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Friday, February 03, 2006

by Spc. James P. Hunter
February 2, 2006
Spc. Bryan Alexander, a gunner from the 860th Military Police Company, 49th MP Brigade, Arizona Army National Guard, prepares to move out to Al Iskandariyah in his Humvee to assist Iraqi police units.

Singing to Support our Troops

I’ve told you about Cliff Knizley - the musician who, inspired by Mark Miner of Boots in Baghdad, has created “Letters to Baghdad - a tribute to our troops.” If you haven’t ordered the CD yet, you can listen to samples and order the CD at Cliff’s site (make sure you have an updated Flash Player). And Cliff is offering a special discount to all Soldiers’ Angels - he’s got a sweet Valentine’s Day deal going right now.

Email me for details on the special, and make sure you check out his music. In addition to “Boots,” Cliff’s got some other great music available at the site store. If you have trouble viewing the site, or ordering, let me know, and I'll get in touch with Cliff.

Cliff was also recently interviewed by Julia Calgiano for "Local Jukebox" ( - a service of the "St. Augustine Record"), and talked about what led him to create the CD. You can listen to the interview here.

Here are some other musicians who have contacted me recently to let me know about their tributes to our Heroes:

The Right Brothers - “Half Her Heart” -- The Right Brothers, conservative musicians, have done this touching tribute to our Heroes and their spouses. It’s wonderful, and available free through February 21st. Some of their other tunes are available for paid download, too.

Billy Lash and No JustUS - “Ordinary Days” -- If you’re a Soldiers’ Angel, or involved in another organization that sends letters to our troops, this is one you definitely want to hear. Make sure to peruse their other stuff.

Toni Becker - “Duty Calls” -- Toni and her husband wrote this song. Some of the lyrics - “But then the world turned a corner on a cold September morning / I hear the cry of a soldier! / Duty Calls. I'm on my way. / I'd stand between you and the enemy any day. / Duty Calls. I will defend / The honor of my nation, family, and friends.” Toni wanted to know if there was anything I could do to help get this song to the troops. Another great one. You can listen and download it here.

By way of useless trivia…I was a music major for my first half of college. I’ve written a few tunes, but I’ve got to admit that songwriting just isn’t something I’ve got a heap of aptitude for. I am in awe of those who can write songs like these.

UPDATE: Some of the links above were not working earlier - fixed them, so they should be working now. Sorry about that!
TRANSFER CEREMONY — Iraqi army soldiers with the 5th Brigade, 6th Division stand at attention during a transfer of authority ceremony on Forward Operating Base Honor, Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 31, 2006. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class David D. Isakson

In Today's News - February 3, 2006

Quote of the Day
"RECRUIT, n. A person distinguishable from a civilian
by his uniform and from a soldier by his gait."
-- Ambrose Bierce

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Trial Continues Without Saddam Present
Lag in Forming Iraq Government Troublesome
Two Bombings in Baghdad Kill 11 Iraqis
Foreign Companies Eye Oil Reserves in Iraq
Reports: Blair Backed Iraq War in Jan. '03

Operation Enduring Freedom
Taliban launch attacks in Afghan south, 19 dead - Video
Dutch OK Afghanistan deployment

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Intel chief faces Congress, defends Bush spy program
Congress Passes Temporary Patriot Act Extension
CIA Head: NSA Program Leak Hurt U.S. Intelligence
Militants Silence Villagers in Thailand
Phones of Greek, U.S., Officals Tapped

Cartooning Muhammad
Muslims Condemn Cartoons

Hamas Rising
Hamas defies pressure to recognize Israel
Palestinian Salaries Delayed Amid Crisis

Military News
Venezuela to Expel U.S. Naval Attache
Army says it has no plans to cut Reserve, National Guard troops
Illinois vets' job-placement programs rank last in nation

159 mph? That's where we draw the line..
I'm here for my prescription, and 6,000 cookies
Man may have to clean up after police horse for punching it
Driver's miscue floods wrong house with 50 gallons of oil

Fox News
Senate Approves $70 Billion in Tax Cuts in Bipartisan Vote
Boehner Wins House Race
Boehner:'Comeback Kid'
Video: 'Rededicate Ourselves'
Egyptian Ferry Sinks - As many as 1,300 on board
Two Dead in Russia Bombing
Sago Rescuer: Mine Fire Victims 'All At Rest' Q4 Sales Miss Expectations; Shares Tumble
Dow Down 102 on Terror Fears

