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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Yuletide Blogging Reminder

I'm going to be putting up holiday messages for our heros on Christmas Day -
please send your messages to me for posting!
Thanks to all who have sent messages so far!

Wife's song provides encouragement to spouse, others during separation

from the USAF website

by John Ingle
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

10/19/2005 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- Heather Wagner watched intently as the dramatic scene played out on her television screen.

A Soldier was deploying. And there by the departure gate, his wife and children hugged and kissed their goodbyes as tears cascaded down their faces.

As Heather's gaze drifted from the television to her husband, Tech. Sgt. James Wagner, she could tell the difficulties of saying goodbye on his upcoming deployment weighed heavily on his heart.

"I don't want you to look at this and think this is what we're going to be doing," she said to her husband of seven years.

Despite her words, she could tell he was still bothered.

When the F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chief finally deployed, she wanted him to know that life will go on even though he would be half a world away for a year. That is why she wrote the song, "Keep Living."

"I wanted to let my husband know that things are going to be all right," she said.

During one of their many phone conversations following his departure, she told him about the song she had written. She sang it to him on the phone, and it helped set his mind at ease regarding how the family was holding up during his absence.

The song was intended to convey the thoughts so many families faced during long deployments or remote tours. Mrs. Wagner said she wanted the song to give her husband peace of mind, to allow him to focus on his mission without wondering if his family was OK.

"I consider this my way of serving," she said.

"Keep Living" didn't stop with the Wagners. Mrs. Wagner said a friend of hers was having a hard time coping with the departure of her spouse. The two talked for a while, and Mrs. Wagner told her about the song she wrote. The mezzo-soprano then sang the words of getting by while a servicemember was gone, and she too, felt encouraged by the simple, but powerful words.

Through word of mouth, news about the song reached other spouses, and requests came in for copies of the 27-year-old's home recording of the song.

"People I didn't know were knocking on my door," she said.

To let others hear her song, she cut a compact disc, due out in a few weeks.

(Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)

You can check out Heather's website at . Her CD is out, and you can purchase it at the site, or listen to some of her music.

Thanks to Barb for the tip!
AFGHANISTAN VISIT — U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld discusses issues with U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander, Combined Forces Afghanistan, during a visit to Afghanistan, Dec 21, 2005. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

In Today's News - Thursday, December 22, 2005

Quote of the Day
"As the ostrich when pursued hideth his head,
but forgetteth his body; so the fears of a coward
expose him to danger."
-- Akhnaton, 18th dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh
News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Back on The Attack - Saddam blasts washington
Blair Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
Rumsfeld says cutting forces won't weaken Afghan mission

Welcome Home
Photos: Michigan Army Guard Engineer Unit Returns

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Germany rebuffed U.S request to keep hijacking terrorist jailed

Fleeing mugger found mauled to death in tiger den

Blogging in the News
Blog confession leads to guilty plea

Fox News
China Suffers Toxic Spill
Actor's Property Caretaker Charged With Murder
Bird Flu Victims Die After Being Resistant to Tamiflu
Judge Threatens Jail for New York Transit Union Bosses- Strike Day 2: Photos Video
Rape Suspect Escapes in Fla.
Palestinians May Nix Elections
Stocks to Watch: A.G. Edwards, General Mills

Reuters: Top News
Four policemen killed in Baghdad Play Video
Toxic slick in second Chinese river
GM holds back stocks...again
EU threatens Microsoft with daily fines
UK's Hilton confirms bidder interest in Ladbrokes
U.S. requests dialogue with China on steel
GM under pressure
Senate clears Iraq war funds, torture ban Video
Israel kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank -- medics Video
Japan foreign minister calls China a threat
Democrats post wins as Congress nears close
Senate confirms two for FCC slots
Rumsfeld says quick Iraq, Afghanistan pullout risky
Democrats kill Alaska oil drilling in defense bill
Roche says US OKs Tamiflu for prevention in young
Bird flu study shows virus evolution in action
Tookie Williams' Funeral

AP World News
Rumsfeld Against Early Removal of Troops
Peru Leader: Shining Path Rebels 'Will Pay'
Indonesia Under High Risk of Terror Attack
Palestinian Militants Killed in West Bank
British PM Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq
Bomb Explodes Near Nightclub in Spain
Slain U.N. Peacekeeper From Canada Honored
Toxic Spill From China Reaches Russia Town
Annan Lays Out Plans, Lashes Out at Media
Japan's Population Drops for First Time
Mexico Admits Poor Treatment of Migrants
Ex-U.N. Envoy Predicts Lasting Insurgency
Russians Observe Stalin's 126th Birthday
Iranians, Europeans Agree to More Talks
Morales Headed Toward Victory in Bolivia
Ex-Colombian Justice Minister Faces Charges
3 Convicted in Prosecutor's Bomb Slaying
Investigator: Killings in Lebanon Linked
Russia Parliament OKs Bill to Restrict NGOs

