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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Texas National Guardsman says "Thank You"

Yesterday I got a - Thank You - note from a wounded Texas National Guard soldier.

Hi, my name is SSG Oliver B.,

assigned at FOB Speicher in Iraq. I am a National Guardsman from Houston, Texas and I am one of the recepient of your kindness and support. We thank you so much for all your gifts and prayers. It is always a great honor to serve this country and we thank you for giving your support for what we've been fighting for.

God Bless us and Happy New Year to all.


Read the rest at Soldiers' Angels Germany

In Memory of Major Ahmed Jamil

From George, an American Hero:

Hello Everyone,

Although I have a lot of Good news abut the elections, I will share that with you in a near future day. In this e-mail, I wish to share something with you that is weighing very heavy on my heart.

I found out hours ago that Major Jamil was killed by an IED, a few miles north of here. As you will recall from my e-mails to you all, during the big operation in Sarai in September (Operation Restoring Rights), Jamil and I became very close and bonded, as though we knew each other for a lifetime.

I very much admired, respected and and treasured this warrior's company and for the love for his country, Kurdistan. He told me, during one of our many conversations over dinner, that he and his men came to fight in Tall'afar, so the insurgents would never enter his homeland. He wanted to see his son grow up without violence, killings or ever seeing a gun.

His son was four months old when I met Jamil in September, I only hope and pray that his son will come to know one day, what a great sacrifice his father made, as well as what a great leader he was, brave, courages and beloved and respected by the men he led.

Jamil and I often worked on missions together...What makes his death even more tragic, is the fact that he had just returned from his home, where he went to mourn and bury his brother, sister and his nephews, all killed in a car accident.

I do not know how his parents are facing all of these deaths? I know that when I heard about my friend Jamil, I had to go away from everyone and be by myself. And be alone as I cried and mourned over my fallen friend and comrade.

We promised each other, that one day we would meet up after the war, in Kurdistan, where he was going to open his home to me and my family. In his phone he had placed a photo our phot and he was saving it, till I would come to Kurdistan and we could take a new one together.

I have a great many photos of him (two of which I am sharing with you), as well as many gifts that I was bringing to him, the next time I was supposed to see him. God willing, I will be able to visit Kurdistan and pass them along to his wife and his young son.

Please remember his family in your prayers, and remember, that there are many here, besides us Americans,who have also left the safety and security of their families and friends, to sacrifice for their futures.

I share his sacrifice with you, because he was my friend, because I had shared with you about our work together during the Sari operation, and because his death and sacrifice will not be broadcast on CNN. His sacrifice is not something that woud go well with all of the bias that is propogated about this place and this war. But I believe his sacrifice should be shared, as a testimony to his courage, his strength of character and his convictions. And because he was my friend, and someone I loved and cared for, as did he for me.

There is no greater love than a man laying down his life for his friends. - John 15:12-13


Our hearts go out to Major Jamil's family and friends.

Thanks, Mel.

OPERATION SLEIGH RIDE — A U.S. soldier assigned to the 173rd Airborne Infantry runs to meet a incoming CH-47 Chinook as it brings Christmas Eve mail to a forward operating base in Afghanistan during Operation Sleigh Ride, an effort to deliver holiday mail to troops at forward operating bases there. U.S. Army photo by Cpl. John Chriswell

In Today's News - Thursday, December 29, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Honor and shame from no condition rise; Act well your part, there all the honor lies."
-- Alexander Pope

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraq Sunnis, Secular Groups Want Vote Review
Video: U.S. jets strike northern Iraq
Family of 11 Iraqi Shi'ites murdered

Operation Enduring Freedom
Would-be suicide bombers blown up in Afghan blast
Bomb Kills one Soldier, Wounds two in Afghanistan
Soldier Killed, Four Injured in Vehicle Accident

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Padilla Lawyers Want High Court to Clarify War Powers
Sept. 11 Loan Recipients Not Hurt by Attacks
Audit cites Homeland Security management issues

