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Friday, April 07, 2006

East China Sea (April 6, 2006) - Search and rescue (SAR) swimmer, Yeoman 3rd Class Francisco J. Degollado is hauled aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) during a man overboard drill. Commander, Task Force Seven Six (CTF-76) ships, units and embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) elements are returning from operations supporting Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSIO) Foal Eagle (FE) 2006, designed to strengthen interoperability between the United States and the Republic of South Korea. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Brian P. Biller

Tonal Troop Support - Cliff Knizley

A little while ago, I told you about Cliff Knizley's appearance on Radio Live. One of the songs that Cliff performed on that spot was my favorite - "When I Get Home."

If you've never heard Cliff's music- or heck, even if you have - why not take a listen?

Cliff explains the story behind "When I Get Home"

"When I Get Home" (from Boots in Baghdad: A Tribute to Our Troops - audio from Cliff's RadioLive appearance)

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Boots in Baghdad, or any of Cliff's other albums, you can do so at his site You can also listen to more samples there.

Cliff's recently added an html version of the site, so any of you who were having trouble accessing the Flash version should be able to visit without problems now.

And as a reminder, Cliff's extended the buy-one, get one offer on Boots indefinitely for all Soldiers' Angels - email me to get the code to use when ordering.
by Staff Sgt. Alfred Johnson
April 7, 2006
1st Lt. Leland Case, from the Military Transition Team, mans the turret gun of Humvee to protect a convoy moving through Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq.

A Letter from St. Louis

My post about the display of tombstones at a St. Louis college campus provoked visceral responses around here (myself included), and those commenting involved military widows, Soldiers' Angels, and some of the folks involved in putting on the display.

Yesterday, I received this from some of the folks involved, and wanted to share it with you. I'm going to save any comment on the stated purpose and philosophy of such groups and displays for another day, and just let you see what they had to say:

The College Progressives for Peace, a student club at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, in response to a number of requests by bereaved military families for their loved ones names to be removed from our symbolic tombstone memorial, would like to clarify our purpose and intent for the memorial that was displayed from Monday, March 27th thru Thursday, March 30th at St. Louis Community College-Meramec.

Without hesitation, we have respectfully honored all requests to remove tombstones from the memorial display throughout the week. While our event has concluded, we will be sure to pass along any additional requests we receive to the St. Louis Instead of War Coalition, the creator of the display. I can personally assure you that they have been just as quick to respond to such requests in the past.

We are truly sorry if this display has caused you additional pain or hardship. Causing additional suffering to those who have already endured so much heartache was never the intent of our display.

For what it is worth, our club made great efforts to create a memorial that would truly pay tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in their selfless service to our nation. We truly stand in awe of the bravery, courage, and willingness of these brave men and women to sacrifice for our freedoms. We chose to display the symbolic tombstone memorial in an effort to raise the awareness of the generally apathetic youth of our nation. We had hoped it would be a powerful, yet respectful, reminder to many that there is still a long and costly occupation being waged by our nation

We made a thoughtful effort to keep the events of Peace Education Week in separate areas from the tombstone display, so as to not utilize the names for political purposes. The only banners in the memorial area read, "Honor the Dead," and "Count the Costs," in between two America Flags; an additional banner read "At each end of the rifle, we are all the same;" and another additional American Flag stood alone in the middle of the display.

We also attempted to keep the events of Peace Education Week from being an anti-war protest. Instead we were seeking to educate people as to the "Real" costs of war -meaning the unknown, unseen, and forgotten costs of war. While we did have some speakers speak out against this war, we also had speakers educating people about PTSD, the lack of benefits for our returning veterans, and the effects of depleted uranium on our soldiers, the Iraqi people, and the environment. We had speakers reveal tactics used in military recruitment so that young men and women could make a more informed decision before enlisting. Other speakers discussed topics such as: our nations establishment of a military industrial complex; the large economic costs of war; what the money spent on the current war could have done for domestic programs at home; how we sent our soldiers into conflict without giving them the proper equipment to protect their lives; the dislocation war causes; the danger to our civil liberties in a time of war; information about conflict areas in other parts of the world; and other wide-ranging topics.

