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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Troops Visit Mosul Orphanage

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Tim Farner, assigned to the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion, helps carry school supplies into the Dar Al Zando kindergarten and orphanage in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 22, 2005. U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen

U.S. Army Capt. Lance D. Fadeley passes out toy stuffed animals at the Dar Al Zando kindergarten and orphanage in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 22, 2005. Fadeley is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen

U.S. Army Spc. Brent Hendrix, assigned to Alpha Troop, 4th Battalion, 14th Regiment, Mortar Platoon, lets a child touch his face at the Dar Al Zando Kindergarten and Orphanage in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 22, 2005. The soldiers distributed school supplies and toy stuffed animals during their visit to the kindergarten and orphanage. U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen

U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Bird plays with children during a visit to the Dar Al Zando Kindergarten and Orphanage in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 22, 2005. Bird is assigned to Alpha Troop, 4th Battalion, 14th Regiment, Mortar Platoon. The soldiers distributed school supplies and toy stuffed animals during their visit to the kindergarten and orphanage. U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Richard Long holds up a little Iraqi girl at the Dar Al Zando Kindergarten and Orphanage in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 22, 2005. Long is assigned to Alpha Troop, 4th Battalion, 14th Regiment, Mortar Platoon. The soldiers distributed school supplies and toy stuffed animals during their visit to the kindergarten and orphanage. U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen

An Iraqi boy holds up his new toy stuffed animals at the Dar Al Zando Kindergarten and Orphanage in Mosul, Iraq. U.S. soldiers distributed school supplies and toy stuffed animals during their visit to the kindergarten and orphanage, Dec. 22, 2005. U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen

Supporting Our Troops - Santa's true Helpers

Here's a Yule Story that ought to be a movie...

It started last Christmas, when Bennett and Vivian Levin were overwhelmed by sadness while listening to radio reports of injured American troops. "We have to let them know we care," Vivian told Bennett. So they organized a trip to bring soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philly, on Dec. 3.

The cool part is, they created their own train line to do it. Yes, there are people in this country who actually own real trains. Bennett Levin - native Philly guy, self-made millionaire and irascible former L&I commish - is one of them.

He has three luxury rail cars. Think mahogany paneling, plush seating and white-linen dining areas. He also has two locomotives, which he stores at his Juniata Park train yard. One car, the elegant Pennsylvania, carried John F. Kennedy to the Army-Navy game in 1961 and '62. Later, it carried his brother Bobby's body to D.C. for burial. "That's a lot of history for one car," says Bennett.

He and Vivian wanted to revive a tradition that endured from 1936 to 1975, during which trains carried Army-Navy spectators from around the country directly to the stadium where the annual game is played. The Levins could think of no better passengers to reinstate the ceremonial ride than the wounded men and women recovering at Walter Reed in D.C. and Bethesda, in Maryland. "We wanted to give them a first-class experience," says Bennett. "Gourmet meals on board, private transportation from the train to the stadium, perfect seats - real hero treatment."

Read the rest at the Philadelphia Daily News - trust me, you don't want to miss this story.

Thanks to Seamus, Sara and Janie for forwarding this - and thanks to the Levins for all they have done to support our heroes.
MEDICAL OUTREACH — U.S. Army Col. John Lammie (left), assigned with the 550th Area Support Medical Company, examines a local child during a clinical health outreach program in Subak Sur, Iraq, Dec. 26, 2005. U.S. Army soldiers with Alpha Company, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion and Iraqi army soldiers with Special Troops Company, 9th Mechanized Brigade, conducted the program. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Charles W. Gill

In Today's News - Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought. Let us have faith that right makes might and in that faith let us; to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."
-- Abraham Lincoln

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
U.N. Official: Iraqi Elections Credible
Inmate Kills Eight in Iraqi Prison
State Dept. Admits Prison Problems

Operation Enduring Freedom
Roadside bomb kills US soldier, Afghan

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Second Terror Suspect Killed in Saudi Arabia
Gunmen Take Gaza Offices

Welcome Home!
Photos: Coast Guard Unit Returns From Guantanamo

Supreme Court
New Alito Docs Released

Texas Appeals Court to Hear Latest DeLay Request

Nun Bun on the run..

