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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

BBC NEWS | Technology | Laptop lifeline for wounded troops

But he was walking that day, so when a buried 82mm mortar exploded three feet in front of him, it blew open his left arm, shattered his thumbs, peppered his legs and right arm with shrapnel, and ruptured one of his testicles.

"I'm dazed and I have no idea how badly I'm injured," said Cpt Ziegenfuss, now 33, describing the explosion nearly a year later.

"I remember looking at my hands and thinking, 'That's going to hurt later'."

Within four days, Cpt Ziegenfuss had passed through US military hospitals in Balad, Iraq, and Landstuhl, Germany, to arrive at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Power of blogging


BBC NEWS | Technology | Laptop lifeline for wounded troops

Weber Helps Our Heroes

Click on the picture below to learn about what Weber grills is doing for wounded Marines, and the families of those KIA - and how you can help.

Darkhorse Marine Decorated for Valor

U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski presented the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device to 1st Lt. Alfred L. Butler IV, executive officer for Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment outside the battalion’s command post on Camp Fallujah, Iraq, May 19, 2006. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mark Sixbey

U.S. Marine Corps
1st Lt. Alfred L. Butler IV

By Cpl. Mark Sixbey
1st Marine Division

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq, May 22, 2006 — A Darkhorse Marine was decorated with the nation’s fourth highest award for valor by the 1st Marine Division commanding general here, May 19.

U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Alfred L. Butler IV, Weapons Company executive officer, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, received the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device from Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski.

“I knew his father, and I think he’s following in his footsteps,” Natonski said. “This is his third deployment to Iraq, and he’s done a marvelous job over here.”

The 27-year-old from Jacksonville, N.C., earned the award for his actions and leadership while commanding an 81 mm Mortar Platoon on Dec. 23, 2004, during combat operations in Fallujah. He is currently on duty in Iraq with Regimental Combat Team 5.

“It was one of those days when everyone ran out of ammo,” said Butler, a graduate of Western Carolina University. “We even used AK-47s.”

According to the award citation, as insurgents ambushed his platoon, Butler rushed to the attack where he found several men pinned under heavy automatic weapons fire on a stairwell. He evacuated them from the house and learned insurgents isolated additional men on the second floor. He quickly organized an assault force and raced to an adjacent house under constant small arms fire to recover the men.

Cpl. Justin Butler, a mortarman in the platoon, saw his platoon commander from across the street while laying suppressive fire.

“When we were on the roof, he was the first one I saw standing up to see the situation while everyone was getting
shot at,” said the 21-year-old from Dyer, Ind. “It pumped everybody up that he would do that just to know everything that’s going on.”

The platoon commander led his team as they cleared two buildings, jumping from roof-to-roof to reach them. He shielded the bodies of the fallen Marines when a grenade landed nearby with complete disregard for his own safety, then threw two grenades into a room filled with insurgents.

While delivering cover fire, the lieutenant moved the men across to an adjacent rooftop, personally evacuating a wounded Marine under constant small arms fire and grenade attacks. His actions preserved the lives of the men.

He credited the decoration to the Marines under his command.

“I owe those Marines my life,” he said. “The things they did that day are the sort of things you read about in books. What they do for each other and what they sacrifice for each other makes you not want to leave the Marine Corps. They hold up the tradition of 3/5 and live up to the legacy.”

Alfred Butler III, was a Marine major who was killed in Beirut when his son was only 5 years old. The lieutenant said most of what he knows of his father he learned from Marines who served with him.

“It’s nice that he (Natonski) knew my father and served with him,” he said. “My knowledge of him as a person is through people like General Natonski and what they say about him and the man he was. From what I understand, he was a great man, great Marine, husband and father. If I can be half of that, I think I’ll be fine.”

by Spc. Teddy Wade
May 22, 2006
Sgt. Leno Lemus, from Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, shoots open the door of a house near Balad, Iraq, so his squad can enter and search for terrorists on the most-wanted list.

Rolling Thunder Focuses on Wounded Marine

By Paul X. Rutz / American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2006 - Many Americans believe the nation's troops deserve support during wartime, but servicemembers returning with severe injuries will need special support the rest of their lives.

Members of "Rolling Thunder" Chapter 3 in upstate New York are raising funds to give that support to Marine Sgt. Eddie Ryan, who sustained severe brain injuries while serving in Iraq. Ryan's family has been by his side since the day after he was wounded.

"The thing is that there's going to be an ongoing need for money as they go through the years," said Dave Hansen, who is sponsoring a "poker run" through the Hudson River Valley, Aug. 27. "They just recently had a van with a wheelchair lift donated to them, and of course as soon as I saw that, I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, maintenance.'"

Already several community members have rallied around Ryan and his family to donate materials and expertise, adding a massive addition to the Ryan home outside Ellenville, N.Y., which will likely be finished by the end of this month. It will have a special bed for pressure release since he doesn't move, a Jacuzzi to help him continue his rehabilitation, and special equipment to move him from bed to wheelchair to toilet. Hansen said the concern now is to make sure the community remembers Ryan's future needs.

