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Thursday, March 30, 2006

How Low Can the Anti-War Crowd Get?

You'd think I'd know better than to ask that question.

The following was forwarded to me by Debey, known to all of us at Soldiers' Angels as Gunnar's Mom...

There is a War Protest with a cemetery display at my son's college here in St Louis. They have tomb stones with the names of those that were killed in the war. Alex went through and removed the names of those he know who would not want to be associated with this type of protest. As he told the student who organized this you do not have the permission of those killed or of their families to use their name to represent your cause, I am needing this out so that any family who has a loved in who was killed in Iraq if you want to call or write the Dean of Students and let them know how upsetting this is to you please do so or email me and I will with your premission remove the name for you please email me privately...

That email was sent by Jan Lang, founder of Marine Comfort Quilts, and the mother of a Marine Hero who has safely returned from duty in Iraq. Marine Comfort Quilts has completed over 1700 quits that have been sent to the families who have lost a loved one in Iraq. Please contact me for Jan's email address.

Need to know how disgusting this display is?
Here is a picture of the referenced display (from a previous event), organized by the St. Louis Instead of War Coalition:

This is typical of the response that has been received to requests for removal:

Dear Ms. M---:

Per your request, I have seen to it that the tombstone with the name of your loved one has been taken down.

Please let me say that I am extremely sorry for your loss. The students who set up the memorial on our campus did not mean to add to your pain. They were simply trying to bring honor to those soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve those freedoms that we enjoy.

Hmmmmmm...somehow, I don't think so. This hero's widow didn't think so, either:

Mr. Brady,
I am responding to your comment "They were simply trying to bring honor to those soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve those freedoms that we enjoy."

It is my understanding that there was a tombstone with simply D----- M---- on it. (Name withheld pending permission from this hero's widow) No branch of service, no rank. Exactly how were you honoring a "soldier" when you excluded his military experience? My husband EARNED his rank by being in the Marine Corps for 13 years and doing his job well. His intention was to be in for 20 years. Your students erased his dedication to defending their freedoms by erasing his military background. Your students have made him just a name. Really I can't even dream up something as distasteful. I would not have called if I didn't feel this was truly just a display for visual no means "honoring" anyone. Please save your empty condolences and sarcasm.

Deborah M------
Proud Wife of SSgt. D----- M------, Jr.
KIA on March 25, 2003

And if you haven't lost your lunch yet, not only do these "tombstones" completely eliminate any reference to rank or branch of service, but our Heroes are sharing space on them with Iraqi names, as well.

Some are particularly disturbing - like this one removed from the display. This is how these people saw fit to "honor" a member of the
Soldiers' Angels family:

For the record, that's PFC Gunnar Becker, 2nd Platoon "Bandits," Bravo Company 2/63 AR Battalion, US Army

Another picture of the display:

Freedom of expression is one thing. This is...I don't know what this is. Wrong, is all I can come up with. Wrong, wrong, wrong. This kind of thing needs to be addressed. The Respect for Fallen Heroes Act is a start - more information on that below.

The two pictures above come from Jan's album of photos of the display and some of the stones they've been able to remove:

I spent 3 hours at the College today removing tombstones. I do not know the name of the person who I spoke with from this group but they "OWN" the tombstone and I was told that the Pentagon release the name so that makes the name available to them for their use. SO while the school is removing the names per the families wishes if they send the school a email, the school would not allow me to take them with me. I have a picture of every one that I was able to get taken down. The display was missing 300 names as we were told they are on permanent display where the exit started. The display does come down on Thursday March 30, 2006 at 3:30 after Taps is played...

Here's some background:
It appears that the tombstone display actually is borrowed from this group:
There is a picture of the display at a previous event.

Here is their contact info:

St. Louis Instead of War Coalition
438 N. Skinker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 725-5303

So at this point I think everyone needs to email the group and also email their Senator and Congressman regarding the pending legislation regarding the upcoming Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act to have these such displays be added to that legislation. Below is a copy of what I have been sending, plus the link to sign the petition.