Our other main purpose behind peace education week was to work to find creative and innovative ways to create a more peaceful world; a world where we may one day utilize the courage and bravery of our young men and women for purposes other than war. On this positive side of our event, we had speakers covering topics such as: the need to create a world democracy similar to our own; how to create a declaration of peace; how to use active non-violence and civil disobedience to resolve conflict; how to unite as a movement to be a viable force for change; how to stay true to ones conscience in times of conflict and crisis; how to find adventure and work for a better world without joining the military; and other ways to overcome the countless obstacles to peace.

While we do not apologize for expressing beliefs and searching for solutions that may be different from you and yours, we do wholeheartedly apologize for any additional pain or suffering we have inadvertently caused, and for our inability to create a symbolic memorial that would only be filled with honor and dignity for those who have served. We would like to express our gratitude that the majority of the letters we received recognized and respected our right to express our opinions and beliefs. Thank you for respecting this fundamental right that your family members have given so much for to protect.

We also would like to assure you that the core members of our group are constantly evaluating the work we do in the pursuit of peace and progress, and will take considerable time to reflect on our Peace Education Week –especially the use of the symbolic tombstone memorial display. There were admittedly factors we did not consider. These included: not displaying the rank of the fallen soldiers –we did not realize this would be viewed as disrespectful to the considerable time and effort that went into achieving his or her rank; placing the names of the fallen Iraqi civilians with those of the fallen soldiers –we intended to recognize that there have indeed been casualties to those whom our nation is claiming to liberate, and did not realize there were concerns that these civilians might not fully be accepted as “innocent” civilians; and we also did not realize there was a sizeable group that was upset with any sort of display bearing the names of their deceased loved ones.

We do assure you that should we use any such displays in the future, we will take the time to reflect on this experience and make any changes to our display in order to make this a more respectful way to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our nation.

Sincerely and Peaceably,

The College Progressives for Peace
Warren Popp, Erica Popp, and Megan King
Founding Members
HOOPS FOR TROOPS — David Robinson, Gold Medal Olympian, talks with Lane Becker, the son of a U.S. Army aviator while his mother, Jill, stands by during the "Hoops for Troops" program at the Pentagon Athletic Center, April 6, 2006. USA Basketball teamed with the America Support You progam to hold the event for servicemembers' children. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen

In Today's News - Friday, April 7, 2006

Quote of the Day
"A ship-of-war is the best ambassador."
-- Oliver Cromwell (Often quoted as "man-of-war," instead of ship-of-war)

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraqi PM Seeks Second Term
US, Britain step up calls for new Iraqi government
Marines Attempt to Stabilize Syrian Border
Iraq PM Says He Will Seek Second Term
Baghdad on Alert After Car Bomb Threat
At least 10 died in blast at sacred Shiite cemetery

Homeland Security / War on Terror
More Human Remains Found Near Trade Center
Giuliani Describes 9/11 Horror- Video: Day of Drama
Moussaoui Jury Hears About Impact on Kids
Sept. 11 Kin Watch Moussaoui, 9/11 Tape
Bush Defends Gov't Eavesdropping Policy
Gitmo Detainee Claims He Was Tortured in Morocco

Other Military News
Coast guard kills suspected US smuggler
Military spending on Scouts questioned

Senate Immigration Deal
Aurora students rally for immigrants

Hamas Rising
Hamas seeks talks to clarify two-state solution - Video
EU to suspend Palestinian government aid: Britain
Palestinian PM Refuses to Recognize Israel
Divisions emerge among Palestinians

