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Tuesday, July 26, 2005


ROFASix - has the skinny on the Army's new IED countermeasure...

Stop by Castle Argghhh!!! for a dose of art - submit your entry for "The Art of the Liberated" - a gallery to counter idiot Steve Pearcy's "T'anks Mr. Bush."

Michael Yon - If you haven't read "The Devil's Foyer" yet, make a point to.

Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho visits a wounded hero

Guidons, Guidons, Guidons! shows me why I just might become a Houston Astros fan...

Brittany's Blogs - The following blogs are linking to or referring to Brittany's card to our Heroes:

Les Enfants Terrible
Old Controller
The Paragraph Farmer

UPDATE: More blogs posting about Brittany's awesome card!
Murdoc Online
My Newz n' Ideas

Morale of Soldiers in Iraq Improving
The behavioral health of Soldiers deployed to Iraq has substantially improved over the previous deployment to that country. Researchers attribute this in part to improved morale, welfare and recreation programs; the implementation of a better training and a rotation policy in which Soldiers know they'll be in theater for a set time; and a higher ratio of behavioral health professionals to Soldiers, and better distribution of those caregivers.
More from
An Army C-23 Sherpa aircraft flies over a ziggurat at Ur, Iraq. U.S. and Iraqi forces are assisting in the preservation and protection of the structure, built many centuries ago by a Sumerian king. Photo by Staff Sgt. Suzanne Day.

UPDATE: Head to ROFASix for some info on this unique aircraft.

Deployed to Iraq, Brothers Fight War on Terror

The Andrews brothers stand together prior to deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Photo Courtesy of the Andrews family

U.S. Marine Corps
Kraig, Kyle and Kolby Andrews

Brothers Fight in Global War on Terrorism

By U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Athanasios L. Genos
2nd Marine Division

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq, July 25, 2005 — Most Marines call home in their free time to talk to family, but three brothers deployed here can save that dime.

The Andrews brothers, Kraig, Kolby, and Kyle, are all serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and they have a different kind of brotherhood than Marines usually talk about when describing their camaraderie with each other in a combat zone.

“I never expected to be deployed to Iraq with both of my brothers and all in the same area,” explained Cpl. Kraig L. Andrews, 22, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.

Kraig and his brother, 1st Lt. Kyle Andrews, 3rd Platoon commander, Company B, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, find time to meet for the occasional meal here. They will talk about things happening out on the battlefield and back home.

“It's nice to have someone else, like my brother, to talk to, especially since we grew up really close and now we are deployed in the same place,” explained 1st Lt. Andrews, a 2003 Heidelberg College graduate.

Two of the three brothers are active-duty Marines while the third, Kolby, is a reservist who recently graduated recruit training. Kyle and Kraig knew they would be in the same area together while deployed to Iraq. They didn't know until later that their youngest brother would soon join them.

“It is great that we are all here together because we are on the same rotation and will get to be home together as well,” Kyle explained.

The brothers talk of home and how their wives are doing along with their family back in Ohio. At Camp Lejeune, N.C., the brothers are neighbors, and just as they meet for an occasional meal here, their wives do the same back home. Kyle and Kraig will be spending their first wedding anniversary away from their wives during their deployment to Iraq.

“We are both married and are neighbors back home, and we take time to talk about our wives along with everything we

are doing here,” explained Kraig, a 2001 Lexington High School graduate. “Our wives spend a lot of time together almost every day.”

They all face tough challenges while working in the streets of Iraq fighting the insurgents. The youngest, Kolby, a Scout Sniper with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, is separated from his brothers by a short distance, but is able to keep in contact via e-mail.

The brothers get a lot of support from their family back home with everything they are doing here in Iraq.

“As soon as we had deployment addresses for our sons, we passed the addresses on to all family members and friends,” said their mother, Renee. “There were several churches and schools that were interested in adopting our sons while they were in Iraq, sending care packages and letters. We also forwarded messages and emails with photos to family and friends who wanted to be kept up to date on the latest with our sons.”

Their father, James, was gone with the 1486th Transportation Company in Desert Storm when their sons were young.

“Our father was in the Gulf War and understands what we are going through and our mom supports us all the time,” explained Kraig.

“From my viewpoint, it is much harder now because the Marines fighting in Iraq are my flesh and blood, my sons,” explained Renee.

They are waiting for the day when they will be back home together and can share their stories with each other and their family. Each brother is working with their units in support of the global war on terrorism, forever remembering the time they spent with each other during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

What's Special About a Marine?

