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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

First Pigletgate, now Smurfgate???

Is it Liberal Insanity Week, and did no one tell me???

UNICEF ad drops bomb on Smurfs
UNICEF's first adult-only episode of "The Smurfs," in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes, has terrified young children.

The short but chilling film is to be broadcast on national television this week as a campaign advertisement for a fundraising drive by the U.N. children's agency....

More (if you can stand it) at the Washington Times

What's next? Barney goes to Gitmo????

I'd comment further, but I try to keep this a family show, so I'll just settle for this:

Hat Tip to Sondra K (where there's a still of the episode), via the Mudville Gazette's Dawn Patrol

How's This for a Switch

Now, I hesitate to wade into the issue of mandatory military service, but I have to say it sure is nice to see a school that isn't trying to BAN the military...

Automatic enrollment in ROTC provokes protest at high school

From the article:
About 300 parents of freshmen received letters in August, informing them their children would be enrolled in the daily, 42-minute program unless they objected before the start of school. About 190 students at the school on South Elmwood Avenue were in the program when classes began. The number dropped to 157 following objections by parents and students, who were reassigned to study hall.

And of course, the ACLU is going bonko. Frankly, with the parents and students given an opportunity to opt out of the program, I say HOOOAH!!! Wish they'd offered this at my school.

Hat Tip to the Partamian Report
EARTHQUAKE RELIEF — The first relief supplies from the United States are unloaded from a C-17 Globemaster III at Islamabad, Pakistan, Oct. 10, 2005. The plane had been diverted from its original flight to assist in humanitarian assistance for the victims of the 7.6 earthquake that caused major damage in Pakistan, Oct. 9. U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. James H. Cunningham

Rhein-Main Air Base Returned to Germany

By now, you've no doubt seen the news that Rhein-Main Air Base has passed into U.S. history.

Below are some folks with information, links, and personal recollections...stop by and have a look (and if you've got a good spot that isn't listed here, please trackback or note it in the comments section - thanks!).


Soldiers' Angels Germany

Associated Press
OVERWATCH — U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chuck Hipple provides an overwatch while U.S. Army soldiers and Marines look for weapons caches and anti-coalition forces east of the Syrian boarder by the Euphrates River in Iraq, during Operation Clydesdale, Oct. 1, 2005. Hipple is assigned to Charlie Troop, 4-14th Cavalry, 2nd Platoon, Fort Wainwright, Alaska. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway

New Efforts Strengthen Pentagon's Aid to Severely Injured Troops

from the Department of Defense

By Lt. Penny Cockerell, USN
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 6, 2005 – Naval Reserve Lt. Cmdr. Ty Redmon starts each day at the Military Severely Injured Center with a new life-changing challenge.
Each case that comes across Redmon's desk involves helping a severely injured Reserve, Guard or active sailor, mostly due to action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He may help get military orders for relatives to stay bedside, wrangle with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service on pay issues, or simply provide a list of free child care centers injured troops' hometowns.

"You can't put a cookie-cutter pattern on people that are hurt," Redmon said. "And when you have one case, it's like working 10, because there're so many people involved."

Redmon, a former Navy recruiter and civilian medical-device sales manager from Washington, D.C., knows all too well that the severely injured team can make or break the morale and welfare of this nation's most severely wounded.

In a cubicle near downtown Washington, Redmon represents a new Navy program called "Safe Harbor." The program is a comprehensive effort of the Military Severely Injured Center that includes liaisons from all military branches and representatives from the departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs, and the Transportation Security Agency, plus a handful of social workers who take calls around the clock.

Continuing casualties have prompted the need. Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom are the first wars since Vietnam to have so many injured troops returning home. Several thousand Marines and sailors have already suffered battle injuries. More warfighters survive battle today because of better armor and medical treatment in the field.

Sailors and Marines return without limbs, or with serious burns and other debilitating injuries. Psychological needs also exist as some cope with painful memories, flashbacks and perhaps guilt.

Redmon says reservists and National Guardsmen are most at risk of falling through the cracks because they don't have the safety net of an active-duty command. Many don't develop problems until they return to hometowns, which are often far from a military hub from which help is readily available.

"Once they demobilize, they're hard to reach," said Redmon, who believes his Reserve experience helps him understand the special needs of Reservists better. For instance, after two poorly handled experiences with severely injured troops traveling home through airports, the center recruited TSA liaisons to work with airports and better manage the special needs of injured troops who must travel.

In one case, a severely injured Seabee from Texas could sit for no longer than an hour and barely raise one arm. When it came time for him to travel from Washington back to Texas, TSA liaisons made sure he got special treatment while going through security. The airlines also seated him in first class for comfort and ensured a short layover to change planes.

Injured reservists' problems can last a long time, so the center is working to establish "Heroes to Hometown" programs nationwide. The idea is to get a community to adopt these severely injured warfighters by making their homecomings and life afterward as easy as possible.