Welcome Home!
Photos: Texas Army Guard 56th Brigade Returns

Troops on Trial
Two Marines Cleared in Rape Case

Fox News
California Flooding Kills One
Photo Essay: California Flooding
Babysitter Charged After Toddler Found Drunk
Palestinian Bomber Kills Israeli Soldier
Nov. Existing Home Sales Lowest Since March
Jobless Claims Up Slightly
Austrian Fund to Pay Holocaust Survivors
New Orleans Delays Katrina Home Demolition
Health South Sues Scrushy

Reuters: Top News
Iraq al Qaeda claims Israel attack: Web
UK Hilton says hotel deal talks progressing well
Administaff buys human resources Web site
Brambles sells steel services unit
Scotts Miracle-Gro sees deeper 1st-quarter loss
Celgene shares up on FDA approval
Quidel says regulators approve claims for flu test
Bomber kills 3 at W.Bank checkpoint
Iraq government talks resume in Kurdish mountains
Iran, Russia to discuss uranium enrichment: diplomat
Bosnia-based body to help identify Katrina victims
Cloned dog claim investigated
China's moon orbiting mission takes step forward
Potters' town booming in northern Mexico
Women often uninformed about breast reconstruction
Lung disease patients breathe easier with rehab
Palestinian bombs West Bank road
Japanese stocks soared in 2005

AP World News
S. Korean School Debunks Hwang's Research
Poland Keeping Troops in Iraq Another Year
Jamaican Police Officer Becomes Rap Artist
Adviser: Russia Becoming 'Corporate' State
300 Million Chinese Drink Unsafe Water
Fire Strikes Russian Home for Mentally Ill
Leopard Kills 75-Year-Old Man in India
Ukraine Says It Has Enough Gas for Winter
Yemeni Predicts Germans Will Be Released
Accused Nazi Loses Another Round in Court
Italian Premier Accused of Bribing Lawyer
China Slams Japan Over Suicide Allegations
British Official Calls for Terror Probe
Turkish Writer Won't Face New Charges
Group Asks Putin to Forgo Signing NGO Bill
Pakistani Slays Daughters to Salvage 'Honor'
Wars Lack Medal of Honor
Corps Pays $100K for Retooled Jeep
GAO Cites Army's Sloppy Record Keeping
Chiefs Demoted in Pentagon Succession Line
Army May Equip Fewer Heavy Combat Teams
Deadly Attacks Prompt Safer Combat Vehicles
A Struggle Over Military Recruitment of Students
C-17, Tanker Collide off Oahu
Guard Soldiers Respond to Texas, Okla. Fires
Icebreakers on Thin Ice

CENTCOM: News Releases

Department of Defense
82nd Airborne Unit Wraps Up Deployment - Story
'Army Water' Makes Debut in Balad, Baghdad - Story
Iraqis Resolved to Overcome Challenges - Story
U.S. Army Task Force Foils Terror Bombings - Story
Coalition Aircrews Fly Combat, Support Missions
U.S., Iraqis Thwart Prison Escape, Seize Weapons

U.S. Army Doctor Delivers Election-Day Baby - Story
Soldier in Kabul Re-enlists Brother in New York - Story
Bagram Air Base A-10s Take Fight to Enemy - Story

Corps of Engineers Improves Iraqi Roads
Holiday Gifts Cheer Soldiers on Way to War
'Raging Bulls' Marines, Sailors Return to Iraq
Army Chief of Staff Visits Troops for Christmas
U.S. Soldiers Bring Wheels to Disabled Iraqi Man

Operation Sleigh Ride Brightens Troops’ Day
Rumsfeld Honors Task Force Bayonet Troops

Twins Share Deployment, Volunteer Efforts in Desert - Story

Wounded Vets Get Holiday Boost - Story
Retired Teacher Sews Pillowcases

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

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

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

Officials Identify Army 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