Fox News
Consumer Confidence Up
49 Accused of Defrauding Hurricane Katrina Fund
Parents Found DeadAfter 2-Year-Old Calls 911
Chief Backs New Orleans Cops in Shooting Death
Several Questioned in Milwaukee Driver's Beating
Israeli Jets Strike in Lebanon
CIA's Inspector General Reviews Detainee Renditions
Fierce Fires
Former Enron Exec Strikes Plea Deal
Dungy: Son Was Not Unlike Other Teens

Reuters: Top News
Home loan applications fall to over 3-1/2-yr low
Consumer confidence improves in December
Bell, Boeing win $1 bln contract from Navy
CDC proposes strategic transaction with Onyx
Fox & Hound says Newcastle, Steel up purchase price
Linens 'n Things expects to meet buyout criteria
Celgene shares rise after FDA approves drug
Abbas's Fatah reunites for Palestinian election Video
Beslan massacre probe blames Russian authorities Video
British activist, parents kidnapped in Gaza: police
Secret surveillance up sharply since 9/11
Bush reads up on Roosevelt, US troops
European satellite launch challenges GPS
Rwanda honors mountain gorilla researcher Fossey
Samsung to market new phones with Vodafone, Qualcomm
The other 'Munich': Israeli spies tell their side
Meats differ in effect on colon cancer risk

AP World News
Spanish Gov't Aids Workers With Family Time
Russian Criticizes Police in Beslan Siege
Group Threatens to Kill U.N. Investigator
Gunmen Take Over Election Offices in Gaza
Toronto Has Record Surge of Gun Violence
Fiery Bus Accident in India Kills 30
Spain Tries to Give Workers More Home Time
BA Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Wales
Chinese Villagers' News Conference Blocked
Group Goads G-8 Nations on Russia NGO Bill
28 Colombian Soldiers Killed in Ambush
Putin's Economic Adviser Abruptly Resigns
Battle Possible Over U.S. Marines Accused in the Phillipines
DHS Hasn't Fulfilled Promises
Iraq Shiites Talk With Kurds
CIA Probes Renditions of Terror Suspects
Army Reserve Instituting Readiness Cycles
Congress Backs DD(X), Littoral Ship

CENTCOM: News Releases

Department of Defense
Elections Signal Most Significant Progress - Story
Husaybah, Iraq, Election a 'Huge Victory'
Cycles to Enhance Reserve Readiness - Story

USS Pearl Harbor Conducts Maritime Ops - Story
Operation Sleigh Ride Brightens Troops’ Day - Story

Army Chief of Staff Visits Troops for Christmas
U.S. Soldiers Bring Wheels to Disabled Iraqi Man
Electrical Work Benefits Baghdad Residents
Polish Prime Minister Visits Camp Echo
Task Force Baghdad Destroys Weapons Photos

Unit Uses Special Skills to Pursue Enemy

Helo Unit Brings Mail to Ships in Arabian Gulf

Al Asad Christmas Brings Father, Son Together - Story

Effort Helps Keep Troops Talking - Story
Deployed Troops Get Phone Cards

Crash Claims 2 Pilots; Soldier Killed
Command Focus: Train Logisticians
Iraqis, Troops Respond to Bombings
Task Force Baghdad Soldier Killed
Pace: Troop Level Balance Crucial
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

Ceremony Marks Bank Renovation
U.S. Troop Levels to Drop Video
Afghanistan Daily Update

Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Pace Explains High Re-up Rate
Bush Expresses Pride in Troops
Rumsfeld Cites Year's Successes
National Guard, Reserve Update