The Seattle Times
Cantwell blocks bid to drill in refuge
Hulk meets his match in drilling fight
In the Senate, so far it's been a blue, blue Christmas
Gulf Coast businesses given break on taxes
Judges to review spying program
Small cracks found in seaplane's frame
Appeals court balks at transfer of terror suspect
Fewer African Americans enlisting
UC keeps control of national laboratory
Study: Strict regimen reduces diabetes risks
Two officers fired for their role in taped New Orleans beating
2 weeks after protest, Chinese village quiet
Ruling set for Jan. 9 in Uganda murders
Iran cloning project is expecting
Christmas behind Israel's wall
Nicaragua's Ortega says Bolivia vote is a loss for U.S.
2 Baltimore cops fatally shot; officer surrenders

Chicago Sun-Times
'Cookie bling' harder to find these days
Ex-lawmaker gets probation for election fraud
Technology lets NYC work around strike
Cops: Kids planned to trade guns they stole for drugs and $1,500
New amenities for Millennium Park?
Student sues over injury from sliding down fire pole
Chicago-bound train gets in 2 accidents
Super-sized girl born: 14 pounds, 3 ounces
Town does about-face on holiday names

Boston Globe: World
For Church of England, civil unions a new challenge
UN condemns attack on village in Darfur
Leftist gains clear majority in Bolivia
Sculpture heist is a wakeup call in a sleepy village in England
Israel threatens to bar voting on Hamas
Chemical spill viewed as Chinese ploy
Canadian court OK's group sex clubs
After crackdown, fear prevails
Hong Kong votes down election measure
Objections to Iraq vote grow louder
Afghanistan Withdrawal to be Slow
Congressional Band to Entertain Troops
Bush Visits Wounded Marines
Many Mixed Feelings Regarding Murtha
Israel, Saudi Arabia Eye U.S. Navy Ship

CENTCOM: News Releases

Department of Defense
Rumsfeld Reaffirms U.S. Commitment - Story
Bush Thanks Caregivers at Naval Hospital - Story - Remarks - Video
Security Forces Work Toward Self-Sufficiency - Story
Mosul Projects Point to a Better Life for Iraq - Story

Task Force Baghdad Destroys Weapons - Story Photos
Supplies Donated for Iraqi Kindergarten - Story
Ceremony Highlights Kabul Bank Renovation - Story

Soldier Battles Injuries, Changes Job to Stay in Army - Story

'Cookie Lady' Efforts Spur Support - Story

Secretary of Defense Holiday Message
Joint Chiefs Chairman Holiday Message

Bomb Kills U.S. Soldier
Rumsfeld Topic: Strategy, Progress
Hadley Nixes Early Withdrawal Talk
New Year Will Focus on Police
'Cross-ethnic' Government Needed
Army Unit Closer to Full Readiness
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq (pdf)
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (pdf)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Iraq Reconstruction