From Dan, Via Seamus:

Ask a Marine what's so special about the Marines and the answer would be "Esprit de Corps", an unhelpful French phrase that means exactly what it looks like - the spirit of the Corps, but what is that spirit, and where does it come from?

The Marine Corps is the only branch of the U.S. Armed Forces that recruits people specifically to fight.

The Army emphasizes personal development (an Army of One), the Navy promises fun (let the journey begin), the Air Force offers security (its a great way of life).

Missing from all the advertisements is the hard fact that a soldier's lot is to suffer and perhaps to die for his people, and take lives at the risk of his/her own. Even the thematic music of the services reflects this evasion.

The Army's Caisson Song describes a pleasant country outing. Over hill and dale, lacking only a picnic basket.

Anchors Aweigh, the Navy's celebration of the joys of sailing, could have been penned by Jimmy Buffet.

The Air Force song is a lyric poem of blue skies and engine thrust. All is joyful, invigorating, and safe.

There are no land mines in the dales nor snipers behind the hills, no submarines or cruise missiles threaten the ocean jaunt, no bandits are lurking in the wild blue yonder.

The Marines Hymn, by contrast, is all-combat. We fight our Country's battles, First to fight for right and freedom, we have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun, in many a strife we have fought for life and never lost our nerve.

The choice is made clear. You may join the Army to go to adventure training, or join the Navy to go to Bangkok, or join the Air Force to go to computer school. You join the Marine Corps to go to War!

But the mere act of signing the enlistment contract confers no status in the Corps.

The Army recruit is told from his first minute in uniform that "you're in the Army now", soldier. The Navy and Air Force enlistees are sailors or airmen as soon as they get off the bus at the training center.

The new arrival at Marine Corps boot camp is called a recruit, or worse, but never a MARINE. Not yet, maybe never. He or she must earn the right to claim the title of UNITED STATES MARINE, and failure returns you to civilian life without hesitation or ceremony.

Recruit Platoon 2210 at San Diego, California trained from October through December of 1968. In Viet Nam the Marines were taking two hundred casualties a week, and the major rainy season operation Meade River, had not even begun. Yet Drill Instructors had no qualms about
winnowing out almost a quarter of their 112 recruits, graduating eighty-one. Note that this was post - enlistment attrition; every one of those who were dropped had been passed by the recruiters as fit for service.

But they failed the test of Boot Camp, and not necessarily for physical reasons; at least two were outstanding high school athletes for whom the calisthenics and running were child's play. The cause of their failure was not in the biceps nor the legs, but in the spirit. They had lacked the will to endure the mental and emotional strain, so they would not be Marines. Heavy commitments and high casualties not withstanding, the Corps reserves the right to pick and choose.

History classes in boot camp? Stop a soldier on the street and ask him to name a battle of World War One. Pick a sailor at random to describe the epic fight of the Bon Homme Richard. Everyone has heard of McGuire Air Force Base. So ask any airman who Major Thomas McGuire was, and why he is so commemorated.

I am not carping, and there is no sneer in this criticism. All of the services have glorious traditions, but no one teaches the young soldier, sailor or airman what his uniform means and why he should be proud of it.

But ask a Marine about World War One, and you will hear of the wheat field at Belleau Wood and the courage of the Fourth Marine Brigade, fifth and sixth regiments.

Faced with an enemy of superior numbers entrenched in tangled forest undergrowth, the Marines received an order to attack that even the charitable cannot call ill - advised. It was insane. Artillery support was absent and air support had not yet been invented, so the Brigade charged German machine guns with only bayonets, grenades, and indomitable fighting spirit. A bandy-legged little barrel of a gunnery sergeant, Daniel J. Daly, rallied his company with a shout, "Come on you sons a bitches, do you want to live forever"?

He took out three machine guns himself, and they would give him the Medal of Honor except for a technicality, he already had two of them. French liaison officers, hardened though they were by four years of trench bound slaughter, were shocked as the Marines charged across the open wheat field under a blazing sun directly into the teeth of enemy fire. Their action was anachronistic on the twentieth-century battlefield; so much so that they might as well have been swinging cutlasses. But the enemy was only human; they could not stand up to this. So the Marines took Belleau Wood. The Germans called them "Dogs from the Devil."