Another Scuffle?
McKinney Guard Pushes Reporter
Bush said to have cleared Iraq leak (Misleading story of the day award winner: this is a complete non-starter)
Experts: Alleged Bush leak legal, unusual
Republicans fail to pass budget, tax bills
Congresswoman in Capitol Fight Apologizes
Bush, GOP Approval Ratings Hit New Lows
U.S. won't seek rights-panel seat

Media / Bloggers
ABC news anchor Woodruff comes home from hospital
Iraq & media: 'The complete story' - Play Video
Iraq & media: 'A dangerous tell'
Iraq & media: 'Bloggers weigh in'

Flint heads were Neolithic tooth drill of choice
'Karate kids' rescued after Japan mountain quest
Man fined for pilfering butterflies from swamp
Vandals in front-end loaders wreck used car lot
Man sent bomb to Chicago penile surgery doc

Other News of Note
Saudi boycott of Danish dairy company ends
Mystery shrouds slain spy -- was he double agent?
Problems in Pennsylvania with voting firm used here

Fox News
New Orleans Residents Protest New Landfill Site
Wildfires Scorch Panhandle
Ski Patrol Members Killed After Fall Into Volcanic Vent
Rockwell Painting Found
School Guard to Stand Trial in Pa. Runaway Teen Case
'Mafia Cops' Convicted
Stocks to Watch: Starbucks

Reuters: Top News
"No crisis" despite bird flu in Britain: officials
L.A. vows to end status as US homeless capital
Viruses 'trained' to build tiny batteries
New ring around Uranus is blue, scientists find
Consumers want more from phones: study
FDA questions latest cell phone safety study
Nazi internment baseball bat in American tour
Canada studies cull of its largest bison herd
Passive smoke could prompt diabetes precursor: report
Merck ex-CEO denies hiding Vioxx data from FDA
BAE confirms talks to exit Airbus, eyes US
Judge denies GM motion to dismiss employee suit
Singapore Exchange not in merger talks with Nasdaq
Australia's QBE on track to meet 2006 targets
UMC March sales up 21 pct y/y, more gains ahead
Napster boosts outlook, sending shares soaring
Stock futures ease, payrolls in focus
BAE Systems dips on Airbus stake sale plan
Chipmaker ASMC clocks 33 pct gain in HK debut
Nikkei ends above 17,500, 1st time since July 2000
Apple shares gain for second day on Windows move
Watching the weather
Dellith: Retail value in Jos. A. Banks
Tax changes may boost REITs

AP World News
Norovirus Outbreak Kills 2 in Washington
Consumer Confidence in Economy Improves
Judge to Rule on 'Da Vinci Code'
Mets Double Up Nationals in Wild One
Former Teen Idol Leif Garrett Sent to Jail
Lawmakers Want Junk Food Out of Schools
Padilla Stepping Down as Ford President

The Seattle Times
Border battle is taking toll on desert's wildlife
Bush takes a bashing at town-hall meeting
Lawyer pleads Fifth in dramatic hearing at Guantánamo Bay
National Geographic releases "Gospel of Judas" translation
French students block trains in protest of new labor law
Opposition to Mexican dam grows

Chicago Sun-Times
U. of I., UIC freshmen to pay 14% more in fall
'Gospel of Judas': He didn't betray Jesus
Growing anger among Blacks as Latinos 'take over'
Toothless beaver recuperates on diet of salad, baby food
Mining firm builds new city next to Salt Lake
Duke lacrosse team called school's only real frat
15 years for killer of tennis stars' sister
Machete-wielding farmers cut off water to Acapulco
Early Mexican pyramid found under crucifixion re-enactment site

Boston Globe: World
Olmert given OK to form government
Northern Ireland gets ultimatum
Congo holds 2 activists who assailed oil deals
Pope cites call against 'antihuman' Nazis
Chertoff Doubts Official Hurt Security
No Formal Order for Marines, Body Armor
Patient Access Drops
Senate Confirms Gordon England