U.S. Troop Levels to Drop Video
Afghanistan Daily Update

Retreat From Iraq 'Wrong Strategy'
Offense Key to Winning, Bush Says
Cheney Thanks Deployed Troops
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Legal Office Aids Deploying Airmen
USS Annapolis Sailors Visit Bahrain
Strike Group Trains for Deployment
Two Cav Units Head Back to Iraq
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
0401 - St Innocent I begins his reign as Catholic Pope
0795 - Leo III succeeds pope Adrianus I
1135 - Norman nobles recognize Stefanus van Blois as English king
1216 - Pope Honorius III delegates degree "Religiosam vitam eligentibus"
1465 - Peace of St Truiden: Louis van Bourbon becomes bishop of Luik
1596 - Ferryboat Meuniers crashes in Paris, 150 die
1688 - Pro-James II, Earl of Danby occupies York
1689 - Heavy earthquake strikes Innsbruck
1715 - English "pretender to the throne" James III lands at Peterhead
1731 - Dutch people revolt against meat tax
1775 - Continental navy organized with 7 ships
1783 - Washington resigns his military commission as US Army's commander-in-chief
1790 - Russian troops occupy Ismail on Turks
1807 - Congress passes Embargo Act, to force peace between Britain & France
1810 - British frigate Minotaur sinks killing 480
1815 - Spaniards execute Mexican revolutionary priest José Maria Morelos
1832 - HMS Beagle/Charles Darwin reaches Barnevelts Islands
1862 - Raid on Morgan's: Bardstown to Elizabethtown KY
1870 - Jules Janssen flies in a balloon in order to study a solar eclipse
1882 - 1st string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison
1885 - Pope Leo XIII proclaims extraordinary jubilee
1894 - French officer Alfred Dreyfus court-martialed for treason, triggers worldwide charges of anti-Semitism (Dreyfus later vindicated)
1910 - US postal savings stamps 1st issued
1917 - Flanders declares its independence, under Pieter Tack
1919 - Government of Ireland Act of Power (Home Rule for Ireland); US deports 250 alien radicals, including anarchist Emma Goldman
1930 - 6 West europe lands signs Convention of Oslo
1937 - Lincoln Tunnel (New York NY) opens to traffic
1939 - 125 die in train wreck at Magdeburg Germany; 99 die in 2nd wreck at Friedrichshafen Germany; Finnish counter offensive at Petsamo
1941 - Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Washington DC for a wartime conference; Japan's invasion leader lands on Luzon, Philippines; Tito establishes 1st Proletarian Brigade in Yugoslavia
1944 - Germans demand surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Belgium; Sub Swordfish departs Pearl Harbor for Japan
1947 - Italian constituent assembly adopts new constitution
1950 - 2 self-propelled trains of Long Island RR collide, killing 77
1952 - French government of Pinay, resigns
1956 - Last British/French troops leave Egypt
1958 - 2nd Dutch Beel government forms
1963 - Official 30-day mourning period for President John F Kennedy ends
1964 - Lockheed SR-71 spy aircraft reaches 3,530 kph (record for a jet)
1970 - SS Commander Franz Stangl of Treblinka, sentenced to life imprisonment
1971 - UN General Assembly ratifies Kurt Waldheim as Secretary-General
1972 - 6.25 earthquake strikes Managua Nicaragua, 12,000+ killed
1974 - Referenda in Comoros-3 islands for independence, 1 stays French; 2nd cease-fire between IRA & British; lasts until approximately April 1975
1977 - 36 die as grain elevator at Continental Grain Company plant explodes
1978 - Thailand adopts constitution
1980 - President-elect Reagan appoints Jean Kirkpatrick (UN delegate) & James Watt (Interior)
1981 - Argentine General Leopoldo Galtieri sworn in as president; Belgium's 5th government of Martens forms
1983 - Egyptian President Mubarak meets with PLO leader Yasser Arafat
1984 - Bernhard Goetz shoots 4 black youths (muggers) on a NYC subway train
1988 - 2 robbers wearing police uniforms rob armored truck of $3 million in New Jersey; South Africa signs accord granting independence to South-West Africa; Tug hits oil barge, spreads 231,000 gal on 300 miles of Western Australia & British Columbia coast
1989 - After 23 years of dictatorial rule, Romania ousts Nicolae Ceausescu; Chad adopts its Constitution
1990 - Iraq announces it will never give up Kuwait; Israeli ferry capsizes killing 21 US servicemen; Lech Walesa sworn in as Poland's 1st popularly elected president
1992 - Libyan MIG-23UB attacks Boeing 727 at Souk al-Sabt, 158 die
1994 - Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi resigns

1428 - Richard Neville Warwick, 2nd earl of Salisbury
1515 - Mary of Lorraine, France, pro-French Regent of Scotland
1523 - Charles, "Cardinal" of Bourbon archbishop Rouen
1643 - Rene-Robert Cavelier La Salle, French explorer (Louisiana)
1727 - William Ellery, signer of the Declaration of Independence
1728 - Charles Frederick Baden, liberal ruler of Baden
1744 - Abigail Adams, 2nd US First Lady (1797-1801)
1767 - Andreas Hofer, military leader (fought Napoleon's France)
1803 - Joseph King Fenno Mansfield, Union Major General
1826 - James Scott Negley, Union Major General
1831 - Robert Ogden Tyler, Union Brevet Major General
1832 - Edward Hatch, Union Brevet Major General
1847 - Heihatjirô Tôjô, Japanese admiral (Russian-Japanese war)
1856 - Frank Kellogg, Secretary of State (1925-29), tried to outlaw war (Nobel1929)
1863 - Jean-Baptiste Marchand, soldier/explorer (Sudan)
1867 - (Karl Eduard) Wilhelm Groener, German general
1868 - John Nance, (Vice-President - 1933-41)
1881 - Enver Pasa , Turkish politician
1883 - Arthur James Cook, English union leader (coal miners)
1888 - Joseph Arthur Rank, English film magnate/baron
1890 - Charles de Gaulle, premier of France
1891 - Edward L. Bernays, 1st public relations agent
1902 - Jacques-Philippe Leclerc, French WWII hero (liberator of Paris)
1903 - Dr. Barbara Moore, walked across US in 86 days in 1960; H. Keffer Hartline, US biophysicist (Nobel 1967)
1911 - Grote Reber, US astronomer (1st parabolic radio telescope)
1912 - Claudia A. "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson, US First Lady (1963-1969)
1917 - Andrew Fielding Huxley, English physiologist (Nobel 1963); Gene Rayburn, TV game show host (Match Game)
1922 - James C. Wright, Jr. (Representative-TX), Speaker of the House (1987-89)
1935 - John L. Finley, USAF/astronaut
1937 - Marco J. de Castro, Dutch Antillian politician
1943 - Billie Jean King, tennis pro
1945 - Diane Sawyer, newscaster (60 Minutes, ABC Prime Time); Joris J.C. Voorhoeve, Dutch Defense minister (1994-, VVD)
1949 - Robin Gibb, rocker/twin of Maurice (Bee Gees-Saturday Night Fever)
1954 - Jayaseelan Naidoo, South African worker's union leader
1956 - Cojo, 1st gorilla born in captivity
1961 - Yuri Ivanovich Malinchenko, Russian Lieutenant-Colonel/cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-19)