Redmon is working 161 cases involving Navy personnel. Only four are reservists, but of those four: one is a quadriplegic, another a double amputee, and another is severely burned. All have different needs, now and into the future.

The Marine Corps, meanwhile, considers sailors who worked with them overseas as part of their team. At the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Marine coordinators who pass the room of an injured Navy member who was deployed with Marines, stops there too.

"It shows the good relationship that we have between the Navy and Marine Corps, despite the competitive nature. They all look the same lying in the rack and injured," said retired Marine Col. William O'Brien, director of the Wounded Marines and Sailors Initiative at the Pentagon.

"We don't have anything to model this off of. We're basically starting from scratch," Roberson said. "And it's a big challenge. But it's the right thing to do."

Redmon says the biggest problems injured Reservists face are financial ones. They're also more inclined to lose their civilian jobs. One homebuilder, for instance, is too injured to do that type of work again and needed retraining.

Sherman recalled a reservist with six children who had severe injuries and was facing foreclosure on his home. Safe Harbor stepped in and found a lawyer who donated his time for free and who worked with the mortgage company to buy them time. Using the DoD Severely Injured Center, Safe Harbor helped him find a new job that could accommodate his disability. His family is now back on its feet.

Many benevolent agencies are available to help in dozens of ways. Many organizations have been established specifically to help returning warfighters and their families. The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars are always willing to help, Redmon said. "We have so many people wanting to help. The hardest thing here is coordinating everything and getting it to the member," he said.

New issues crop up all the time. For instance, the military didn't anticipate how many parents would choose to become sole providers for their seriously injured children. Many have quit their jobs to ensure appointments are met and round-the-clock care is given. They need financial support.

The Severely Injured Center also intends to track returning troops for trends to better help troops injured in the future. They will monitor progress and intervene when necessary. Combat stress will be also addressed up front and, when needed, on a one-on-one basis.

Redmon is serving on a 153-day active recall, but said he will likely be extended in his current position. "Until the need is exhausted, they'll keep me going," he said. "It's actually a good fit."

Help is available to wounded veterans and their families 24 hours a day by calling the Military Severely Injured Center Hotline at (888) 774-1361.
Army Spc. Milton Gonzales, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, smashes a gate open during a raid in Baghdad that netted several wanted insurgents Oct. 8. Army photo

In Today's News - Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Builders of Freedom"
U.S. Army 44th Engineer Battalion Motto

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Warrants for Ex-Iraqi Officials
Pre-vote bombers strike Iraq, dozens dead

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan Terrorists Kill GI
Suspected Taliban Militants Kill 19 Afghans

Homeland Security / War on Terror
NYC Scales Back Terror Alert
2003 Istanbul Bombing Suspect Stands Trial
Police Makes First Arrest in Bali Bombings
Shining Path Founder Rejects Terror Charge
U.S.: No sign bin Laden was a victim

Hurricane Season
Bush: La. Cleanup Advances
N.O. Cops Plead Not Guilty
Video: Cops Taped in Beating
New Orleans mayor seeks Bush's help
Bush on eighth trip to hurricane zone
Lobbyists dominate Gulf Coast reconstruction plans
Smaller firms to get Gulf Coast reconstruction projects

Pakistan Earthquake
Quake Victims Search for Help
Death toll highest in Kashmir
Hungry Looters Raid Stores
U.S. Muslims Raise Aid Money
Scramble for Aid
Latest disaster tests stamina of donors
Boy rescued from rubble is named "earthquake"
Hope for more survivors fading in Asia quake zone
World rushes aid to Pakistan
Kashmiri Separatists Dispense Quake Aid
Video: Toll Rising
Video: U.S. Mobilizes Aid for Victims
Video: Quake Death Toll Rising
Video: Rescuers Scour Debris for Survivors
Photo Essay: Earthquake Aftermath

Military News
In the Army's Sandbox, no Playing Nice
Army Unveils New Recruiting Initiatives
Rhein-Main Base Closing After Six Decades

Supporting our Troops
Cookie overdrive: Holiday project inspires many

Sports News
Yankees Eliminated by Angels
Steelers rally to beat Chargers; Big Ben hurt

Fox News
Merkel to Be German Leader
Eastern Floods Kill 10
Snowstorm Slams Colorado
Tsunami Warnings Readied
American, Israeli Share Nobel Prize in Economics
Boy, 9, Swims From Alcatraz to San Francisco
Millionaire Space Tourist Returns to Earth

Reuters: Top News
Police smash huge European people-smuggling ring
McCain chides Schwarzenegger over staged rallies
Snow wants progress on yuan flexibility
IBM won't use genetic info for hiring, benefits
Palestinians try to wean Gaza children from war
Bush Fed chief pick may come as early as November

