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

Monday, July 11, 2005

To Our British Friends

Many times during my Marine Corps career I had the good fortune and distinct pleasure to socialize with and serve alongside soldiers, sailors, Marines and citizens of the British Empire. As a recon team leader I called in air strikes on (opposing force) elements of the Royal Marines' 45 Commando, while serving as MSG Detachment Commander in Canberra, Australia I invited the Defense Attache' of the British High Commission to be our guest of honor at a Mess Night celebrating Independence Day (no small bit of irony there), and I have consumed more than a bit of English ale in the pubs of Portsmouth and Plymouth. On every occasion I was impressed by the stoic nature of the Brits, and by the incredibly civilized society they have built. It is because of the latter that I join all civilized people of the world in condemning the cowardly and barbaric attacks on London and mourn the losses suffered by our British friends - and because of the former I know our friends across the Big Pond will display their famed "stiff upper lip" and prevail against the terrorists. This is the worst attack against the Crown since the Nazis launched the Blitz, and it calls to mind the words of Sir Winston Churchill - words which are as true now as they were when he first spoke them:

"I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone....We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

The words "United We Stand" do not apply only to Americans - they apply to all who love freedom. We stand with our British friends on this day, and will do so until the world is safe for our children and our children's children.

Semper Fi,
Andy Bufalo
MSgt USMC (Ret)

Received via email, from Seamus
'Sweetheart of the Fighting Fronts' dies at 91
07/11/05 12:39 PM, EDT
Frances Langford, whose steamy rendition of "I'm in the Mood for Love" captivated soldiers when she was part of Bob Hope's USO tours during World War II, died Monday at the age of 91.
The noncommissioned officers of the Camp Fallujah Contingency Contracting Office stand outside here July 6, 2005. The Marines of the CCO make sure entities like clean water, air conditioners and generators are available here.
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Cox

Story - at Marine Corps News

Wisdom from a former POW

LEWIS W. SHATTUCK (courtesy of SCOPES Systems POW Bio Page; listed below in the news post)
Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: July 1, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973

A native of the state of Washington, Colonel Shattuck was educated there until his enlistment in the Air Force in 1952. He graduated from Aviation Cadet school in 1954 and served in both Japan and Italy as well as various posts in the U.S. He volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia and was accepted in February 1966.

Colonel Shattuck flew forty-two missions in North Vietnam and twenty-one in Laos. He was shot down on July 1, 1966, but made it to about seventeen miles out to sea to be rescued by an SA16 and then was shot down again. He made his adjustment to prison life and decided at once that he actually did want to live to return to the great and glorious country of America.

"I find that I have come home with an awareness that I never had before, an appreciation for life that had escaped me. It is fascinating for me these days just to walk outdoors and to look around and to be able to see the clouds, to see the moon, and the fabulous fruits of our natural life - flowers, grasses, mountains, trees.

"I believe I have gained an insight, not only into myself, but into my fellowman as well. I've seen people in periods of fear and terror and extreme pain, and I guess living in those tight quarters for so long I have begun to understand the actions of people. I am fascinated these days to meet with people and to talk with people.

"I've come home with a patience that I never had before. I find that even in the heavy pace of life today, I'm generally relaxed and do not feel the press of 'having' to be here or 'having' to be there. I am better able to pace myself, far better able to cope with life today.

"I have a great appreciation for color; we were so starved for all those years. Our lives were devoid of color, and the brightness of this country, is so fascinating and so beautiful. Just before I go to sleep at night, I thank God for the beautiful days He has chosen to afford me and for the life He helped me to keep.

I've found an awareness of God while I was over there that I had not had before.

"One more thought has come to me and that is the deep, deep love I have for this country, a love that grew out of the awareness that I've spoken about. I had time to sit and reflect about my life while in prison, to think about the future and about all the beautiful things in our country. Unfortunately, there are people who don't realize what is about them; they don't take the time to reflect on their lives as we were afforded the opportunity to do. They don't look back to see where they've been, they don't look forward to see where they are going. They are caught up with the press of the day ... we had to see where we were going.

"I gained a deep, deep appreciation for this country, for the beauty of it, for the beauty of our way of life, the beauty in our form of government - a real tribute to a small group of men who sat down and drew up a document that was SO flexible, so capable of growing for future generations.

"My country is a mosaic or a caleidoscope; in that mosaic I see tiles of the Kansas wheat fields, of the California sequoias, the Douglas firs of Oregon and Washington, the pines of the East coast. I see the character of the waters change that surround our horders. I see the different soldiers that we've had in our time, each in their battle garb, marching off to defend that country, sometimes not understanding what it was all about, but going anyway, on the faith in our way of life. I see our succession of Presidents, congressmen, and officials that run this country. I see the frontiersmen, the Indians who had their own frontiers; the Africans who were brought as slaves but are now becoming a part of society; I see the Spanish people through California, New Mexico, and Arizona; I see the modern people who cross their own frontiers, frontiers of space, and medicine and progress. And when I look at my whole mosaic, I see that it is a rectangle with red and white stripes and a blue field of fifty stars."
Spc. Dredatis Cook, from 1st Battalion, 156th Armor Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade, tightens the bolts on a generator for an M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank in the regiment's motor pool in Baghdad, Iraq. Photo by Spc. Ricardo Branch.