The poker run's main event will be a raffle. Participants, who will arrive on motorcycles or in cars, will each pull a card from a normal card deck at the start point, and at the next four stops, they'll continue picking one card at a time. The three people with the highest five-card poker hands at the last stop will win part of the pot, and the rest will go to Ryan's family.

The event will likely cost $15 to $20 per rider, plus $10 entry for passengers, Hansen said. The group expects to have other raffles and prizes at the event, depending on what gets donated.

"We're going to get the word out to as many people throughout the entire Hudson Valley as possible to come into this ride so that we can get the entire Hudson Valley to show their support for literally one of our heroes, one of the people who keeps us free," Hansen said. "We hope that they will continue this sort of support in the future for not just Eddie, but for any other soldier who comes back with the same sort of injuries."

Rolling Thunder began as a protest movement in 1987 with 2,600 demonstrators riding through Washington, D.C., in an effort to keep the memories alive of over 92,000 American servicemembers still listed as missing in action. The group will return to the nation's capital on this Memorial Day weekend.

"Rolling Thunder's main mission is to & make sure that future (prisoners of war) are not forgotten, and the fewest number of MIAs possible are created in the future," Hansen said. "That's the primary mission, but that doesn't give you much in the way of hands on & so what we do to keep ourselves involved is to work with as many veterans as possible, and certainly those like Eddie are on our priority list."

Eddie Ryan's mother, Angie, said Hansen and other Rolling Thunder members visit her son in the hospital twice a week. "They're doing it on their time, and their sweat and blood doing this for Eddie, and I couldn't be more thrilled," she said.

Angie said she has remained by her son's side since the day after he was wounded over a year ago. They spent a week at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, then went to hospitals in Bethesda, Md., and Richmond, Va., before arriving at Helen Hayes Rehabilitation Hospital, N.Y., on Sept. 15.

Getting Eddie admitted to Helen Hayes was a struggle, since the hospital is not part of the Department of Veterans Affairs system, Angie said. VA hospitals close to the Ryan home did not have a traumatic brain injury unit, and that meant Eddie would not get the care he needed. Thanks to help from U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly, Eddie got in eventually.

"It's the best thing for us," Angie said. "So we're hoping it'll open up the avenues for others in need."

She said she will remain with her son at the hospital until they can make the trek home together. For now, the daily routine consists of nearly constant occupational therapy, speech therapy sessions, and range of motion work from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"It's a full day for him," Angie said. "They're very aggressive as far as therapies here. The place is wonderful. I'm very happy with Helen Hayes. I can't say enough about it."

Angie said although her son's wounds have devastated her family, she feels blessed to have so many people reaching out and touching their lives. She hopes her experience will make it a little easier for future families who have to go through situations of this magnitude.

"My son has taken two bullets to the head, and he is a real miracle, and, you know, there's always hope," she said. "No matter how things seem sometimes, they just have a way of turning around, so we're just blessed to have that second chance with Eddie."

Rolling Thunder New York Chapter 3 members march in the St. Patrick's Day parade, March 5: from left, Sue Orts, chapter board chairman Bill Palmer, secretary Mary Lewis, treasurer Tony Hilinski, president Ron Orts and Dave Hansen. The chapter will host a fundraiser Aug. 27 to benefit Marine Sgt. Eddie Ryan who suffered severe brain injuries in Iraq. Courtesy photo

Residents of the Hudson Valley region in upstate New York donated materials and time to build a massive addition to the home of Marine Sgt. Eddie Ryan, who was severely wounded in Iraq, to be completed at the end of May. The home originally was only the size of the pink siding shown here. Courtesy photo

Members of Rolling Thunder Navy veterans gather around Sgt. Eddie Ryan and his mother, Angie, March 25. Courtesy photo

STORMY WEATHER — Lightning strikes in front of the tower and a taxiing C-130 at Balad Air Base, Iraq, May 16, 2006. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Croxon

In Today's News - Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Quote of the Day
"Not to have an adequate air force in the present state of the world
is to compromise the foundations of national freedom and independence."
— Winston Churchill, House of Commons, March, 1933

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Bush Hails New Iraq Cabinet
Bush, Blair to Meet on Iraq
Video: Sending GIs Aid
Top Zarqawi Aide Nabbed
Abuse trial begins for US soldier - Video
Bush sees US taking more of a support role in Iraq - Video

Operation Enduring Freedom
U.S.: Airstrike Kills 80 Taliban

Troops on Trial
Trial Opens for Abu Ghraib Dog Handler

Other Military News
Veterans' Info Stolen
26.5 million vets' personal data
Raw Data: Notification Letter (pdf)

Milblogs in the News
U.S. Blog Force (Make sure to read this one - featuring some familiar names!)