Petitions can be signed at

I encourage you to forward this site to your friends and family and ask them to help protect military families.

Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act is upcoming legislation, I do not feel this bill goes far enough. I believe that it should also include the use of our Fallen's names on crosses and tombstone in protest against the war without the family’s written permission. The visual impact would be the same if they put up 2400+ cross/tombstones without the names. Our men and women have died to protect the right of free speech but they have not given them the right to assume those who have died agree with their protest. The use of the names of our fallen give the impression they would have supported the protest.

Jan Lang, Founder, Marine Comfort Quilts
Honoring or Fallen one Quilt at a time

If you have a family member or loved one whose name may be on one of these, and you would like to have their name removed from the display (which, as I understand it, is a travelling display), please either use the contact information above, or email me, and I'll put you in touch with someone who can help.

The anti-war crowd, unfortunately, never ceases to sicken me with the complete lack of respect they show our Heroes and their families. Just one more reason I don't buy the "I'm anti-war, not anti-troop" line.

Here is further information on the Respect for Fallen Heroes Act (forwarded by Sara of Soldiers' Angels:

Rogers Proposes the Respect for Fallen Heroes Act
While attending the funeral of a Michigan soldier who died of combat wounds suffered in Iraq, protestors attempted to disrupt the funeral by shouting vile and harassing slogans at the family and other mourners. Military families mourning the loss of a loved one killed in the defense of our nation deserve the right to say their final goodbyes in peace. America honors and respects our soldiers, and none more than those who die defending freedom and our nation.

Next week, I will be introducing federal legislation to protect grieving military families by banning protestors from military funerals. This legislation, the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act, will prohibit demonstrating one hour before and one hour after the service for a fallen solider and keep the protesters 500 feet from the grieving family. No family burying a son or daughter, a husband or wife, a brother or sister, should be faced with the insults, verbal attacks, and intimidation that these protestors were screaming or displaying on signs. This common sense legislation will help to protect military families in their most difficult hour and is narrowly tailored to fit within the time and place restrictions consistently upheld by the Supreme Court.

Giving citizens an opportunity to participate in the process and support the legislation, I launched an on-line petition. The petition will allow citizens to express honor and respect for our American soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice for the nation, as well as support for the people they love and leave behind. The petition and comments from citizens will be presented to the House Veterans Affairs Committee at an April 6 hearing in Washington. Petitions can be signed at

I encourage you to forward this site to your friends and family and ask them to help protect military families.

Further info from Jan:

The exhibit comes down this afternoon and after talking with the students involved yesterday I think they understand the families side better. As I told them, I just don't think they thought this all out very well. They failed to see how this could effect a Vet's attending school there and failed to think of the Families feelings. If nothing else it allowed dialog on the subject. The person from told me this exhibit was the same as the Traveling Viet Nam Wall in the sense that it was honoring those that were killed.

My signature is already on the Petition. I urge you to do the same. I echo Jan's sentiments, though - there are other exploitations of our nation's Heroes which should be dealt with. Freedom of speech can be exercised without harming the families of the fallen. I also think that certain actions against military members (ex., spitting on them) need to be specifically addressed in legislation. My personal opinion is that the military should be treated, in these siutations, in the same way that antidiscrimination's protected classes are treated. Can you imagine what would happen if the KKK showed up at the funeral of an African-American to make similar displays? Hurling the type of drivel that Phelps' crew does? Racial slurs and racially motivated attacks aren't freedom of speech / expression - they're hate crimes. Certain actions aimed at our military heroes should be treated the same way.

Linked at Mudville's Open Post

This post stays at the top of the blog today.

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Spring Has Sprung


The hubby and I got the bikes out yesterday afternoon for the first ride of the season. In honor of the beautiful weather, I figured I'd share some pictures.

Mine and hubby's motorcycles.

My bike. It's a Kawasaki Vulcan.