In Today's News - Monday, July 11, 2005

Quote of the Day
"The United States Marine Corps, with it fiercely proud tradition ofexcellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth."

-- Thomas E. Ricks, in Making the Corps

News of Note
London Bombings

Fears of More Attacks
Three Arrested Let Go
More Bodies Found
Police appeal for bombing footage
Faith leaders condemn attacks
Family give up hope
Analysis: Police progress

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Five Soldiers Hurt in IED Attack
Iraq on Track for Election Security

Fallen Heroes
Body of missing SEAL recovered
Motorcycle Ride Honors Fallen

Fox News
Baghdad Blasts
Family Shot in Sleep
U.S. Filmmaker Freed
Remains Said to Belong to Dylan Groene
Hunkering Down (Hurricane Dennis)
Bomb Attack Injures 20 at Turkey Resort
EU Charter in Doubt Despite Luxembourg OK
Israel Approves Jerusalem Barrier
Israel Disputes Blair's Claim
Skateboarder Clears Great Wall
Taliban Beheads 10 Afghan Soldiers

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Sudan opposition criticizes constitution
Suicide attacks kill at least 48 in Iraq
Wall makes Jerusalem family consider move
Israel Cabinet endorses Jerusalem barrier
Rebel bomb attack injures 20 in Turkey
Anti-Shiite fervor stuns Iraqi community
Israel: Conflict not fueling terror
Suicide bombers kill 7 Iraqis near Syria
10 Afghan soldiers beheaded by militants

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
Australia plays down reports of more troops for Iraq
Australia says no plans to take south Iraq control
General Says Insurgency Weakened in Baghdad

CENTCOM: News Release

Department of Defense
Officials Reassure Public of Transit Safety — Story
Detained U.S. Citizen Released by Coalition — Story

U.S. Unit Helps Bring Water to Iraqi Farmers — Story

Marines Unearth IEDs in Operation Shadyville
USS Gonzalez Patrols the Indian Ocean
Re-enlistments in Iraq Exceed Expectations

Attack on Medical Group Shows Desperation
Guard Soldier Says Afghan Troops Eager to Serve
Black Hawk Crew Rescues 3 Afghan Children

Girl Jumps Rope for Troops, Vets — Story
Nevada Man Donates Money, Gifts
Island Educators Support Families
Returning Troops Get Gift of Golf


Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Afghanistan Daily Update

Boards Assess Status of Detainees
Medics Saw Few Signs of Abuse
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Marines Train for Drench Warfare
Guard Carries Out State Missions
National Guard, Reserve Update

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


Today in History
- Pope Clement VII excommunicates King Henry VIII of England.
1740 - Czarina Anne expels Jews from Little Russia.
1781 - Thomas Hutchins is designated Geographer of the U.S.
1798 - An Act of Congress establishes the U.S. Marine Corps (celebrated as the USMC birthday until November 1921, when General Lejeune summarized the mission, history, and tradition of the Corps, ordering that it be read every November 10th following to celebrate the Corps' birthday).
1804 - Vice President Aaron Burr kills Alex Hamilton in a pistol duel in New Jersey.
1812 - The U.S. invades Canada.
1952 - General Eisenhower is nominated as the Republican presidential candidate.
1955 - Congress authorizes all U.S. currency to say "In God We Trust"; Colorado's Lowry AFB dedicates its new USAF Academy, with 300 cadets.
1962 - Cosmonaut Micolaev sets a record for what was then the longest space flight, at 4 days.
1974 - The House Judiciary Committee releases evidence on the Watergate inquiry.
1977 - Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom.
1979 - The U.S. satellite Skylab enters the atmosphere over Australia, disintegrating.
1980 - Iran frees American hostage Richard I. Queen.

1274 - Robert the Bruce, Scottish King
1767 - John Quincy Adams, 6th U.S. President
1861 - George William Norris (Rep-NE)
1899 - E.B. White, writer ("Charlotte's Web")
1916 - Gough Whitlam, Australian PM
1920 - Yul Brynner, actor ("The King and I", "The Ten Commandments")

- Alex Hamilton, killed in a pistol duel by Vice President Aaron Burr
1937 - George Gershwin, composer ("American in Paris")
1989 - Sir Laurence Olivier, acting great

Reported Missing in Action
Shattuck, Lewis W., USAF (WA); F105D shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - alive as of 1998
Wilkins, George H., USN (NC); A4C shot down, remains returned October, 1996

Crody, Kenneth L., USMC (IN); CH53D shot down, KIA, body not recovered
Hendrix, Jerry W., USMC (KS); CH53D shot down, KIA, body not recovered
Lesesne, Henry D., USN (SC); A4 shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Captain as of 1996 - alive and well as of 1998
Masterson, Frederick J., USN (CA); F4J shot down, released by DRV March 1973 - retired as a Lt. Commander as of 1996 - alive and well as of 1998
Randall, Robert I., USN (NJ); F4J shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998