could have imagined four years ago, before 9/11, before a buddy talked him into joining the Marines.

Buffalo News - 'I have no regrets'

Britain to get tough on terror

Britain to get tough on terror

Is this the stupidest caption or what!!
Britain to get tough on terror

Marine turned comic to entertain troops

Retired U.S. Marine officer turned stand-up comedian James Connolly of Santa Monica, Calif., left for Iraq Sunday to entertain troops.

Connolly, formerly with Camp Pendleton's 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, says it was the first Persian Gulf War in 1991 that triggered his comedy career. He was asked to write one-liners to skewer fellow officers for a dinner roast hosted by his commanding officer.

The next day I was called into his office and I assumed I had crossed the line, Connolly said. Instead, I found the colonel laughing and asking me for suggestions on how to deliver the jokes.

Connolly said watching the colonel's success, he knew he wanted to perform himself.

As part of Comics On Duty World Tour, Connolly and four other comedians will entertain in Iraq during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Connolly is host of cable's VH1's Movie Obsessions, and has been a champion on Ed McMahon's Next Big Star. He appeared in the movie The Act and performs in top comedy clubs including The Improv and Catch A Rising Star.

Marine turned comic to entertain troops
Iraq Today
Nations agree to write off Iraq's debt: "PARIS (AP) - Major economic powers agreed in principle to write off billions of dollars of debt for Iraq, officials said Sunday, with France in particular agreeing to compromise as it seeks improved ties with the United States."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

U.S. forces in Iraq detain three after raid: "RAMADI, Iraq (AP) - U.S. forces conducted a raid to capture a "high value target" associated with Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an area northwest of Baghdad, a U.S. spokesman said Sunday. Three people were detained."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Three More Bodies Found in Iraq's Restive Mosul: "The bodies of three men killed byinsurgents were found on a street in the Iraqi city of Mosul onSunday, a day after U.S. troops in the city discovered thebodies of nine Iraqi soldiers who had been shot in the head. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

The best, brightest, wealthiest flee Iraq: "When the kidnappers who had just released him in return for a $105,000 ransom called his home to ask for an extra $50,000, Shafiq Noori made a decision he never imagined he would make. (Chicago Tribune)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Iraqi police plan crackdown on insurgent areas south of Baghdad in Iraq & Terror