AP World News
Liberians Set to Vote for President
Rwandan Militia Kill 15 in Congo Raid
Guatemala's Indians Refuse Flood Aid
Indians Clash With Police in Colombia
Morocco Defends Use of Force on Africans
Zanzibar Police Arrest 24 After Violence
Abbas-Sharon Meeting Postponed Again

The Seattle Times
Last-minute talks in Iraq fail to elicit accord
Anti-terrorism TV show assailed by some Arabs
Ex-child soldiers may sway Liberian election
Violence, pressure quash recall try in Chinese village
Vegas gets a leg up on sumo wrestling
Man takes over train with bow and arrow

Chicago Sun-Times
5th suicide bombing in 2 weeks kills ex-commander

Boston Globe: World
Space program to send 2 taikonauts into orbit
Rice signals rift with Uzbekistan
Sudan strife has escalated, UN aide says
Death Toll Rises for Military Reservists
U.S. Helos Aid in Quake Relief
SEALs Launching Public Recruiting Effort
Chinook Destroyed in Hard Landing; Crew Unscathed
Ex-Official Fears Bill Will Weaken Saddam Tribunal
Aid Likely to Improve U.S. Image

CENTCOM: News Release

Department of Defense
U.S. Relief Supplies Arrive in Islamabad — Story Photos
Statement: Relief Efforts
Rumsfeld Pledges Aid in Relief Effort
Coalition Copters, Crews to Help Recovery
Soldier Killed by Bomber; Terrorists Detained — Story
Firefight Kills U.S. Soldier in Afghanistan — Story


Hurricane Coverage
Iraq Transition of Power

IED Kills Marine; Bomber Stopped
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Afghanistan Daily Update

Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

National Guard, Reserve Update

Defense Officials Identify Casualties — Story

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


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
1737 - An earthquake kills 300,000 in Calcutta, India.
1776 - Brigadier General Arnold's Lake Champlain fleet is defeated by the British.
1797 - British naval forces defeat the Dutch off Camperdown, the Netherlands.
1811 - The Juliana, the first steam-powered ferryboat, begins operation.
1864 - Slavery is abolished in Maryland.
1865 - President Johnson paroles CSA VP Alexander Stephens.
1890 - The Daughters of the American Revolution is founded.
1919 - The first transcontinental air race ends.
1922 - Alaska Davidson becomes the first female FBI "special investigator."
1945 - Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Tse-Tung are pitted against each other, as a civil war begins in China.
1958 - Pioneer-1, the second U.S. Moon probe, reaches 113,810 km before it falls back.
1961 - USAF Major Robert M. White takes the X-15 to 66,100 m.
1968 - Apollo-7 makes 163 orbits in 260 hours; revolt begins in Panama.
1969 - Soyuz-6 is launched; Soyuz-7 and 8 follow in the next two days.
1975 - "Saturday Night Live" premieres, with guest host George Carlin.
1977 - Soyuz-25 returns to Earth.
1979 - Allan McLeod Cormack and Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield win the Nobel Prize for medicine for developing the CAT scan.
1980 - Cosmonauts Popov and Ryumin set a space endurance record of 184 days.
1982 - The English ship Mary Rose, which sank during an engagement with France in 1545, is raised at Portsmouth, England.
1983 - The last hand-cranked telephones in the U.S. go out of service, as over 400 customers in Bryant Pond, ME, are switched over to direct-dial.
1984 - NASA launches the space vehicle S-208.
1985 - President Reagan bans the importation of South African Krugerrands.
1986 - Reagan and Gorbachev open talks at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.
1990 - Oil hits a then-record $40.42 per barrel.
1991 - Anita Hill testifies that Clarence Thomas sexually harrassed her.

- Sir George Williams, founder of the YMCA
1844 - Henry John Heinz, founder of the prepared-foods company
1872 - Harlan Fiske Stone, Supreme Court Justice (1925-41); Chief Justice (41-46)
1884 - Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady
1897 - General Nathan F. Twining, USAF (Neither Liberty nor Safety)
1914 - Edward J. Day, U.S. Postmaster General (1961)
1962 - Joan Cusack, comedienne (SNL)
1969 - Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands

1779 - General Casimir Pulaski
1809 - Meriwether Lewis, Captain of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
1961 - Leonard "Chico" Marx (Marx Brothers)
1985 - Orson Welles, of a heart attack
1988 - Waylon Flowers, puppeteer
1990 - Douglas Edwards, WW II correspondant, of cancer
1991 - Redd Foxx, comedian, from a heart attack

Reported Missing in Action
Ferguson, Willie C., Jr., USMC (OK); KIA in the crash of a UH34D, remains recovered February, 1973

Heller, Ivan Louis, USN (IL); KIA in the crash of a UH34D, remains recovered March, 1973