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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

America - United We Stand

Recently, I was contacted about an awesome book project.

America-United We Stand is "a narrative collection of essays depicting the profound sentiments of how individuals have gained a real appreciation for our country."

The official release is projected for July 4th, 2005.

Andy Bullock, with VirtuServe, the publisher, has generously sent along some excerpts from the book to share. The first of those is below. I'll post some more snippets, and I'll keep you updated with release news.

Please remember that these exerpts are the property of the publisher, and should not be reposted or distributed without their consent.

Here is the introduction, by former Secretary of State Colin Powell:

United We Stand!


Clifford B. Alsberg

Let’s just say it at the outset and let’s say it loud and clear—

This book is unabashedly patriotic. This writer, the editors, the photographers, the publishers and especially all of those participating Americans who so graciously and generously shared their lives and their stories with us are not the least bit ashamed to proclaim their love-- OUR love-- for this great land of ours.

We are American patriots one and all. But let’s also clarify at the outset that ours is the studied, patiently acquired patriotism of reason— of historical observation, comparative analysis and objectivity-- of intellectually coming to terms with the inherent “goodness” of this country. It is decidedly NOT the stridently blind, “America—Love it or leave it!” mentality of exclusion, divisiveness and intimidation.

On the contrary, we love our country for its constant celebration of diversity—of opposing, often-clashing opinions and beliefs. These conflicting views, passionately brought forth and debated at every level of our public and private sectors, are, in and of themselves, the very hallmark of our free and open society. Nor are there any rose-colored glasses here. We recognize with grave concern the ills of our vastly complex, multi-faceted populace and we pledge ourselves to meeting the continuing, daunting challenges of making this great country of ours even greater.

America is our home. And the bond we feel for our country stretches far beyond the magnificent shores that define its boundaries. It is a bond that transcends a physical landscape of stirring landmarks and staggering natural beauty—it is a bond forged from a profoundly deep respect and appreciation for the principles upon which this nation was founded.

Yes, we owe much to the contributions of those great civilizations and nation-states that have come before us. And we are proud of that heritage, too. But we stand alone—head and shoulders above all the other nations of the world-- when we proclaim that man’s unalienable right to life and freedom is ordained from God Himself. Nor are these merely words inscribed on 200-plus year-old documents—It is a self-evident concept indelibly burned into our national psyche—lovingly and diligently taught to our children, continuously tested and refined through our courts and Halls of Congress and defended by generation after generation of fiercely proud citizens from every walk of life.

It is, indeed, within this clear framework of our Judeo-Christian heritage that we find our greatest source of strength, purpose and moral clarity.

Derived from a far Higher Authority than any duly constituted government of man, our laws and value system directly traces its roots to the objective Truths of the Old Testament itself. And, as those bedrock values are themselves timeless; so, too, is the timelessness of our national spirit and philosophy. For although we are still a relatively young nation among the community of nations, we recognize the eternal nature and uniqueness of our national structure and egalitarian ideals.

It is precisely because we have always considered ourselves, from the very beginning, to be a God-fearing people that we are able to treat our fellow man with fairness and with dignity. It is because of this deep, all-pervading moral conviction that we are able to stand up for justice and confront evil.

The stories you will find within these pages are individual snapshots of all our lives— microcosmic glimpses of our dynamic, constantly unfolding national heritage. Taken together, they form a tapestry of all that is uniquely American. And if some of these Americans and their stories seem somehow vaguely familiar to you, it is because, at some time or other, we have all felt what these men and women have felt. We have shared with us their pain, their tears, their pride and their dreams. Their lives touch our lives because these Americans are truly our friends, our neighbors and our family.

From the hundreds of powerful, stirring stories our editors have carefully reviewed, we have selected those that we felt best portrayed our book’s central theme of appreciation for our country. It was not the uniqueness, the dramatic, often harrowing aspects or the resultant notoriety of the events or experiences themselves, but rather, how those events and experiences inspired each featured American to come to love his or her country even more.

Lastly, we wish to state that we have tried our best to avoid taking any political stand whatsoever. There is no striving for “political correctness” here; no rush to employ such labels as “Liberal”, “Conservative”, “Left” or “Right”. Rather, we are Americans one and all who love our country for all that it is, all that it represents and all that it yet could be.