Reuters: Top News
Kama Sutra virus expected to strike
Efforts to re-float grounded Alaskan tanker delayed
Boehner's election seen as boosting pension reform
NY mayor donates $100 mln to stem cell research
Poor nations need billions to fight climate change
S.Korea prosecutors want to question U.S. scientist
Welcome or not, cell phones set for NY underground
US death penalty debate locked in political stalemate
Poor struggle in shadows of India's richest city
Bed-bug epidemic bites at Australian tourism
More Japanese overweight, exercising less: report
Maytag reports wider quarterly loss
Stock futures tick up, payrolls eyed
Medisys settles with Roche in U.S. over patent row
Moody's 4th-qtr profit rises
Casio says Q3 profit up 1.8 pct on digital cameras
D&B 4th-quarter profit rises 20 percent
Interactive Data to buy for $30 mln
Stock futures tick up, payrolls eyed - Video sales miss Street target, shares tumble
Nasdaq closes down over 1 percent Video
Thomas Weisel shares rise 33 pct in debut
Agrium shares drop amid lower profits
Gold rally not a bubble
Oil extends slide as US supplies grow
MergerTalk: Advisers feel global pull

AP World News
Broader Support Sought for Iran Referral
Koreas Agree to High-Level Military Talks
Peace Promised During Haiti's Elections
Chinese Journalist Feng Xiliang Dies at 86
U.S., South Korea Begin Free Trade Talks
Honduran President Calls for Crime Reforms

The Seattle Times
Record warm temperatures mark mild January for nation
Representative from Ohio makes political comeback
Gingrich protégé raised money, bided time after fall from grace
Medicare-deadline extension denied by Senate
Senators advance $70 billion tax-cut bill
Two unidentified victims buried
Darts may ground high-speed chases
Comets' ice spurs theory on life
Five U.N. powers back resolution against Iran's nuclear plans
Size study shows French measuring up — and out
Tsunami survivors' rights violated?
Former EPA chief criticized by judge

Chicago Sun-Times
Jail shooting probe asks how, why
Gov's ex-aide is lobbyist for firm seeking health plan deal
O'Hare, Midway rank dead last for on-time departures in Dec.
Chertoff rips Katrina study
Utility firms pay $1 million in long overdue county fees
Man dies in jump from Empire State Building
King's widow to lie in Ga. Capitol
Iran threatens to retaliate as dispute reaches 'a critical phase'
Bono demand: Give another 1% of federal budget to poor
Wife accused of setting up husband for robbery in bed
Breast-feeding too scandalous for Victoria's Secret store
Christian booksellers fear Wal-Mart

Boston Globe: World
Japan's craving for oil complicates its position on Iran
Met offers to return 6 disputed antiquities
Liberia's president fires finance officials
For China's migrant workers, Lunar New Year is a chance to visit home
Accounting Flaws Found at VA
Rumsfeld Says Terror Threat May Be Greater
Army to Press Ahead With Guard Overhaul
Military to Ensure Best Body Armor Possible
Air Force Wants 'No-Warning' Strike Force
$5 Million for SC Veterans Cemetery
$8.5 M for Kentucky Veterans Cemetery
Afloat Training Group Software Coming

Department of Defense
Rumsfeld Won't Play Speculation Game - Story
January Casualties in Iraq Show Decrease - Story - Video
Army Reserve, Guard To Be Fully Funded - Story - Video - Transcript
QDR Adjustments Made to 'Protect Americans' - Story - Video - Transcript
Rumsfeld Notes Terrorists' Repeated Failures

Spartans Pave Way for Future Afghan Ops - Story
Diplomats Visit Panjshir Reconstruction Team - Story

Iraqi Forces, U.S. Marines Launch Red Bull II
Troops, Nike Deliver New Shoes to Iraqi Kids

Airmen Airdrop Humanitarian Aid to Afghans
Video: Civil Affairs Mission Helps Kapisa Province

Brothers Re-enlist on Mother's Birthday - Story

Network Aids Troops' Families - Story
Airmen Enjoy 'Lt. Dan Band' Show
Cartoonist Aids Troops, Fisher House
Pro Golfer Woods Visits SEALs

Bush: Victory Only Option
U.S. Marine, 4 U.S. Soldiers Killed
Casey: Iraqis Take Lead in Security
Iraqi SWAT Team Ready
Iraqi Unit Assumes Command
Troops Disarm IED, Find Weapons
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
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

Germany Donates 10,000 Pistols
Humanitarian Efforts Underway
Afghanistan Update

Jordanians Assists Neighbors
U.S. Leadership, Resolve Critical
President Praises Troops
Estonia Helps Build Democracies
USCG to Aid Super Bowl Security
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Tricare Adjustments Essential
BRAC to Facilitate Medical Change
Military Health Care Web Special
Troops, Families Express Gratitude
Iraq War Veterans Praise Armor
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