Every Marine knows this story and dozens more. We are taught them in boot camp as a regular part of the curriculum. Every Marine will always be taught them! You can learn to don a gas mask anytime, even on the plane in route to the war zone, but before you can wear the Eagle Globe & Anchor and claim the title "Marine", you must know about the Marines who made that emblem and title meaningful. So long as you can march and shoot and revere the legacy of the Corps, you can take your place in line. And that line is unified spirit as in purpose.

A soldier wears branch of service insignia on his collar, metal shoulder pins and cloth sleeve patches to identify his unit. Sailors wear a rating badge that identifies what they do for the Navy.
Marines wear only the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, together with personal ribbons and their CHERISHED marksmanship badges. There is nothing on a Marine's uniform to indicate what he or she does, nor what unit the Marine belongs to. You cannot tell by looking at a Marine whether you are seeing a truck driver, a computer programmer, or a machine gunner. The Corps explains this as a security measure to conceal the identity and location of units, but the Marines' penchant for publicity makes that the least likely of explanations. No, the Marine is amorphous, even anonymous, by conscious design.

Every Marine is a rifleman first and foremost, a Marine first, last and always! You may serve a four-year enlistment or even a twenty plus year career Without seeing action, but if the word is given you'll charge across that wheat field! Whether a Marine has been schooled in automated supply, automotive mechanics, or aviation electronics, is immaterial. Those things are secondary - the Corps does them because it must. The modern battlefield requires the technical appliances, and since the enemy has them, so do we, but no Marine boasts mastery of them. Our pride is in our marksmanship, our discipline, and our membership in a fraternity of courage and sacrifice. "For the honor of the fallen, for the glory of the dead", Edgar Guest wrote of Belleau Wood, "the living line of courage kept the faith and moved ahead."

They are all gone now, those Marines who made a French farmer's little wheat field into one of the most enduring of Marine Corps legends. Many of them did not survive the day, and eight long decades have claimed the rest. But their actions are immortal. The Corps remembers them and honors what they did, and so they live forever.

Dan Daly's shouted challenge takes on its true meaning - if you lie in the trenches you may survive for now, but someday you will die and no one will care. If you charge the guns you may die in the next two minutes, but you will be one of the immortals.

All Marines die; some in the red flash of battle, some in the white cold of the nursing home. In the vigor of youth or the infirmity of age, all will eventually die. But the Marine Corps lives on. Every Marine who ever lived is living still - in the Marines who claim the title today. It is that
sense of belonging to something that will ! outlive your own mortality, which gives people a light to live by and a flame to mark their passing.

Dan says, "Let me add: OOOHRAH and God bless America!"

NOTE: If anyone knows the author of the piece above, there's a Marine Captain who'd like to know - please email me so that I can pass the info (with credit to you) along.
SOCCER GAME — U.S. Marines assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and 5th Civil Affairs Group and U.S. soldiers from Camp Korean Village enjoy a friendly game of soccer with local Iraqi children, July 9, 2005. The Marines and soldiers handed out toys, soccer balls and hygiene items to the youngsters after the game. U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCpl. Zachary W. Lester

In Today's News - Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Quote of the Day
"We will continue to fight the scourge of terrorism against humanity and reject the culture of extremism and violence in any form or shape, from whatever source or place, regardless of justifications or motives, being fully aware of their dangers as a plague that threatens the peace and stability of the whole world."
-- Hosni Mubarak

Last chance to enter the contest...

News of Note
London Bombings
Two London Bombers ID'd
Kin Protest Mistaken Shooting
Blair urges public to help catch London bombers

Bombings in Egypt
Bush Condemns Deadly Attacks in Egypt
Egypt Seeks 5 in Bombings
American Citizen Killed in Attack
Egyptian police fight battles as blast probe widens
Dad of American killed in Egypt mourns
Egyptian tells of escape from hotel blast

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Troops Become U.S. Citizens During Iraq Tour
New Iraqi Police Officers Express Determination
'Chemical Ali' questioned by Iraq tribunal
Al-Qaida statement warns Muslims in Iraq
Iraq constitution draft links Islam, law

Operation Enduring Freedom
Southern Afghan Governors Discuss Elections
U.S., Afghan Soldiers Killed

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Embassy in Saudia Arabia warns Americans
Egyptians: Is global group behind blasts?