CENTCOM: News Releases















Department of Defense
President Defends Iraq War for Peace - Story
Defense Chiefs Say Now is Time to Stand Firm - Story
Initiative Allows IED Survivors to Fight Back - Story
Determined Manhunt Leads to Capture - Story
Integrated Cyber Network Will Save Lives - Story
Commanders Share Ideas to Improve Stability - Story
Case of Teen Terrorist Suspect Hits Snags - Story

Firefighters Stand Ready to Protect Soldiers - Story
Father Keeps Memory Alive Through Museum - Story
Iraqis, U.S. Soldiers Conduct Medical Clinic - Story
U.S. Troops Secure Baghdad’s Route Redwing - Story

2nd BCT Leaders Meet With Local Sheiks
Brigade Retention Nears $5 Million in Bonus Money
Raider Brigade Turns In Excess Equipment
Operation Improves Baghdad Checkpoints

Airmen Destroy 1,100-Pound Russian Bomb
Ground Breaks For New Shibar Police Station
U.S. Navy Corpsman’s Good Works Live On

Paraplegic Sets Example for Disabled Vets - Story


USA Basketball Scores with Kids - Story - Photos
Volunteers Make Clinic a Success - Story

Forces Destroy Rocket in Ghazni
Pace Talks Positive, Negative News
Tikrit Courthouse Renovated
Iraqis Assume Salah Ad Din Duties
Forces Rescue Kidnap Victims
Bush: Elected Must 'Do Their Job'
Forces Rack Up Recent Successes
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

Insurgent Killed; Pilots Ready to Fly
Forces Secure IEDs, Weapons Cache
Troop Deaths Investigated
Attack Kills Bomber, Injures Soldier
Afghanistan Update

D.C. Exercise Tests Guard Response
Official Thanks Lawmakers
Interagency Cooperation Vital
Hearings Begin for Terror Suspect
Commissions to Resume at Gitmo
More Detainee Transcripts Released
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

World Affairs Council Honors Troops
First Team Dedicates OIF Memorial
Wounded Troops Conquer Obstacles
'Milkshake Man' Inspires Wounded
America Pays Tribute to Weinberger
Medalist Returns to Sports Clinic
VA Secretary Lauds Vets’ Grit
National Guard, Reserve Update

