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Monday, February 21, 2005

Hero Needs Help

Fund set up for wounded soldier
By Scott Kimbler

GAINESVILLE - The Gainesville post of the American Legion is excepting donations to assist the family of Matthew Turner, who is the Oakwood Marine injured in an Iraq explosion last month. Turner is at Brooks Army Medical Center in Texas with burns to over 40% of his body. The legion says the family is having to make many trips to Texas while he recovers and it is causing a financial strain.

You can donate to the fund through the American Legion and Auxiliary P.O. Box 552 Gainesville, GA 30503

All donations are tax deductible.

Sites and Blogs You Really Should See

If you check the links to the right, you'll find some new spots. Here's an introduction to what's new:

This blog was developed by the father of a hero killed in action. Best described in his own words:
My son PFC John D. Hart was killed in Iraq Oct. 18,2003. My wife Alma and I have been very active over the last year lobbying for body armor, vehicular armor, IED jammers and on behalf of Gold Star Families. Here is a blog where I am going to start posting my information as it unfolds.

You may also want to check out this article regarding Mr. Hart's efforts:
Soldier's Father Keeps Promise on Push for Armor (Update1)

Wayne's World 2005
This blog is from the mother of a deployed hero.

Northwest Florida Military Veterans News & Info
A new resource site for Veterans in that area of the States.

Operation Armor Up Needs Your Help

Dear Patti and Ben,

As project manager of the Armor-Up program for the Soldiers Angels, I have had many requests for Kevlar blankets from our soldiers. They are in need of extra amour to protect them from attacks on their vehicles while on missions. Some of the vehicles they travel in have inadequate protection against sniper fire and IEDs ( improvised explosive devices). Our most recent request is from a captain who was severely wounded during operations in Iraq. If he had the Kevlar blankets in his vehicle he would not have had serious wounds that led to his 14 surgeries and need to learn to walk again. His unit is now deployed again in Iraq and due to his injuries he was not able to go with them. Here is a message from him to our Soldier Angel Group.

His first e-mail from Late December 2004:
"I appreciate all that your organization is doing for our soldiers. I was severely wounded on 01 July 03 and am unable to accompany my unit during their return to Iraq. I know that Kevlar blankets would have kept a good deal of the shrapnel out of my body and I am wondering what I need to do to get my unit on your list to receive Kevlar Blankets. Thank you for all you are doing." Captain of INF Battalion.

The e-mail I received today reads:
"The guys are now in place in Iraq and I should have a good address from the CO in the next few days. I know it's longer than I initially anticipated but they took some time in Kuwait before they could move North. I can't tell you how much they appreciate what you all are doing for them. This blanket program is a tangible and important show of support which may mean men come back alive who would have died. I can't thank you enough! "

We need to fulfill his request for (4) Kevlar blankets as soon as possible so we can help protect his men and give this hero the peace of mind that he has done all he could do to protect them.

Each blanket costs $925.00 and meets the Dept. Of Defense specifications.


Soldier Angel Robin
Land of the Free - Because of the Brave

If you would like to donate to Operation Armor Up, please go to the webpage here. You will find a link there where you can make a donation. If you need further information, click on the "Email Brandonblog" link on the right hand side of this page, and email us.

At Work In...

The Army...

Sgt. Jacob Pries, a team leader from Company A, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, patrols Jalalabad, Afghanistan. by Staff Sgt. Bradley Rhen, February 11, 2005

The Navy...

SALVAGE TRAINING — Flight deck personnel aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman conduct aircraft salvage training with the emergency heavy lift crane, nicknamed “Tilly,” while underway in the Persian Gulf, Feb. 4, 2005. An SH-60F Seahawk, assigned to the “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 7, was used as a mock crashed aircraft in the drill. U.S. Navy photo by Airman Gregory A. Pierot

The Air Force...

Guarding Hercules
KARSHI-KHANABAD AIR BASE, Uzbekistan -- Senior Airman Mark Ide, 416th Expeditionary Mission Support Squadron security forces flight deployed here from Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., stands in front of a C-130 Hercules here before it leaves for a security forces fly-away mission to a forward-deployed location in Afghanistan on Feb. 10. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol)

The Marines...

Marines from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, checked a vehicle at a local fuel station to ensure no weapons or explosives were hidden inside the vehicle. Random vehicle inspection help deter insurgent activity on and around the main service roads.Photo by: Lance Cpl. Athanasios Genos

The US Coast Guard

ILLWACO, Wash. (Feb. 2, 2005)--Petty Officer 1st Class Beth Slade operates a 47-foot motor lifeboat near Peacock Spit during a surf drill. Slade is the only active female surfman in the Coast Guard. USCG photo PA3 Jeffrey Pollinger

In Today's News - Monday, February 21, 2005

Quote of the Day
[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
-- Ronald Reagan Associated Press
Bush faces Iraq critics, calls for unity
President Bush dismissed the rift with Europe over Iraq as a "passing disagreement of governments" on Monday and urged greater trans-Atlantic cooperation, including more support for the fledgling Iraqi government.

