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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Project Valour-IT - WOOOHOOO!

Wow! We did it - we made the $21,000! Fantastic! Thanks to all of you for your generous donations.

BlackFive sets the next goal at $25,000 - with another full day of blogging before Friday, we just may be able to get there.

And remember, we still need to ensure we're ahead of Navy when the competition ends on Friday! They're less than $1,000 behind us! And although we've hit our goal (and first, no less), the bragging rights are still up for grabs.

So get out those emails, put up those flyers, post those posts, and GO ARMY!!

To see current totals for all teams, go here.

How to Donate:
If you want to donate to the Army Team (and you know you do), just click the donations button at the top of the page.

To donate to the Navy Team, visit Lt. Smash

To donate to the Marines Team, visit Holly here

To donate to the Air Force Team, visit the Greyhawks

To donate via snail mail, you'll find information here

Paypal Button Codes for All Teams
Current Totals For All Teams
Join a TeamProject Valour-IT Website
Project Valour-IT Blog
Project Valour-IT Auctions

Army Team Bloggers:
*Team Leader; BLACKFIVE
Target Centermass
Not Exactly Rocket Science
mr. blackandwhite
The Pumpkin Spy
The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill
When the Smoke ClearsLaughing Wolf
Backcountry Conservative
Keep My Soldier Safe
Sgt Hook
Blonde Sagacity
Southern By Blog!!
The Lincoln Park Regulars
The Makaha Surf Report
Girl on the Right
New Lives
Anything Goes
Redneck's Revenge
Shultz Infosystems
Most Certainly Not
Random Thoughts
Pajama Pundits
Shared Daily
American Soldier
Texas Music
Wild Tangents
The Lincoln Park regulars
My Life as a Military Spouse
Knowledge is Power:
If You Don't Like It Go Home
Patiently Waiting...
annika's journal
Prince Pundit
Logic Times
The Paladin
Dog Snot Diaries
Joe Citizen
Stryker Brigade News
Eric's Grumbles
Girl on the Blog
Sagas of an Inflight Missile Repairman
Combs Spouts Off
Thunder And Roses
9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America
basil's blog
Wayne's World 2005
Overtaken by Events
Parkway Rest Stop
Army Girl
Desultory Butterfly
Sons Of The Republic
By the Way...
The Dark Side
The Patriette
Featherless Biped
MajorDad1984-Cursed by a Classical Education
Pass The Ammo
Pass The Brass
The Thunder Run
My Gorram Den
The Veterans' Word
Reasoned Audacity

Breaking News from Fox

Jordan Hotel Blasts - At least 18 dead in three explosions; scores wounded
Simultaneous blasts reported at Grand Hyatt, Radisson and Days Inn in Amman; hotels popular with tourists, journalists, people traveling to and from Iraq

Related Stories
Fast Facts: Attacks Linked to Zarqawi
Video: Explosions in Amman, Jordan

Project Valour-IT - Into the Homestretch

Less than $3,000. As of this post, that's all we need to meet our goal of $21,000. But time is running out - the blog competition ends on Friday.

The donations so far have been incredible. Thanks to all of you who have put your money towards helping this awesome project. But as we move into the final hours of the blog competition, getting the word out is key to meeting our goal. Please post about Valour-IT, email friends, post flyers - whatever it takes to get the word out as widely as possible.

Visit BlackFive for some updates, as well as information on several auctions to benefit Valour-IT (including his auctioning of one month of advertising on his blog).

C'mon, folks - don't let Navy close on us - help to bring Army through the homestretch in front!

And speaking of getting the word out widely - a big HOOAHH again to Carren Ziegenfuss for doing an incredible job today on MSNBC's "Connected Coast to Coast"!

One Picture that Says it All...

Head on over to Froggy Ruminations for a one-photo commentary on the Paris riots.

Really priceless. Y'know, I've been trying to figure out just what the heck I wanted to say about that, but I just can't beat that.

Hat tip to The Discerning Texan

Don't Forget...

...Milblogger Chuck Ziegenfuss' wife Carren is going to be on MSNBC's "Connected Coast to Coast" in just a little while, talking about Project Valour-IT -- the show is on now, and she's expected to be on around 12:40 EST.

Tune in - now!