My bike again. In keeping with the blog's theme, even my motorcycle is about supporting the troops.

The stickers you see on the back read as follows:

"In memory of those who never returned from Vietnam"

"The Price of Freedom is Written on the Wall"


You are not forgotten"

And, of course, there's my yellow ribbon.

I love the bike, and yes, I always wear a helmet and protective gear. :)
by Miguel A. Negron
March 30, 2006
Sgt. Erin Hyland, a nurse from the 729th Forward Support Battalion, Maryland Army National Guard, makes friends with children in Barahona, Dominican Republic, during a clinic construction and medical assistance visit.

Soldiers' Angels Blankets of Hope in the News

Article published Thursday, March 23, 2006

This blanket gives more than warmth to a soldier

It's a homemade blanket, rolled up carefully and secured by a ribbon, with a greeting card attached:
"This blanket was made with love and hope for your recovery by Sharon Bailiff. We Americans are truly blessed to be represented and defended by outstanding individuals like you!"

For months, Ms. Bailiff has made blankets. Each one goes to a U.S. soldier wounded in Iraq.

Last fall, a letter arrived in the mailbox of her Lambertville home. It was from the head nurse of a combat support hospital somewhere in Iraq:
"One of your blankets today went to a wounded soldier [who] also lost his friends. It is heart-breaking to listen to him talk about his friends and the incident. The blanket has special meaning for him," the nurse wrote.

I read this letter in the kitchen of the Bailiff home, an alarmingly tidy room, despite the accumulated pieces of fabric waiting to be made into blankets...

Full Story

Related Link:
Blankets of Hope
REMAGEN DUTY — A U.S. Army soldier assigned to 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, shakes a child's hand during a patrol in Remagen, Iraq, March 24, 2006. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Shawn Hussong

In Today's News - Thursday, March 30, 2006

Quote of the Day
"The fact is; there isn't any way that the terrorist enemies can win a single battle against us. The real center of gravity of this war is not out on the battlefield, it's back here in Washington, D.C. because it's a test of wills. As have previous conflicts been tests of wills, it's going to take steadfastness and perseverance and a confidence that the goal is the right goal and that the work that those wonderful young men and women are doing out there is noble work. I don't have a doubt in my mind but that we're going to prevail."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
830 AM WCCO Radio Interview,
March 29, 2006

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
'Happy to Be Free' - Jill Carroll released in Iraq
Fast Facts: Jill Carroll Timeline
Police Commando, Lawyer Killed
Fast Facts: Iraq's Hostages
Carroll's Family Elated at Release
Video: Carroll Comments on Her Release
Gunmen kill eight refinery workers: police
Bush Tells Iraqis to 'Get Governing'
As war grows longer, troops' patience is shorter
As U.S. deaths in Iraq decline, civilian violence is on upswing

Operation Enduring Freedom
Christian convert turns up in Italy, will seek asylum

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Bush Plotter Gets 30 Years
Jury to Decide Whether Moussaoui Should Die
September 11 plane drama to open NY film festival
Gunmen beat bin Laden ally in Pakistan
Britain set to introduce ID cards

Other Military News
Army relaxes tattoo rules to attract recruits

States get tough on illegal immigrants
City takes stand against immigration bill
Senators Split on Immigration
Bush to earn Fox backing in immigration fight - Video
Trade, Immigration Top N. America Summit

Hamas Rising
Abbas Congratulates Olmert
Hamas takes power - Video
Hamas sworn in as U.S., Canada cut aid

Worldwide Wackos
Rice: We Are United Against Iran's Nuclear Program
Iran rejects UN demand for halt to enrichment
Oil above $66 on Iran's defiance
World powers say Iran must curb nuclear ambitions
Iran Gets 30 Days to Clear Nuke Suspicions
Security Council tells Iran to stop enriching uranium