Come turn these pages with us-- meet some of your fellow Americans and join us in celebrating our illustrious present, as we work together towards our brilliant future.

We are Americans—

United We Stand!

And Andy tells me that they are willing to make a number of copies available to Soldiers' Angels to assist with fundraising.

Mark your calendar, and look for further excerpts in future posts!
The “No Right Answer” Game
(Inspired by “ The Wrong Army,” by Jeff Edwards, USN, Ret., warrior and novelist)

America’s forces have won all their wars,
From Revolution to war in Iraq;
And Lefties don’t point to the Vietnam War,
Where you stabbed winning troops in the back.
No, the truth is we win; we win time and again;
Done it time after time after time.
Doesn’t matter to you, ‘cause whatever we do,
We’ve always somehow dropped the dime.

To Lefties our generals just have to be wrong,
Wrong tactics, wrong weapons, wrong forces;
We’re the gang who somehow can never shoot straight,
To hear the mainstream media sources.
Just look at their headlines, view every day’s news,
With their blistering barrages of blame.
To warriors out here at the point of the spear,
It’s those losers’ “No Right Answer,” game.

In this lugubrious game loved by Liberal elites,
There’s just but one rule to enforce:
Whatever we do, in whatever war,
Must naturally be wrong of course.
There is no right answer, no matter what,
Even when our warriors are winning;
There’s always the sly implication we lie,
In the splenetic stories they’re spinning.

In peacetime they charge our forces too large
During wartime they squall they’re too small;
In peacetime they whine we’re spending too much;
But in war, “Where’s the armor for all?”
With consummate confidence they know what’s best,
Puerile pundits so smug and so smarmy,
Pontificate loud to their Liberal crowd,
That we once again have the wrong Army.

Pick a war, any war, or a period of peace;
Field marshals of the media are spinning;
If generals of journalism are so in the know,
Why are genuine generals winning?
So here at the front, harsh home of the grunt,
We ignore their attempts to defame.
The troops know the score, know what this war's for;
They can stuff their “No Right Answer,” game.

SSGT Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

“The Wrong Army” can be found here:,14790,Edwards_031405-P1,00.html
As always, Russ, thanks for sharing this.

MEDAL OF HONOR CEREMONY — David Smith, 11-year-old son of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, holds his father's Medal of Honor, awarded Monday, April 4, 2005, posthumously by President Bush during ceremonies at the White House. Looking on are Smith's wife, Birgit, and step-daughter Jessica. White House photo by Paul Morse

Operation Guardian Angel Hosts Dinner Dance Benefit

Annette Inzinga, Project Chairperson for Operation Guardian Angel, has sent word that they are hosting a Dinner Dance on April 29th to benefit Soldiers' Angels and the Illinois Military Family Relief fund.

Here is some of what she has to say:

We should have a great turn-out. Gary Sinise and his Lt. DanBand are extremely interested in our event and one of our committee members has personally met with Gary (he's a Chicago boy) concerning his attendance. I should mention that in addition to the USO tours, he is an official spokesperson for the USO and should he come, his attendance would only be on a personal level and not any othercapacity.

This dance is a pretty big deal. The Signature Room at Seven Bridges is an upscale venue and they have given us fantastic pricing and the full use of their facility. Additionally, the featured entertainment,The Grand Avenue Big Band, normally charges in excess of $10,000 for their full show. Not only has this orchestra (18 musicians and three female singers) given us their show for a significant discountedamount, but they have assisted tremendously with publicity and are responsible for getting us the television segments.

All local Chicago TV news stations have posted information on their websites (WGN, NBC, ABC, CBS, CLTV). CLTV and WGN TV will be running segments featuring our fundraiser on their news programs. WGN-Radio(Chicago's #1 radio station) will be publicizing our event on both their morning drive (the Spike O'Dell Radio Experiment) and afternoonshows (the Steve Cochran Show).