High School Honors Fallen Marine - Story
Soldier Remembered at Service

Defense Officials Identify Casualty - 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


Today in History
0418 - St Boniface I begins his reign as Catholic Pope
0801 - Louis the Vrome occupies Barcelona
1065 - Westminister Abbey opens in London
1732 - 1st known ad for "Poor Richard's Almanack" (Pennsylvania Gazette)
1816 - American Colonization Society organizes
1828 - 6.8 earthquake strikes Echigo Japan, 30,000 killed
1832 - John Calhoun becomes 1st Vice-President to resign (differences with President Jackson)
1836 - Spain recognizes independence of México
1846 - Iowa becomes the 29th US state
1849 - M. Jolly-Bellin discovers dry-cleaning; he accidentally upsets lamp containing turpentine & oil on his clothing, & sees cleaning effect
1850 - Rangoon, Burma destroyed by fire
1864 - Battle of Egypt Station, MS
1869 - William Finley Semple of Mount Vernon, OH, patents chewing gum
1877 - John Stevens of Wisconsin applies for a patent on his flour rolling mill
1879 - North British Railway's train falls as Firth bridge collapses (Scotland)
1893 - French lieutenant Boiteux annexes Tumbuktu
1895 - World's 1st movie theater opens in Paris
1902 - 1st indoor pro football game, Syracuse beats Philadelphia 6-0 (Madison Square Garden, NYC); Trans-Pacific cable links Hawaii to US
1903 - Electric lamp sets fire to Iroquois theater in Chicago; 602 die
1904 - 1st daily wireless weather forecasts published (London)
1906 - Ecuador adopts its constitution
1908 - Messina, Italy struck by an earthquake (nearly 80,000 died)
1915 - San Francisco City Hall dedicated by Mayor James Rolph
1926 - Imperial Airways begins England-India mail & passenger service
1931 - Lin-Sen succeeds Chiang Kai-shek as President of Nanjing-China
1937 - Fascist Octavian Goga becomes PM of Romania/begins spread of Judaism
1941 - State of siege goes into effect in Bohemia/Moravia
1942 - Robert Sullivan becomes 1st pilot to fly the Atlantic 100 times; Oberkommando Wehrmacht orders strategist flight out of Kaukasus
1943 - All inhabitants of Kalmukkie deported, about 70,000 killed
1944 - Eisenhower & Montgomery meet in Hasselt Belgium
1948 - The IDF crosses the Egyptian border
1950 - Chinese troops cross 38th Parallel, into South Korea
1958 - What might be called greatest NFL game, Colts beat Giants 23-17
1962 - UN troops occupy Elizabethstad Katanga
1966 - 13 die in a train crash in Everett MA
1968 - Israeli assault on Beirut Airport
1970 - Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) adopts constitution
1972 - Kim Il-song, becomes President of North Korea; Martin Bormann's skeleton found in Berlin (Hitlers deputy)
1973 - Alexander Solzhenitsyn publishes "Gulag Archipelag"
1974 - 6.3 earthquake strikes Pakistan: 5200 killed
1976 - Winnie Mandela banished in South Africa
1980 - México terminated fishing agreements with US
1983 - US says they will leave UNESCO on Dec 31, 1984
1984 - Rajiv Gandhi's Congress party wins election in India
1985 - Warring Lebanese Muslim & Christian leaders sign peace agreement
1989 - Alexander Dubcek elected parliament chairman of Czechoslovakia; Earthquake at Newcastle Australia, 11 die
1991 - Ted Turner is named Time Magazine Man of the Year
1993 - Dutch Antilles government of Yandi Paula forms