Capitol Police Probe Rep. McKinney Incident
Bush in Cancun for Talks
Bolten wants Snow replaced: report
Rice says US not trying to slow Russia WTO entry
Abramoff Gets Nearly 6 Years in Prison
Panel drops health cuts in Bush's budget plan
Changes approved in Senate lobbying, ethics rules

Media in the Media
Journalists hail Woodruff, Jennings at D.C. event
Sun-Times reporters recognized for story on sex offenders in nursing homes

Prostitutes retrain as nurses, tele-marketers
Winner Named for 'Home Office From Hell'
Indian doctor sentenced for testing sex of fetuses
Sophomore spends 41 hours in Wal-Mart
Pair's tech trick has town seeing UFOs
Dog carrying 'hand' causes stir
Kansas City to make like Brits, drive on the left

Other News of Note
Sago Miner Leaves Hospital
Sago Mine Survivor Thankful for Support

Fox News
MLB: New Steroids Probe
Lacrosse Lawyers: Players Are Innocent
North Carolina Lottery Debuts

Reuters: Top News
Americans at "tipping point" about energy: poll
Brazilian and Russia-US crew blast off to space
Food survey finds GMO soy in 10th of samples
Microsoft, EU Commission spar over antitrust fines
Nokia raises 2006 cellphone market forecast
Iraqi, Kashmiri Shia Muslims linked by relief work
Growth spurts tied to peaks in teen cancers: study
Bird flu vaccine only works at highest dose: study
Profits strong though fourth-quarter GDP soft
Nasdaq drops offer for London Stock Exchange
Microsoft, EU Commission spar over antitrust fines
A.G. Edwards 4th-quarter earnings rise
Glaxo starts trials of H5N1 pandemic flu vaccine
Comcast reaches video-on-demand deal with NBC
Resources Connection slides after profit disappoints
SigmaTel falls, ViroPharma climbs
Bank of NY shares rise on Inet
ATI shares rise on Inet
Technology stocks advance Video
Equity firm: Brazil poised for realty boom
Equity International eyes Chile investment
Mexican copper strike to hit output soon
Copper closes at fresh record high

AP World News
Economy Grows at 1.7 Percent Pace
Jet May Be 10X Faster Than Other Planes
Microsoft Defends Itself at EU Hearing
LA OKs Payment to Slain Rapper's Family
Google Plans to Sell Another 5.3M Shares
New Orleans Officers Indicted in Beating

The Seattle Times
Can you read the signs? Language issues resurface
Health insurer's policy translates into trouble
Brains develop differently in smartest kids
Expert panel on Caesareans discovers no clear answers
Light-truck mileage goals hit big SUVs hard
Rolling Stone hits rocky road in China
Summit lets Mexico show Cancún's back in business

Chicago Sun-Times
New Shedd exhibit has mouth to die for
800,000 gallons of sewage dumped into lake
American Girl recalls kids' jewelry
Panel would hike state leaders' pay by 9.3%
City offers $630K for cemetery in O'Hare path
2 stolen Payton rings recovered at pawnshop
State Senate OKs tougher rap for fake cops
PR firm's chief rips state audit as 'blatant lie'
Man wrongly released from federal jail vanishes
Ex-Daniels aide cooperates with feds, still gets prison
Zoning change OK could make spire soar
Daytime darkness leads to cheers, tears
Online dog lovers pitch in to patch up pug

Boston Globe: World
Unsolved killings terrorize women in Guatemala
Wood chips OK'd for wine flavoring
HIV cases reach plateau, study says
Kurds, Turkish riot police clash
Nano-sensors to Fight Insurgents
Democrats Offer National Security Strategy
Soldiers Killed in Brazen Taliban Attack
Osprey Mishap Raises Questions

CENTCOM: News Releases


Department of Defense
Bush: U. S. Will Leave, 'But Not Retreat' - Story - Remarks
Building Support Capacity Important in Iraq - Story
Anti-Terror War Is Struggle of Ideas - Story