Today in History
1377 - Cardinal Robert of Geneva (anti-pope Clemens VII) starts term; Mass execution of population of Cesena Italy
1576 - Henry of Navarre (future Henry IV) escapes from Paris
1591 - German monarchy forms Protestant Union of Torgau
1653 - Cardinal Mazarin returns to Paris from exile
1660 - General Moncks army reaches London
1690 - 1st paper money in America issued (colony of Massachusetts)
1740 - Charles de Bourbon, King of Naples, invites Jews to return to Sicily
1752 - Dutch States-General forbid export of windmills
1781 - Dutch West Indies island of St Eustatia taken by the British
1783 - Spain recognizes US independence
1809 - Territory of Illinois organizes (including present-day Wisconsin)
1836 - Whig Party holds its 1st national convention (Albany NY)
1855 - Wisconsin Supreme Court declares US Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional
1860 - Thomas Clemson takes office as 1st US superintendent of agriculture
1864 - Sherman's march through Georgia
1865 - Hampton Roads Peace Conference, Lincoln & Stephens reach an impasse
1867 - Prince Mutsuhito, 14, becomes Emperor Meiji of Japan (1867-1912)
1870 - 15th Amendment (Black suffrage) passed
1887 - To avoid disputed national elections, Congress creates Electoral Count Act
1892 - Russia closes down Yeshiva of Volozhin
1894 - 1st US steel sailing vessel, Dirigo, launched, Bath, ME
1901 - Dutch troops under General Van Heutsz conquer Batu Ilië on Sumatra
1903 - Frederick Lugard occupies Kano West Africa
1908 - Supreme Court rules a union boycott violates Sherman Antitrust Act
1913 - 16th Amendment, federal income tax, ratified
1915 - Turkish & German army reach Suez Canal
1916 - Canada's original Parliament building, in Ottawa, burns down
1917 - US liner Housatonic sunk by German sub & diplomatic relations severed
1919 - League of Nations 1st meeting (Paris); Socialist conference convenes (Berne Switzerland)
1924 - Alexei Ryko elected as President of People's commission (succeeds Lenin)
1927 - Uprising against regime of General Carmona in Portugal
1929 - Revolutionary Socialist Party forms in Amsterdam
1930 - William Howard Taft, resigns as chief justice for health reasons; Vietnamese Communistic Party forms
1933 - German minister Göring bans social-democratic newspaper Vorwärts
1941 - Supreme Court upheld Federal Wage & Hour law, sets minimum wages & maximum hours
1942 - 1st Japanese air raid on Java
1943 - 4 chaplains drown after giving up their life jackets to others
1945 - Almost 1000 Flying Fortresses drop 3000 ton bombs on Berlin
1950 - Nuclear physicist Klaus Fuchs arrested on spy charges
1959 - American Airlines Electra crashes in New York's East River, killing 65
1962 - President Kennedy bans all trade with Cuba except for food & drugs
1965 - Orbiting Solar Observatory 2 launches into Earth orbit (552/636 km); 105 USAF cadets resigned for cheating on exams
1966 - 1st operational weather satellite, ESSA-1 launched (US); 1st soft landing on the Moon (Soviet Luna 9)
1969 - The Palestine National Congress appoints Yasser Arafat head of PLO
1973 - President Nixon signs Endangered Species Act into law
1979 - "YMCA" by Village People peaks at #2 on pop singles chart
1981 - Gro Harlem Brundtland elected premier of Norway
1984 - 10th Space Shuttle Mission (41B)-Challenger 4 launched; 1st baby conceived by embryo transplant born in Long Beach CA
1986 - President Reagan announces formation of Committee on Challenger Accident
1989 - Military coup overthrows Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay
1993 - Federal trial of 4 police officers charged with civil rights violations in videotaped beating of Rodney King begins in Los Angeles CA
1994 - President Bill Clinton lifts US trade embargo against Vietnam; STS-60 (Discovery) launches into orbit
1995 - STS 63 (Discovery 19), launches into orbit
1998 - US military plane clips cable car lines in northern Italy, kills 20