Below are some links to further information on the dance. If you are in the Chicago area, please consider attending, or helping to get the word out. (State of Illinois website, linked under community events)

In Today's News - Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Quote of the Day
"God grants us liberty only to those who love it,
and are always ready to guard and defend it."
-- Daniel Webster Associated Press
Attack on U.S. convoy in Iraq kills GI
Gonzales to defend Patriot Act renewal

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Explosion targets U.S. convoy in Baghdad
Saudi police kill nine militants

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
US Troops Battle Insurgents East of Baghdad
Riot at U.S.-Run Prison in Iraq, 16 People Wounded
Missing Soldier in Iraq Has Become Part of Ohio Community's Consciousness
Bomb Explodes Near Iraq Army Patrol, Kills Civilian
U.S. Marine Killed in Action West of Baghdad
Iraqi Army General Kidnapped in Baghdad - Police
Car Bomb Explodes at Iraqi Army Checkpoint

The US News: Iraq News
Two US soldiers killed in Iraq
Two Iraqis Charged in Al-Zarqawi Cash Aid
Estonians can choose whether to pull out of Iraq: US
Inmates, Guards Clash at Prison in S. Iraq
Iraq charge soldier 'to be cleared'
Boy, 11, accepts his father's Medal of Honor
Iraqi prisoners stage violent protest
Suicide bomber wounds 5 Iraqis at Abu Ghraib

Fox News
Two GIs Killed in Iraq
Report Blasts WTC Evacuation
Gonzales Defends Patriot Act
British Election Set for May 5
Gore Launches TV Channel
Iraqi Lawmakers Choose Speaker
Seven Killed in Iraq Violence
Sunni Leaders Urge Iraqis to Protect Nation

Car bombs kill U.S. soldier, Iraqi civilian

Department of Defense
New Sports Clinic Honors Disabled Vets — Story

42nd Military Police Brigade Train Iraqi Cadets — Story
Balad Medics Perform Critical Care Mission — Story
U.S. Fighter Aircraft Flying New Missions — Story
Military Police Partner with Iraqi Police — Story

Iraqi, U.S. Troops Distribute Humanitarian Aid

'Bobcats' Search Oruzgan Province for Enemy
Romanian President Visits Camp Phoenix

Marine Brings Comforts to the Battlefront — Story

256th Brigade Combat Team Honors Fallen — Story

Celebrities Encourage Disabled Vets — Story

Vehicle Safety Improves in Iraq
Medic Receives Medal for Valor
Success in Iraq - DoD Fact Sheet
Year in Review 2004 Fact Sheets (pdf)
Iraq Daily Update
Iraq Reconstruction
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Anti-coalition Attacks Increase
Power of Freedom Evident
Afghanistan Daily Update

Security Forces Prepare to Deploy
Soldier Killed by Small-arms Fire
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bush Nominates Navy Secretary
OPM Extends Veterans' Preference
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Casualties — Story

Today in History
1242 - Russian troops repel an invasion by Teutonic knights.
1614 - Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe.
1632 - After the Battle of The Leck, Gustavus Adolphus occupies Augsburg, Munich, and all of southern Bavaria. Count Tilly is killed by artillery during the fighting.
1792 - George Washington casts the first presidential veto.
1799 - In the Battle of Magnano, the French are soundly defeated by the Austrians.
1818 - In the Battle of Maipo River, Chilean forces defeat the Spanish, securing Chilean independence.
1843 - Queen Victoria proclaims Hong Kong a British colony.
1862 - The siege of Yorktown starts.
1865 - As the Confederate army approaches Appomattox, it skirmishes with Union forces at Amelia Springs and Paine's Cross Road.
1908 - As the Russians retreat, the Japanese reach the Yalu River.
1919 - Eamon de Valera becomes president of Ireland.
1930 - Mahatma Ghandi defies British law, making salt in India instead of buying it from the British.
1941 - German commandos secure docks along the Danube River in preparation for a German invasion of the Balkans.
1942 - South of Ceylon, the Japanese sink the H.M.S. Dorsetshire and Cornwall.
1943 - The British 8th Army attacks the retreating Axis forces at Wadi Akarit.
1951 - Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are sentenced to death for espionage.
1955 - Winston Churchill resigns as British prime minister.
1972 - The North Vietnamese launch the second front of their Nguyen Hue Offensive.
1986 - In a West Berlin disco packed with American Soldiers, a bomb explodes, killing 2 US servicemen and a Turkish woman. Ten days later, the U.S. retaliates after it is discovered that Libya is linked to the bombing.

1827 - Joseph Lister, English physician, founded the idea of using antiseptics during surgery.
1839 - Robert Smalls, black congressman from South Carolina, 1875-87.
1923 - Nguyen Van Thieu, president of South Vietnam.
1937 - Colin Powell, U.S. Army general, Secretary of State.