Army’s Old Guard Honors Wounded Troops - Story
High School Reopens in Nangarhar Province - Story
New School Brings Hope to Dacodadad Villagers
Marines Stymie Taliban, Earn Villagers' Trust - Story - Photos
Civil Affairs Team Efforts Aid Karkh Residents - Story

Marines Not Deterred by IEDs in Iraqi Province
Iraqi Army, Coalition Medics Screen Citizens
Navy Reservist Proud to Have Served in Iraq

Citizen Tip Leads to IED in Afghan Mosque

Deployed Airman Defends 'Legs' Title - Story

'Cell Phones for Soldiers' Wins Grant - Story
Campaign to Benefit Troops - Story

UAV Kills 3 Bomb-Planting Terrorists
Forces Secure Safety of Pilgrims
Two U.S. Soldiers Killed
Suspects Nabbed, Hostages Rescued
More Operation Details Released
Isolated Facts Distort Achievements
Iraqi Unit Completes Mission
Rebuilding, Economy Progress
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq (PDF)
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Iraq Reconstruction

Insurgents Kill U.S., Coalition Troops
Afghan Agency Delivers Rations
Task Force Welcomes Aviators
Afghanistan Update

Court Hears Gitmo Arguments
Rumsfeld Topic: War of Ideology
Resolve Needed in Terror War
Cooperation Essential to Mission
Nations United on Iran Policy
Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Helo Anti-Sub Squadron Deploys
Former SecDef Weinberger Dies
Fort Riley Troops Deploy to Africa
Navy Cargo Handlers to Deploy
VA Fulfills Commitment
Lessons Learned Part of Exercise
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Army Casualty - Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
239 BC - 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
0988 - Boudouin IV with the Beard becomes earl of Flanders
1282 - Furious inhabitants of Palermo attack French occupation force
1474 - Duke Sigismund van Tirol ends contacts with Switzerland
1492 - King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella sign decree expelling Jews from Spain
1533 - Henry VIII divorces his 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon
1603 - Battle at Mellifont: English army under Lord Mountjoy beats Irish
1814 - Britain & allies march into Paris after defeating Napoleon
1822 - Congress combines East & West Florida into Florida Territory
1842 - Ether used as an anaesthetic for 1st time by Dr. Crawford Long (Jefferson, GA)
1856 - Russia signs Peace of Paris, ending the Crimean War
1858 - Pencil with attached eraser patented (Hyman L Lipman of Philadelphia)
1863 - Danish prince Wilhelm Georg of Sleeswÿk-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg chosen as King George of Greece
1864 - Skirmish at Mount Elba, AR
1865 -Battle at 5 Forks, Virginia
1867 - US purchases Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 (2¢ an acre-Seward's Folly)
1870 - 15th Amendment passes, guarantees right to vote regardless of race; Texas becomes last Confederate state readmitted to Union
1889 - John T. Reid opens 1st US golf course (Yonkers NY)
1893 - Thomas F. Bayard becomes 1st US ambassador in Great Britain
1900 - Dutch 2nd Chamber accepts Compulsory education law
1909 - Queensboro Bridge opens, linking Manhattan & Queens
1911 - Lötschberg tunnel in Switzerland (13,735 meter) completed
1912 - French protectorate in Morocco established
1919 - Belgian Army occupies Düsseldorf; Gandhi announces resistance against Rowlatt Act
1925 - Stalin supports rights of non-Serbian Yugoslavians
1932 - Amelia Earhart is 1st woman to fly solo cross the Atlantic
1935 - Newfoundland changes time to 3½ hours W of Greenwich, repeats 44 seconds
1941 - German counter offensive in North-Africa
1942 - 1st RSHA-transport from France arrives in camp Birkenau; SS murders 200 inmates of Trawniki labor camp
1943 - British 1st army recaptures Sejenane
1944 - 781 British bombers attack Neurenberg
1945 - 289 anti-fascists murdered by Nazis in Rombergpark Dortmund; USSR invades Austria during WWII
1953 - Einstein announces revised unified field theory
1961 - NASA civilian pilot Joseph A. Walker takes X-15 169,600' (51,690 meter)
1964 - Astronaut John Glenn withdraws from Ohio senate race
1968 - General Ludvik Svoboda elected President of Czechoslovakia
1972 - North Vietnamese troops enter South Vietnam
1973 - Ellsworth Bunker resigns as US ambassador to South Vietnam
1976 - Israel kills 6 Palestinians protesting land confiscation
1981 - President Reagan shot & wounded by John W. Hinckley, Jr.
1982 - 3rd space shuttle mission-Columbia 3 lands at White Sands, NM
1984 - US ends participation in multinational Lebanon peace force
1987 - 59th Academy Awards: "Platoon", Paul Newman & Marlee Matlin win
1991 - William Kennedy Smith allegedly rapes a woman
1993 - French government of Balladur forms; Jamaican premier Percival Patterson wins parliamentary election