Defense Officials Identify Casualties - 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
0451 - Attila's Huns plunder Metz
1118 - Pope Gelasius II excommunicates Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
1348 - Prague U, 1st university in central Europe, formed by Charles IV
1456 - Louis van Burbon becomes prince-bishop of Luik
1509 - France declares war on Venice
1521 - Magelhaes' fleet reaches Cebu
1584 - Ieper surrenders to duke Van Parma
1625 - Albrecht von Wallenstein appointed German supreme commander
1652 - Dutch establish settlement at Cape Town, South Africa
1655 - Fabio Chigi replaces Pope Innocent X as Alexander VII
1712 - Slave revolt (New York, NY)
1788 - 1st settlement in Ohio, at Marietta
1798 - Territory of Mississippi is organized
1818 - General Andrew Jackson conquers St. Marks, FL from Seminole Indians
1827 - English chemist John Walker invents wooden matches
1831 - Dom Pedro abdicates to son, Dom Pedro II crowned emperor of Brazil
1860 - Grand duke Frederik I liberalizes laws in Bathe
1862 - Grant defeats Confederates at Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee; Island #10 falls
1863 - Battle of Charleston, SC - failed Federal fleet attack on Fort Sumter
1865 - Battle of Farmville, VA
1891 - Nebraska introduces the 8 hour work day
1901 - SDAP demands General voting right/abolishing First Chamber
1902 - Texas Oil Company (Texaco) forms
1926 - Forest fire burns 900 acres & kills 2 (San Luis Obispo, CA); Mussolini's Irish wife breaks his nose
1927 - Using phone lines, TV is sent from Washington, DC to New York, NY
1933 - Prohibition ends, Utah becomes 38th state to ratify 21st Amendment; 1st 2 Nazi anti-Jewish laws, bar Jews from legal & public service
1934 - In India, Mahatma Gandhi suspends his campaign of civil disobedience
1939 - Italy annexes Albania
1940 - 1st black to appear on US stamp (Booker T Washington)
1941 - British Generals O'Connor & Neame captured in North Africa
1942 - Heavy German assault on Malta
1943 - Adolf Hitler & Benito Mussolini meet for an Axis conference in Salzburg; British/US troops make contact at Wadi Akarit, South-Tunisia; Lieutenant Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg seriously wounded in allied air raid
1944 - General Montgomery speaks to Generals about invasion plan
1945 - 1st & last assault of German Rammkommando on US bombers; US B-17's bombs range at Lüneburg; US planes intercept Japanese fleet heading for Okinawa on a suicide mission; superbattleship Yamato & four destroyers are sunk
1946 - Part of East Prussia incorporated into Russian SFSR
1948 - World Health Organization established by UN
1953 - 1st west-to-east jet transatlantic nonstop flight; Dag Hammarskjöld of Sweden elected 2nd UN General-Secretary
1954 - German government refuses to recognize DDR; President Dwight Eisenhower fears "domino-effect" in Indo-China
1956 - Spain relinquishes her protectorate in Morocco
1959 - Radar 1st bounced off sun, Stanford, CA; Oklahoma ends prohibition, after 51 years
1962 - Yugoslav ex-president Milovan Djilas returns to jail
1963 - Yugoslavia proclaimed a Socialistic republic
1966 - US recovers lost H-bomb from Mediterranean floor (whoops!)
1967 - Israeli/Syrian border fights
1969 - Supreme Court strikes down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material
1971 - President Richard Nixon orders Lieutenant Calley (My Lai) free
1976 - Chinese Politburo fires vice-premier Deng Xiaoping
1977 - Consumer Product Safety Commission bans the flame-retardant chemical "TRIS"
1978 - President Jimmy Carter defers production of the neutron bomb
1978 - Guttenberg bible sold for $2,000,000 in NYC
1980 - Jimmy Carter breaks relations with Iran during hostage crisis
1981 - Belgium Eyskens government forms
1982 - Iran minister of Foreign affairs Ghotbzadeh arrested
1983 - STS-6 specialist Story Musgrave & Don Peterson 1st STS spacewalk
1983 - Oldest human skeleton, aged 80,000 years, discovered in Egypt
1985 - 1st live telecast of Easter Parade
1988 - Russia announces it will withdraw its troops from Afghánistán
1989 - Soviet sub sinks in Norwegian Sea, with about a dozen deaths
1990 - Fire kills 110 on a ferry in Norway, in an unrelated event, 30 die in a ferry flip over in Burma; John Poindexter (National Security Advisor) found guilty on Iran-Contra scandal
1991 - Compton Gamma Ray Observatory orbits Earth
1994 - Vatican acknowledges Holocaust (Nazi's killing Jews) for 1st time