1368 - Charles VI, King of France (1380-1422)
1805 - Otto T. Freiherr von Manteuffel, premier of Prussia
1807 - Joseph E. Johnston, Confederate General, Commander, Army of Tennessee
1811 - Horace Greeley, editor ("Go west, young man")
1817 - Samuel Ryan Curtis, Union Major General
1824 - George Thomas "Tige" Anderson, Confederate Brigadier General; Nathan George "Shanks" Evans, Confederate Brigadier General
1830 - Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury, British PM (1885-1902)
1831 - Cyrus Ballou Comstock, Union Brevet Major General
1851 - Johannes B. van Heutsz, Lieutenant-General/Governor-General Dutch East Indies
1889 - Risto Ryti, Finnish premier/president
1891 - Jan Donner Dutch minister of Justice (1926-33)
1894 - Juan Negrín, PM of the Spanish Republic (1936-39); Norman Rockwell US, artist/illustrator (Sat Evening Post covers)
1904 - Charlie "Pretty Boy" Floyd, FBI Most Wanted criminal
1912 - Jacques Soustelle, French minister of information
1922 - Bill Chappell, Jr. (Representative-FL)
1926 - J. Roy Rowland (Representative-GA)
1933 - Paul S. Sarbanes (Senator-MD)
1938 - Vladimir Grigoryevich Fartushny, cosmonaut
1939 - Vladimir Yevgenyevich Preobrazhensky, cosmonaut
1940 - Jim Hartz, newscaster (NBC-TV, Innovations); Fran Tarkenton Richmond VA, NFL quarterback (New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings)
1952 - Jack Fields (Representative-TX)

0474 - Leo I, Byzantine Emperor (457-74), dies
0865 - Ansgar/Anscharius/Oskar, German 1st (arch)bishop of Hamburg/saint, dies
1399 - John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster/King of Castile & León, dies at 58
1451 - Murad II, sultan of Turkey (1421-51), dies
1889 - Belle Starr, US female gangster, murdered at 40
1902 - Isaac Fransen van der Putten Dutch PM (1866), dies
1922 - Christiaan R. de Wet, South African Boer General, dies at 67
1924 - Woodrow Wilson, 28th US President (1913-21), dies at his home in Washington at 67
1945 - Roland Freisler, German Nazi judge (July 20th plotter case), dies
1947 - Marc A "Pete" Mitscher, US Lieutenant-Admiral (WWII-Task Force 58), dies at 60 1950 - Karl Seitz, President of Austria, dies at 80
1959 - Rockers "The Big Bopper" (Jiles Perry Richardson - Chantilly Lace - age 28), Buddy Holly ("That'll Be the Day - age 22), and Richie Valens ("Donna" / "La Bamba" - age 17) die in a plane crash in Iowa
1961 - Viscount Dunrossil, Governor-General of Australia (1959-61), dies at 67
1969 - Eduardo C. Mondlane, President of Mozambique, murdered
1997 - William Geoffrey Biddle, bomb disposal expert, dies at 79
1998 - Karla Faye Tucker, murderer, executed at 38

Reported Missing in Action
The following USAF personnel reported MIA when their C123C disappeared while on a mission over the border of Laos:
Brown, Wilbur R. (NC); pilot

Carter, James L. (CA); crew

Parsley, Edward M. (WV); crew

Waller, Therman M. (AR); crew

The following USN personnel also reported MIA this day in 1966, when their RAC was shot down:
Coffee, Gerald L. "Jerry" (CA); pilot, released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive and well as of 1998

Hanson, Robert T. (OH); navigator, remains returned - ID'd February, 1989

Johnson, August D., USNR (TX); jumped overboard to avoid grenade thrown in to PBR51, believed drowned

Anderson, John T., US Army (NY); released by PRG March, 1973 - deceased

Cayer, Marc, Civilian - International Voluntary Service (Canada); captured in Hue during the Tet Offensive, released February, 1973 - alive as of 1999

Deering, John A., USMC (TN); released by PRG March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Di Bernardo, James V., USMC (NY); released by PRG March, 1973 - retired as a Major - alive as of 1998

Dierling, Edward A., US Army; escaped February, 1968

Daves, Gary L., Civilian; captured in Hue during the Tet Offensive - released by PRG March, 1973

Ettmueller, Harry L., US Army (NJ); released by PRG March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1999

Gouin, Donat J., US Army - Armed Forces TV (KY); captured in Hue, released by PRG - alive as of 1998

Hayhurst, Robert A., US Army (WI); escaped February, 1968

Johns, Vernon, US Army (MD); remains ID'd April, 1991

Wiggins, Wallace Luttrell, USAF (CA); F102 shot down - remains returned August, 1978

Wilson, Marion E., US Army (OH); APC hit by RPG - KIA, body not recovered

Gotner, Norbert A., USAF (KS); F4D shot down (w/Standerwick), released March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Standerwick, Robert, Sr., USAF (KS); F4D shot down (w/Gotner)

Stringham, William, USN (CA); drowned