1135 - Maimonides [Moses Ben Maimon], philosopher/physician
1432 - Mehmed II [Fâtih], Sultan of Turkey (1451-81)
1672 - Peter I "the Great" Romanov, great tsar of Russia (1682-1725)
1790 - Joseph Smith Rear Admiral (Union Navy)
1823 - Joseph Farmer Knipe, Union Brigadier General
1824 - Innis Newton Palmer, Union Brevet Major General
1825 - Samuel Bell Maxey, Confederate Brigadier General
1894 - Sergei Ilyushin, Russian airplane builder (Ilyushin)
1913 - Richard Helms, CIA head (1966-73)
1919 - McGeorge Bundy, national security adviser under JFK
1928 - Richard Trant, British General
1931 - Aleksey Vasilyevich Sorokin, Russian cosmonaut
1937 - Warren Beatty, actor (Bonnie & Clyde,Shampoo, Dick Tracy)
1938 - Martin Dunne, Lord-Lieutenant (Warwickshire)
1941 - Robert C. Smith (Representative-NH)
1945 - Eric Clapton [Eric Patrick Clapp], legendary guitarist/singer (Yardbirds, Cream, Tears in Heaven)
1948 - Nigel Jones, British MP
1950 - Dave McCurdy (Representative-OK)
1957 - Yelena Vladimirovna Kondakova, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz TM 20, STS 84)
1983 - California condor chick hatches, San Diego, CA - 1st born in captivity

0988 - Arnulf II, Count of Flanders (965-988)
1547 - François I of Valois-Angoulême, King of France (1515-47), dies at 52
1707 - Sébastien le Prestre Vauban, French fortress architect, dies at 73
1871 - W. F. A. A. Louisa/Lovisa, Queen of Sweden/Norway, dies at 42
1926 - Feliks E. Dzerzjinski, Lithuanian organizer (KGB), dies at 48
1946 - John S. S. P. V. Gort, viscount of Limerick/Hamsterley, dies at 59
1948 - Mahatma Gandhi, assassinated in New Delhi
1949 - Friedrich C. R. Bergiusm chemist (brown coal, Nobel 1931), dies at 64
1950 - Léon Blum, French premier (People's Front Govt), dies at 77
1972 - Gabriel Heather, US news anchor, dies at 81
1979 - Airey Neave, British MP (Conservatives), killed by terrorist bomb
2002 - HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, dies at Royal Lodge, Windsor, at 101

Reported Missing in Action
Cichon, Walter A., US Army (NJ); possibly captured

Latimer, Clarence A., US Army (SC)

Crosby, Bruce A., Jr., US Army (NY); disappeared in artillery attack on base (w/Westcott)

Finch, Melvin W., US Army (VA); OH6A shot down, Died in Captivity - remains recovered August, 1985

Westcott, Gary P., US Army (CA); disappeared in artillery attack on base

Hoskins, Thomas B.; left Saigon October, 1975

Judson, Lorenzo D.; left Saigon May, 1976

Kowles, Alexander G.; left Saigon October, 1975'

Tabor, John; left Saigon October, 1975