UPDATE: Carren was awesome - MSNBC showed the Project Valour-IT page, Chuck's blog, and mentioned BlackFive...and Carren mentioned Soldiers' Angels, the blog was fantastic. HOOOAH, Carren!!
by Staff Sgt. Jason D. Becksted
November 8, 2005
An Army Apache helicopter provides close air support for coalition forces attached to Regimental Combat Team 2 moving forward to attack al Qaeda terrorists, during Operation Steel Curtain, near al Qa'im, Iraq.

Blogwatch - Mudville Gazette and BigDog

The Mudville Gazette's got a lot of must-read posts - it's one of my daily blogstops.

Up right now is another one - "
I am Going to Die Well."

Four decades ago the 1st Cavalry Division departed Ft Benning, Georgia for Vietnam. There, on 14 - 16 November 1965 in the Ia Drang valley they fought the first major battle between the American Army and the People's Army of Vietnam. The battle was immortalized in the book "We were Soldiers Once.. and Young", by Lt Gen Hal Moore, the commander of US forces in the engagement, and Joe Galloway, a journalist present during the fighting. (The book was later made into the movie "We Were Soldiers".) You can read a great overview of the battle here.

This weekend the veterans of that campaign will gather to observe the 40th anniversary of those days. Editor and writer Jules Crittenden (an occasional and welcome visitor here) recently profiled two of those men in the Boston Herald. But due to space constraints much of their story was left out - and as you'll see shortly the story was too powerful to remain untold. My thanks to Jules for choosing to tell that tale here. I'll offer a brief thought at the end - the rest of this is Jules' work, and the story of heroes.
As Veterans' Day approaches, our thoughts focus more pointedly on all that our Heroes, past and present, do to protect our freedoms. This post is required reading - we should never forget that our ability to live in the greatest country on Earth is a gift paid for by the blood of heroes.

And over at BigDog's Weblog is another call for John Kerry to sign his SF180 - to release his military records. It's something he promised to do after all the Swift-Boat-Vet-induced heat (including the raising of the possibility that his discharge may have been less than honorable) during his failed election campaign - and of course, he never did:

Mr. Kerry told the President that it was time to come clean. Mr. Kerry also said that our acts in Iraq have made us less safe. I might remind Mr. Kerry that we have not been attacked since 9/11 and that a great number of attacks have been thwarted. We are safer now despite the acts of a war criminal. You see, John Kerry came home from Vietnam and, while still in the Naval Reserves, protested against the war. He lied about American Atrocities and he lied about the treatment of the POWs held by our enemy. Mr. Kerry’s actions directly resulted in the torture of those very men who refused to tell the Vietnamese the lies that Kerry was spreading as truth...

Strange how we still have a number of moonbats in DC telling us that Bush lied and needs to come clean with the American people yet they are ignoring the fact that JOHN KERRY LIED ON NATIONAL TV by promising to sign the 180. It is time for this anti American cretin to come clean...

And John, we do not want a deleted report of separation. We want to be able to read every word of it. If it is expurgated then it is not considered released.
Kerry's accusations against our military - both during the Vietnam War and now - are a betrayal of our heroes, and in some cases, of our country. His mercurial political stands - self-serving and vitriolic - are revolting. Kerry's gone from a vehement supporter of action against Saddam Hussein's regime, to actively working to deny any progress in Iraq. And amid all of his calls that the current Administration "come clean," he should never be allowed to forget that he hasn't done so. BigDog shows you a way to help ensure that - Go check it out!
MOOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (Nov. 11, 2005) -- Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, Marine Service Support Group, wait on the well deck of the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), as a Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) unloads their gear. Carter Hall recently left her homeport of Naval Station Norfolk for a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Photo: Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Laura Moore

The Other Iraq - Part II

So I'm putting up my blog posts, and watching Fox News, when what comes on the TV but the "Thank You America" ad from the Kurdistan Development Corp.'s "The Other Iraq" campaign (posted about a few days ago).

If you haven't seen the ad yet, you really ought to (just click the picture below).

UPDATE 11/10: Fox and Friends just ran a bit on this commercial, commenting that it was a surprise - maybe they should read more blogs ;)
Cope India 06
KALAIKUNDA AIR STATION, India (AFPN) -- A 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon taxis past Indian Air Force MiG-27 fighters on the flightline here. American and Indian Airmen are participating in exercise Cope India 06, which began Nov. 7. The exercise will help enhance interoperability between the two air forces. The squadron deployed from Misawa Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. John Redfield)

How to Support Our Troops - Shauna Fleming

1.4 Millionth Letter Thanks Troops

Retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, poses with Shauna Fleming, 16, on Nov. 4, after she presented him the 1.4 millionth letter she received in her "A Million Thanks" letter-writing campaign for the troops. Photo by Nate Wisely

By Rudi Williams / American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2005 - After receiving the 1.4 millionth thank-you letter for servicemembers and veterans in her "A Million Thanks" campaign, a California teenager realized there was something special about that number.