1801 - James Barnes, Union Brevet Major General
1822 - William Booth Taliaferro, Confederate Brigadier-General
1823 - Thomas Alexander Scott, Assistant US Secretary of War
1827 - Robert Latimer McCook, Union Brigadier-General
1833 - Charles Miller Shelley, Confederate Brigadier-General
1849 - Herbert von Bismarck, German politician/son of Otto of Bismarck
1856 - [Thomas] Woodrow Wilson, 28th US President (1913-21, Nobel 1919)
1859 - John W. Fortescue, military historian
1884 - Joseph Pholien, Belgian premier (1950-52)/communist hunter
1894 - André de Meulemeester, Belgian WWI pilot (Eagle of Flanders)
1895 - Auguste Lumiere and Louis Lumiere, twin brothers who opened 1st commercial cinema
1902 - Mortimer J. Adler, author (Encyclopedia Brittanica)
1917 - Ellis Clarke, President of Trinidad & Tobago (1976-87)
1922 - Stan Lee, comics artist/creator (Spiderman, Incredible Hulk)
1924 - Rod Serling, writer/host (Twilight Zone, Night Gallery)
1925 - Bill [William] Westwood, British bishop of Peterborough
1927 - Anne Legendre Armstrong, ambassador (to UK)
1929 - Maarten Schmidt, Netherlands/US astronomer (quasars)
1931 - Georg "Org" Marais, South African economist/underminister of Finance
1932 - Roy Hattersley, British journalist/Labour-parliament leader
1933 - Jack Perkins, newscaster (Prime Time Sunday, NBC Magazine)
1942 - Paul Horowitz, physicist, META project (Sloan Award 1971-3)
1943 - David Peterson, premier of Ontario Canada
1943 - Oscar D. Dhlomo, South African Secretary-General of Inkatha (1978-90)
1945 - Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva, King of Nepal
1945 - Max Hastings, British editor-in-chief (Daily Telegraph)
1953 - Robert Pittman, TV executive/developer (MTV)
1981 - Elizabeth Jordan Carr, 1st American test tube baby

1446 - Clemens VIII [Aegyd Muñoz], Spanish anti-pope (1423-29)
1622 - François de Sales, French bishop of Genèva/writer/saint, dies at 55
1673 - Joan Blaeu, Dutch cartographer/publisher (Atlas Major), dies at 77
1694 - Queen Mary II of England, dies after 5 years of rule at 32
1772 - Ernst J. Earl van/of Biron Russian, duke of Courland, dies at 82
1775 - Peter A. van de Parra, Governor-General of (Netherlands Indies), dies at 61
1793 - Louis Earl of Bylandt Dutch admiral, dies at about 75
1947 - Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy (1900-46)/Ethiopia, dies at 78
1948 - Mahmud Nokrashy Pasha, PM of Egypt, assassinated
1961 - Edith Bolling Galt, Wilson's First Lady (1915-21), dies at 89
1970 - L. Mendel Rivers (Representative-SC), dies at 65
1987 - Charles Malik, Lebanon's 1st delegate to the UN, dies at 81

Reported Missing in Action
The following US Army SF personnel reported missing when their UH1D disappeared on a 10-15 minute flight - all presumed Killed, body not recovered:

Grella, Donald C. (NE); crewchief

Phelps, Jesse D. (ID); pilot

Rice, Thomas, Jr. (SC); door gunner

Stancil, Kenneth, L. (TN); co-pilot

The following USAF personnel reported MIA when their B52D was shot down:
Condon, James C. (OH); radar navigator, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Cusimano, Samuel B. (AL); co-pilot, released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998

Fryer, Ben L. (CA); navigator, remains returned by SRV September, 1977

Gough, James W. (CA); gunner, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Chief Master Sergeant - alive and well as of 1998

Johnson, Allen L. (AL); EWO, remains returned December, 1985

Lewis, Frank D. (IN); pilot/aircraft commander, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Also reported MIA in 1972:
Agnew, Alfred H., USN (SC); RA5C shot down (pilot, w/Haifley), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive and well as of 1998

Haifley, Michael Firestone, USN (OH); RA5C shot down (backseater, w/Agnew) - remains returned August, 1985