Foot-in-Mouth Disease
Pa. Governor: Apology Sent to Marine's Family

Soldiers on Trial
Guilty Plea From Guardsman

Other News of Note
Korea Nuke Talks Open
Marines Unveil Commemorative Coin
Division of Labor (AFL-CIO, Unions split)
Labor Pained as It Struggles With Purpose
Video: Labor Pains

Fox News
White House Hints at Recess Appointment for Bolton
Roberts Meets With Feinstein
Iraq Constitution Boycott Over
Pope's Prayer Offends Israel
'An Acceptable Risk'
Video: Second Time a Charm?
Video: NASA Administrator on Safety Issues
Video: NASA to Launch Even With Glitch
Scout Leaders Killed
Tragedy at Virginia Jamboree

Reuters: Top News
Congress plans to scrutinize Plame-related issues
Clinton, Democrats try to forge optimistic agenda
NASA defends possible shuttle safety rule waiver
U.S. lawmakers vote to delay CNOOC bid for Unocal
Supreme Court nom Roberts gives assurances -senator

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Israeli officials want to hasten pullout
Israel proficient at preventing attacks
Farmers prepare for Gaza pullout
Musharraf: No al-Qaida center in Pakistan
Israel upset pope did not condemn attacks
Roadside bomb kills U.S. soldier in Iraq
Two said detained in Algeria kidnappings

Department of Defense
Nation Must Maintain Will in Terror War
Myers: Defense Review Must Look at Range of Missions
Rumsfeld Discusses Kyrgyzstan Election

Marine Commandant, Top NCO Visit Al Asad
Marine Military Police Patrol Local Roadways

Supply Soldiers Keep Brigade Well Stocked
Marine Brings Rugby to Camp Taqaddum
Marine Seahawks Wrap Up Iraq Deployment
New Sadr City Water Treatment Plant Opens

Afghan Officers Learn How to Operate Army

Group Helps Wounded, Families


Attacks Kill U.S. Soldier, Iraqis
Iraqis Force Car Bomb Detonation
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update

Fighting Kills U.S., Afghan Soldiers
Afghanistan Daily Update

Leaders Praise Warfighters
Attacks Won't Derail Support
N.M. Guard Ready to Respond
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Reservists Begin Customs Training
U.S. Addresses Chinese Embargo
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Marine Casualty

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
1775 - Benjamin Franklin becomes the first Postmaster General.
1788 - New York becomes the 11th state to ratify the Constitution.
1908 - The Federal Bureau of Investigation is established.
1947 - The National Security Act establishes the CIA.
1948 - President Truman issues Executive Order No. 9981, directing "equality of
treatment and opportunity" in the U.S. armed forces.
1953 - Fidel Castro leads an attack on Moncada Barracks, beginning the Cuban Revolution.
1956 - Egypt seizes the Suez Canal.
1957 - The U.S.S.R. launches the first intercontinental multistage ballistic missile.
1958 - The Army launches the 4th successful U.S. satellite, Explorer IV.
1963 - US Syncom 2, the 1st geosynchronous communications satellite, is launched.
1965 - The Republic of Maldives gains independence from Britain (Nat'l Day).
1971 - Apollo 15 is launched to the Moon.
1974 - The U.S.S.R.'s Soyuz fails to dock with the Salyut 3 space station.
1975 - Soyuz 18B returns to Earth.
1991 - Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman) is arrested for exposing himself at an adult movie theater.

This Day in Terrorism
1986 - Lebanese kidnappers release Reverend Lawrence Martin Jenco.

1739 - George Clinton, 4th U.S. Vice President
1799 - Isaac Babbitt, invented babbitt's metal for bearings
1829 - Auguste Beernaert Belgium (Nobel Peace Prize-1909)
1875 - Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, founder of analytic psychology
1908 - Salvador Allende Gossens, Chile's last elected president (1970-73)
1928 - Stanley Kubrick, director (2001, )
1940 - Mary Jo Kopechne, killed when Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge in Chappaquiddick
1949 - William M. Shepherd, Captain, USN / astronaut (STS-27, 41)
1951 - William Surles "Bill" McArthur Jr., Lt. Colonel / astronaut

1863 - Sam Houston, president of Texas
1941 - Marx Dormoy, French socialist, killed by a time bomb
1952 - Eva "Evita" Peron, Argentina's First Lady

Reported Missing in Action
Brazik, Richard, USAF (OH); F4C shot down, presumed KIA, body not recovered
Claflin, Richard Ames, USAF (KS); F4C shot down, presumed KIA, body not recovered

Brenning, Richard D., USNR (NE); A4C crashed in water soon after take-off, Killed, body not recovered