Since 1.4 million people serve on active duty in the armed forces, Shauna Fleming, 16, decided that the letter symbolizes every active duty servicemember receiving a thank-you letter from a grateful American. A 10-year-old student in Dallas wrote the 1.4 millionth letter.

Now Fleming has accepted a challenge from recently retired Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers to collect a total of 2.6 million letters and e-mails. Myers pointed out that's the total number of active duty servicemembers and members of the National Guard and Reserves in the armed forces.

"I thought, 'Yes, that's what we need to do.' I hope my school is ready for it," Fleming said.

Myers made the challenge after Fleming presented him the 1.4 millionth letter during a special assembly for the 1,400 students of Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High School on Nov. 4.

Servicemembers who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, past war veterans, including a Pearl Harbor survivor, and various local, state and federal officials attended.

Fleming said after exceeding her goal of collecting a million thank-you letters and e-mails, she planned to continue collecting them, but not with any special goal. But Myers changed her mind, she said.

She approached Lutheran principal Gregg Pinick with the idea of using the 1 million letterwriting campaign as a school service project, and he thought it was a good idea. Pinick arranged for her to use the school's address for the letters and designated a room in the school to store them.

But before long, the room started overflowing. "We added weekends to sorting parties, where we would have up to 100 students processing the mail all day," Fleming noted.

It took about seven months to reach the million-letter mark, she recalled. She presented the millionth letter to President Bush in a 15-minute ceremony in the Oval Office on Nov. 17, 2004.

While she was in Washington, the Defense Department invited Fleming to be part of "America Supports You," a DoD program designed to spotlight and give "voice and visibility" to Americans' efforts supporting the nation's armed forces. She participated in the news conference that launched the program on Nov. 19, 2004.

Fleming has also written a book titled, "A Million Thanks, My Journey to Send 1,000,000 Thank You Letters to Our Troops."

"Most of the proceeds of the book go to support A Million Thanks and our huge postage costs," she noted.

Shauna isn't the only member of her family who works to support the troops. Her father, Mike Fleming, founded an annual campaign called "Valentines for Troops," and has distributed more than a 1.5 million Valentines to U.S. troops the past two years.

Shauna travels the country speaking to troops. One such trip took her to Fort Hood, Texas, to welcome home a couple of soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division who received thank-you letters while in Iraq. "I found that their families couldn't be there," she said, "so my mom, grandmother and grandfather went to be their 'family' when they arrived."

The teenager said she tries to convey a special of support message to the troops she meets. "You are the heroes," she said she tells servicemembers. "Americans do appreciate and support you more than you know. The media doesn't tell the whole story sometimes, that Americans as a nation, do support our troops, even if some of them don't support the war effort."

She's become friends with actor Gary Sinise, who is involved in numerous activities to support both servicemembers and Iraqi children. They're working with some Hollywood producers, Shauna said, to hold a benefit concert next year for wounded servicemembers and their families.
PREPARATION — A Landing Craft Air Cushion performs landing operations and supply onloads to the USS Carter Hall at Morehead City, N.C., Nov. 5, 2005. The Carter Hall, which is part of the USS Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group 8, and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit departed on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Laura A. Moore

In Today's News - Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Quote of the Day
"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth- and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
-- Father Kevin Keaney, 1st Marine Division Chaplain, Korean War

News of Note
Election Day
Democrats Clean Up
Bloomberg Wins Second Term
Sanders Leads in San Diego
Kilpatrick Pulls Off Victory in Detroit
Calif. rejects Schwarzenegger reform measures
Voting snafu trips up California governor
Bush factor sways vote in St. Paul, Minn., race for mayor
Meanwhile, in my incredibly blue state, my town now has its first GOP mayor in over a decade - woohoo!