U.S. and Iraqi forces continue offensive
U.S. Marines broke down doors and raided houses Monday on the second day of an offensive aimed at cracking down on insurgent activity in several troubled cities west of Baghdad.

Opposition urges ouster of Lebanon gov't
Thousands of opposition supporters shouted insults at Syria and demanded the resignation of Lebanon's pro-Syrian government in a central Beirut demonstration Monday, marking a week since the assassination of Rafik Hariri, Lebanon's most prominent politician.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Israel starts releasing held Palestinian
Israel on Monday began to release a first wave of 500 Palestinian security prisoners, fulfilling a promise it made at an Israeli-Palestinian summit meeting in Egypt earlier this month, where leaders declared an end to four years of bloodshed. Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Ananova: War In Iraq
Talks on IRA money-laundering probe
Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy and Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell will meet to discuss the cross border battle to smash a massive IRA money laundering racket. Ananova: War In Iraq

The US News: Iraq News
Indonesian journalists freed in Iraq
Two Indonesian journalists taken hostage in Iraq have been freed by their abductors, a member of the Sunni Muslim authorities in the Iraqi city of Ramadi said today. [in ABC Australia] The US News: Iraq News

Louisiana soldier dies in Iraq bombing
A 20-year-old soldier with Louisiana's 256th Brigade Combat Team was killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device, the Louisiana National Guard said on Sunday. [in WBRZ] The US News: Iraq News

Sunnis seek voice in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S. Marines and Iraqi security forces launched an offensive Sunday against insurgents in troubled cities west of Baghdad after two days of carnage that left nearly 100 people dead. S... [in WBRZ] The US News: Iraq News

Now is the time to help Iraq: Bush to Europe
Brussels, February 21: US President George W. Bush was to urge Europe in a speech today to provide "tangible political, economic and security assistance" to Iraq in the wake of the January 30 election... [in Express India] The US News: Iraq News

Baghdad soldiers bring music home
Corrine Campbell of Superior, Wis., front, plays the bass and John Simon of Alta, Iowa, plays lead guitar while the Army band Amber Tight rehearses in studios at Fort Meade, Md., this week.FORT MEADE,... [in Casper Star Tribune] The US News: Iraq News

Militants kidnap Iraqi TV presenter in Mosul
BAGHDAD - Gunmen in Iraq abducted a female Iraqi television presenter in the northern city of Mosul, an official from her local television network said on Monday. [in Khaleej Times] The US News: Iraq News

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
Tape Appears to Show Freed Reporters
A video delivered anonymously to Associated Press Television News on Monday appeared to show the release of two Indonesian journalists that went missing in Ramadi last week. Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Weather information from The Weather Channel

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

From Fox News
Israel Releases Prisoners
Protests Erupt in Lebanon
U.S. Launches Raids in Iraq
New Zawahiri Tape Reported
Schools Not Ready for Terror
Holy Day Blasts Leave 55 Dead in Iraq
Sen. Clinton: Iraq Insurgency Failing
Italians March for Abducted Journo
Tight Security for Shiite Holy Day
Deadly Blasts Target Shiites in Baghdad
NATO Hopes All Members Will Help Train Iraqi Forces
Fast Facts: Deadly Attacks in Iraq
Video Shows Kidnapped Reporters

From the Department of Defense
Abizaid Discusses Afghan Progress
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Feb. 20, 2005 — U.S. and coalition forces have made significant progress against the al Qaeda terrorist group and remnants of the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan, but the coalition must remain vigilant because the threat has not been completely eliminated, the U.S. general in charge of forces in the region said. Story

Coalition Leader: Tide Turning in Afghanistan
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Feb. 20, 2005 — The tide is turning against anti- coalition fighters in Afghanistan, British Army Maj. Gen. Peter Gilchrist, deputy commanding general of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan, said Feb. 19. Story

Marines Improve Safety in Ramadi

Soldiers, Airman Boost Morale During 'Off Time'
Tiger Soldiers Provide Construction Security
Combat Postal Unit Helps Redeploying Troops

Special Report - Iraqi Elections
Iraq Certifies Election Results
Shiia Slates Win, Call for Unity
Commentary: Leaving Fear Behind
Fact Sheet: Timeline
Fact Sheet: Transitional Admin Law
Fact Sheet: Candidate List Regulations

Iraqi Casualties Mount
Forces Cornerstone of Security
Rumsfeld, Myers Describe Enemy
Police Foil Kidnapping, Attack
Iraqi Ships to be Built in Baghdad
Iraq Daily Update
Year in Review 2004 Fact Sheets (pdf)
Iraq Reconstruction
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Afghanistan Daily Update

Leaders Discuss Terror War
Rice Outlines State's Budget
System Helps Track Detainees
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Deployed Troops Get Tax Options
National Guard, Reserve Update