1337 - Daito Kokushi, leader of O-To-Kan Rinzai school in Japan, dies at 54
1419 - John XXIII (Baldassare Cossa), Italian Pope (1410-15)
1440 - Bluebeard, pirate, executed
1603 - Mehmed III, sultan of Turkey (1595-1603), dies at 37
1641 - Maximilien de Béthune, duke of Sully PM of France, dies at 81
1815 - José Maria Morelos, Mexican revolutionary priest executed by Spaniards
1828 - Rachel Jackson, wife of 7th US President Andrew Jackson
1863 - Michael Corcoran, Union Brigadier-General, dies at 36
1890 - Harry Pollitt, chairman, British communist (1956-60)
1913 - Menelik II, King of Ethiopia (1896-1913), dies at 69
1917 - Francesca Saveria Cabrini, US saint/patron of immigrant, dies at 67
1937 - Daito Kokushi, Zen founder of Daitokuji, dies in Kyoto at 55
1939 - Ma Rainey, "Mother of the Blues", US blues singer/composer, dies at 53
1989 - Samuel Beckett, Irish/French writer (Waiting for Godot, Molloy, Nobel 1969), dies at 83
1997 - Hugh Edward Conway Seymour, marquis of Hertford, dies at 67

Reported Missing in Action
Parks, Joe, US Army (TX); DIC December, 1966

Alcorn, Wendell R., USN (PA); A4C shot down, released February, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

Cartwright, Billie J., USN (TX); A6A shot down (w/Gold) - remains ID'd November, 1994

Daigle, Glenn H., USN (LA); RA5C shot down (w/Lukenbach) - released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive and well as of 1998

Gold, Edward F., USN (CA); A6A shot down (w/Cartwright) - remains ID'd January, 1995

Lukenbach, Max D., USN (AZ); RA5C shot down (w/Daigle) - KIA, buried near crash site

Prudhomme, John D., USN (OH); A4C shot down, KIA, body not recovered

Cook, Wilmer P., USN (MD); A4E shot down, remains returned June, 1988, ID'd September, 1989 - buried at sea from the ship named for him

Fors, Gary H., USMC (WA); F4B shot down

Hickerson, James M., USN (GA); A7A shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

Burris, Donald D., Jr.,US Army (PA); UH1C crashed after mechanical problems (pilot, w/Kennedy), Killed, body not recovered

Kennedy, James E., US Army (NJ); UH1C crashed after mechanical problems (door gunner, w/Burris), Killed, body not recovered

The following USAF personnel reported MIA when their B52D was shot down:

Alley, Gerald W. (ID); remains returned December, 1988 - ID'd June, 1989

Bennett, Thomas W., Jr. (MS);

Camerota, Peter P., (NJ); bombardier / EWO, released by DRV - retired as a Major - alive and well as of 1998

Copack, Joseph H., Jr. (IL); navigator - remains returned June, 1989

Giroux, Peter J., (NJ); co-pilot, released by DRV February, 1973 (injured) - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

LeBlanc, Louis E., Jr. (RI); tailgunner, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Senior Master Sergeant - deceased

The following USAF personnel reported MIA when their B52D was shot down:
Bernasconi, Louis H. (CA); released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Conlee, William H. (CA); EWO, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive as of 1998

Drummond, David I. (NJ); co-pilot, released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998

Mayall, William T. (NY); navigator, leased by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Morgan, Gary L. (TX); gunner, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Senior Master Sergeant - alive as of 1998

Yuill, John H. (IN); pilot, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Also reported MIA in 1972:
Sponeybarger, Robert C., USAF (PA); F111A shot down (pilot, w/Wilson), released by DRV March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Wilson, William W., USAF (IA); F111A shot down (w/Sponeybarger), released by DRV March, 1973