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Security Council Extends Iraq Mandate
Attack Kills Five Policemen in Iraq

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Man boards plane without ticket
Australia Says Two Cells Were Competing
Probe of CIA Prison Allegations Begins
GOP leaders urge probe into secret-prisons story
CIA Moves Toward Prisons Leak Investigation
Terrorist Training Camp Found in Indonesia

Paris Burning
French Rioters Bomb Subway, Burn 600 Cars

Supreme Court
Senators: High Court Nom Alito Respects Precedent
Alito voices no threat to Roe, senators say

Vintage car lover accused of stuffing rare parrot in her bra
2 women spurned on dating service get refunds
Man glued to toilet seat made similar claim before: official
Dentist accused of claiming fake cavities

Other News of Note
Postage Stamp Honors Marines
Nazi-era boxcar a chilling reminder
Suspect in Capitol shooting unfit
Ships vulnerable to pirates, but cruise lines say they're ready

Fox News
Texas Voters Approve Ban On Same Sex Marriages
Kansas Board Approves Teaching of Intelligent Design
State of Emergency in France
British Royals End U.S. Tour With Visit to Shelter
Terrell Owens Apologizes
Japan Scrambles Fighters to Repel Chinese Planes
Saddam Trial Lawyer Killed
Four Claim $340M Jackpot
Study: Cola Raises Women's Blood Pressure, Not Coffee
Push for Aruba Boycott
Plane Crashes Into Wal-Mart
42 Bird Flu Deaths in Vietnam
Deer Hunter Killer Gets Life
Six Football Players Charged With Gang Rape of Student
Stocks to Watch, Nov. 9: Cisco, Pixar
Assistant Principal shot dead in Tennessee by student

Reuters: Top News
Iran's nominee for oil minister withdraws candidacy
Microsoft warns of flaw in newer Windows versions
IBM releases software to promote Cell
Venus space probe searches for global warming clues
'Intelligent-design' school board ousted in Penn
Malaysia rules out bird flu in second health scare
French riots undermine confidence in euro

AP World News
Diarrhea Outbreak Hits Quake Survivors
New Talks on N. Korea Nuke Program Begin
Chinese President in London for Talks
Israel's Hunt for Militants to Continue
14 Haitian Officers Face Charges in Deaths
Feuding Sudanese Rebels Briefly Quit Talks
U.N. Urges Washington to End Cuba Embargo
Zimbabwe Police Detain Union Leaders
Chavez Claims Victory at Americas Summit
Japanese Whalers Aim to Double Usual Kill
Cartoonists Say Mideast No Laughing Matter
Liberia Voting for First Postwar President
Mubarak's Promise Will Be Put to the Test

The Seattle Times
Social Security changes unlikely before 2009
White House staff members brush up on ethics at classes
Court: Can police search home when one resident says "no"?
Pentagon bans torture of detainees
Gonorrhea declines; syphilis on increase
Doctor visits outsourced to Mexico
Post-Katrina prices put pinch on plastic products
Syrian opposition activist arrested
Zimbabwe leader Mugabe to U.S. ambassador: "Go to hell"
France's high-rise projects are now home to misery
Israel welcomes consideration of third emblem for Red Cross
Law to help fishy, four-footed friends in Rome

Chicago Sun-Times
Ex-CLTV anchor jailed for giving candy to kids
'Right thing to do': Builders group boosts minority hiring
Arafat feared he would be assassinated: bodyguard
Mexico ready for butterfly invasion
Hardly enough cash to keep quake relief going
Far-right lawyer for Holocaust denier dismissed

Boston Globe: World
Japanese are losing their hold on sumo wrestling
US stumbles in bid to broker Sudan peace
Printing of Bibles in Beijing gets pastor jail (China)
US faults religious record of kingdom (Saudi Arabia)
US fired phosphorus in Iraq, TV reports
Three Military Bases Become One
Cold War Tests on U.S. Troops Investigated

CENTCOM: News Release

Department of Defense
Steel Curtain Weapons Yield 'Substantial' — Story
Chairman: Security Measures Success in Iraq — Story
New Directive Establishes Interrogation Policy — Story
Centers Offer Veterans Qualified Assistance — Story

Afghan Army Chief Returns With New Ideas — Story
Coalition Forces, Iraqis Open Soccer Field — Story Photos
Troops Convert Trash Lot to Soccer Field for Kids
Medal of Honor Recipients Visit Troops — Story
Ironman Soldier Races Through Iraq — Story

Special Ops Reservist Helps Rebuild Iraqi Air Force

Marine Delivers Packages from Home — Story

Hurricane Coverage
Iraq Transition of Power

Safe House Raid Kills Terrorists
Reid Reaffirms Commitment
British Official Warns Iran
Security Forces' Progress Outlined
Contract Effort Aids Electrical Work
Intel Station Rehab Boosts Security
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
Iraq Progress Fact Sheet (pdf)
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Afghanistan Daily Update