1629 - Juan José of Austria, Spanish General/Governor of Netherlands
1756 - Charles Felix, King of Sardina (1821-31)
1772 - F. M. Charles Fourier, French socialist
1775 - Francis C. Lowell, founded 1st raw cotton-to-cloth textile mill
1786 - William Rufus DeVane King, 13th US Vice President (1853)
1801 - Henry Eagle, Commander (Union Navy), died in 1882
1805 - Francis Wilkinson Pickens (Governor-SC, Confederacy)
1820 - György Klapka, Hungarian General/MP (Komárom-castle)
1822 - Gershom Mott, Union Major General
1858 - Adrien H. Gerhard, Dutch socialist politician (SDAP)
1859 - Walter Camp, father of American football (Yale)
1860 - W. K. Kellogg, cereal magnate
1869 - David Grandison, botanist/explorer, brought plants to US
1870 - Gustav Landauer, German socialist
1882 - Kurt von Schleiger, German chancellor (12/2/32-1/28/33)
1884 - Louis H. N. Bosch van Rosenthal, Dutch politician/resistance fighter
1893 - Allan W. Dulles, US diplomat/CIA head 1953-61 (Germany's Underground)
1895 - Lewis B. Combs, naval commander/civil engineer
1897 - Walter Winchell, newscaster/columnist (Untouchables)
1908 - Le Duan, Vietnamese politician
1912 - John Adrian Hope politician/businessman
1915 - Billie Holiday [Eleanora Fagan], singer (Ain't Nobody's Business)
1920 - Terence Edward Armstrong, polar geographer
1931 - Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblower (Pentagon Papers)/patriot
1933 - Wayne Rogers, actor (MASH)
1935 - Hodding Carter III, press secretary (Jimmy Carter)
1938 - [Edmund G] Jerry Brown, Jr., (Governor-CA, 1975-83)
1939 - Donald L. Holmquest, astronaut; Francis Ford Coppola, film maker (Godfather, Apocalypse Now, American Graffiti)

0030 - Jesus crucified by Roman troops in Jerusalem (scholars' estimate, according to astronomer Schaefer)
0924 - Berengarius I, Emperor of Italy, murdered
1498 - Charles VIII, King of France (1483-98), dies at 27
1719 - Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, French priest/theory/saint, dies at 67
1789 - Abdül-Hamid I, 27th sultan of Turkey (1774-89), dies at 64
1803 - [François Dominique] Toussaint L'Ouverture, Haitian revolutionary
1810 - Pieter L. van de Kasteele, Dutch politician/patriot, dies at 61
1871 - Wilhelm Freiherr von Tegetthoff, Austrian Admiral (Helgoland/Lissa), dies at 43
1881 - Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsican MP, dies at 65
1932 - Erv A. Kelley, US policeman, shot to death by Pretty Boy Floyd
1934 - William Monroe Trotter, civil rights activist/journalist, dies on 62nd birthday in Boston
1972 - Abeid Karume, Tanzanian sheik/President, murdered
1977 - Siegfried Buback, German Federal Republic procureur-General, murdered Attorney-General
1984 - Frank Church (Senator-OH), dies at 59
1989 - Tikhon Toropets patriarch of Russian Orthodox/saint, dies at 123(?)
1994 - Agathe Uwilingiyimana, PM of Rwanda, assassinated; François de Grossouvre, President Mitterrand advisor, suicide at 76

Reported Missing in Action
Baker, Arthur D., USAF (TX); B57-B disappeared while on mission (w/Lewis)

Lewis, James W., USAF (TX); B57B disappeared while on mission (w/Baker)

Roark, William Marshall, USN (NE); presumed Killed in the loss of his A4C

Barnett, Robert Russell, USAF (TX); B57B shot down (pilot, w/Walker), KIA / BNR

Walker, Thomas Taylor, USAF (OR); B57B shot down (w/Barnett), KIA / BNR

McMurray, Fred H., Jr., US Army (SC); OH13S shot down (pilot)

The following US Army personnel reported MIA when their position was overrun:
Carlson, Albert E. (CA); released by PRG February, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive as of 1998

Lull, Howard B., Jr. (TX); evaded to XT7297, then killed

Smith, Mark A. (OH); released by PRG February, 1973 - retired as a Major - alive and well as of 1998

Schott, Richard S. (VI); KIA in bunker

Wallingford, Kenenth (TX); released by PRG February, 1973 - discharged after release - alive and well as of 1998

Also reported MIA this day in 1972:
Potts, Larry F., USMC (DE); OV10A shot down (w/Walker), captured, DIC

Walker, Bruce C., USAF (CO); OV10A shot down (w/Potts), evaded capture 11 days, presumed captured after he radioed to advise SAR not to approach, enemy was closing in