'Desert Protectors' Prove Worth
U.S., Israel Discuss Terror War
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Engineers Support Guard, Reserve
Americans Observe Veterans Week
VA Program: Jobs for New Veterans
Airmen Train Early to Deploy
New Troop Rotation Announced
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


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
1526 - Jews are expelled from Pressburg Hungary on the order of Maria of Hapsburg
1720 - The Rabbi Yehuda Hasid synagogue is set afire.
1799 - Napoleon becomes dictator (First Consul) of France.
1861 - Battle of Piketon, KY.
1862 - U.S. Grant issues orders to bar Jews from serving under him.
1872 - Fire destroys nearly 1,000 buildings in Boston.
1904 - For the first time, an airplane flight lasts more than 5 minutes.
1913 - A storm sinks 8 ore-carriers on the Great Lakes ("Freshwater Fury").
1915 - The Italian liner Ancona sinks after being hit by German torpedoes, killing 272.
1918 - Bavaria proclaims itself a republic; Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates after the German defeat in WW I.
1923 - In the Beer Hall Putsch, the Nazis fail to overthrow the German government.
1924 - Miriam (Ma) Ferguson becomes the first elected woman governor (of Texas).
1927 - In China, the Giant Panda is discovered.
1930 - The first nonstop airplane flight from NY to Panama occurs.
1932 - A hurricane storm wave sweeps over Santa Cruz del Sur, Cuba, killing 2,500.
1935 - The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) labor union forms.
1938 - "Kristallnacht" (Crystal Night) - Nazi stormtroopers attack the Jews; Al Capp, cartoonist of Lil' Abner, creates Sadie Hawkins Day.
1953 - Cambodia (Kampuchea) gains independence within the French Union.
1961 - PGA eliminates its Caucasians only rule; USAF Major Robert M. White takes the X-15 to 30,970 m.
1965 - At 5:16 PM, a massive power failure hits New England and Ontario (NY blackout).
1967 - The first unmanned test of the Apollo-4 reentry module occurs.
1970 - The "Seattle 8" (anti-war protesters) go on trial.
1976 - The U.N. General Assembly condemns apartheid in South Africa.
1984 - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial ("3 Servicemen") is completed.
1989 - East Berlin opens its borders
1990 - President Bush announces the doubling of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf.

1802 - Elijah P. Lovejoy, American newspaper publisher/abolitionist
1825 - Ambrose P. Hill, Confederate Lt. General.
1841 - King Edward VII of England (1901-10)
1903 - Gregory Pincus, inventor (birth control pill)
1905 - James William Fulbright (Sen-MO)
1913 - Hedy Lamarr, actress (Samson & Delilah)
1915 - Sargent Shriver, VP candidate (1972) / Director of Peace Corp
1918 - Spiro Theodore Agnew 39th VP (1973-77)
1932 - Carl Perkins, singer (Blue Suede Shoes)
1934 - Carl Sagan, astronomer/author/professor (Cosmos); Ingvar Carlsson, PM of Sweden (1986-91, 1994-1996)
1936 - Mary Travers, folk singer (Peter Paul & Mary)

1874 - Israel Bak, creator of the first Hebrew printing press
1952 - Chaim Weizmann, first President of Israel
1953 - Abdul-Aziz ibn Sa'ud, founder of Saudi Arabia
1970 - Charles DeGaulle, President of France; William L. Dawson (Rep-IL)
1988 - John Mitchell, former Attorney General

Reported Missing in Action
Armstrong, John W., USAF (TX); F4C shot down (bombardier / navigator, w/Sijan)

Brower, Ralph W., USAF (OH); HH3E shot down (co-pilot), KIA, body not recovered

Clay, Eugene L., USAF (TX); HH3E shot down (flight engineer), KIA, body not recovered

Maysey, Larry W., USAF (NJ); HH3E shot down (rescue specialist), KIA, body not recovered

Nolan, McKinley, US Army (TX); AWOL/Deserter, last seen November, 1973, reported alive in 1978

Rehn, Gary Lee, USMC (MN); KIA, body not recovered

Sijan, Lance P., USAF (WI); F4C shot down (pilot, w/Armstrong), DIC January, 1968- remains returned March, 1974