Suit Seeks to Stop Phone Records Release

Immigration / Border Control
Senators Back Plan to Send Guard to Border
Appeals Court Refuses Ex-Nazi Citizenship

House Bill Requires Disaster Plans to Include Pets
Jefferson claims innocence in bribery probe
Milberg Weiss gave top Democrats funding

News from My Neck of the Woods
Trial of Lewis the cat to be spectacle

Here's your grenade -- you want fries with that?
India on alert for suicides after stocks slide
Prince Voted 'World's Sexiest Vegetarian'

Other News of Note
2006 'the Most Critical' - New Orleans Holds Evacuation Drill
Kentucky Miners' Families Angry Over Faulty Air Packs

Fox News
7-Year-Old Boy Swims From Alcatraz to San Francisco
New Holloway Suspect
Video: Aruba Arrest
Barbaro 'Frisky' After Surgery
Alleged Church Shooter's Wife Had Restraining Order
Video: Police Chief - Shooting
Laborers' Union FormallySplits From AFL-CIO
Former N.J. Governor Details Gay Lifestyle in Memoir
'American Idol' Center

Reuters: Top News
"Son of Sam" will appear in court
Milberg Weiss gave top Democrats funding
Environmentalists say Canada undermines Kyoto
Earth-solar cycle spurs greenhouse gases -studies
Soldiers bond with iRobot machine; CEO dreams big
Sirius in a sporting mood with new receiver
Merck cancer vaccine faces Christian-right scrutiny
Nelson spreads "The Tao of Willie"
Most Americans don't get preventive healthcare
Botox effective for overactive bladder: study
Europe eclipses Hollywood in hot year for Cannes
Juniper joins broadening US probe into options
Enron Internet execs criminal case goes to jury
Enron jury ends third day, Lay on stand in loan case
Campbell 3rd-qtr net tops view, price hikes help
Microsoft sees no Vista delay from Symantec case
Locals close to buying McClatchy Phila. papers
Brooks Automation shares down on Inet
Wet Seal falls 3.8 pct on Inet
Stocks drop as investors run to safer havens - Video
Nikkei opens lower on US outlook concerns
Nasdaq shares slump to 6-month low on LSE concern
Metals bruised, but some still see life
Treasuries up on Wall Street worries

AP World News
Device Tested That Zaps Asthmatic Airways
Barton Happy She Was Killed Off on 'O.C.'
Despite Surgery, Barbaro's Only 50-50
Lay Takes Stand at Bank Fraud Trial
Dow Ends Down 19, Nasdaq Closes Down 21
'American Idol' Proves Global Reach
FTC: Some Gas Price Gouging After Katrina
Keith Richards Plans Tour Next Month
Marine Trainers Bound for Africa, S. America

CENTCOM: News Releases












Department of Defense
Unity Government a Turning Point in Iraq - Story
Too Soon to Announce Troop Withdrawal - Story
Up to 80 Taliban Believed Killed in Operation - Story
Next 100 Days Crucial for Iraq, Casey Says - Story
VA Urges Caution After Theft of Personal Info - Story

Iraqi Signal School Graduates Latest Class - Story

School Benefits More Than 800 Iraqi Students - Story

Taji Center Stresses Counterinsurgency Ops - Story - On Assignment
Gunners Safer, See Better With New Turrets - Story
U.S. Sailors Monitor Iraqi Oil Platform Security - Story

Security Mission Unit Keeps Sheikh Informed
Combat Support Hospital Still Saving Lives
Bulletproof Jacket Keeps Troops Afloat

Coalition Vendor Day Aids Afghan Businesses
Afghan Soldiers Get In-Depth Airdrop Training

Marines Help Rebuild Djiboutian Soccer Field
Pakistani Admiral Visits Camp Lemonier
Task Force Troops Visit African Orphanages

U.S. Marine Killed
Bush, Rice Weigh In on Government
Unity Office to Aid New Government
Too Soon to Predict U.S. Withdrawal
Tips Lead to IED Factory
Muqdadiyah Raid Successful
Renewal In Iraq
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

Forces Kill 20 Enemy in Firefight
U.S. Soldier Killed, Six Wounded
Weapons Found, Taliban Targeted
Forces Kill 61 Enemy, Nab 20
Taliban Fighters Killed in Operation
New Radio Station Opens
Afghanistan Update

Rice Comments on Gitmo Closing
Conference Focus: Maritime Ops
Detainees Skirmish With Guards
Conference Topic: Security Efforts
Detainee Transfer Announced
Pentagon Tests Bio-Attack Response
U.S., Australia to Share More Info
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

Nation, Families Remember Fallen
USS Reagan Crew Visits UAE
DoD Leaders: Uncle Sam Needs You
Rumsfeld, Pace: No Mission Conflict
U.S. Relinquishes IADB Position
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Navy 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
1059 - Henri I crowns his son King Philip I of France.
1275 - King Edward I of England orders that persecution of French Jews cease.
1420 - Jews are expelled from Syria and Austria.
1421 - Jews in Austria are imprisoned and expelled.
1430 - Joan of Arc is captured by Burgundians; later sold to the British.
1660 - King Charles II returns from exile sails from Scheveningen to England.
1701 - Captain (William) Kidd is hanged in London, convicted of piracy and murder.
1774 - Tea is dumpted into the Chester River in the Chestertown tea party.
1785 - Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.
1788 - South Carolina becomes the eighth state to ratifythe U.S. Constitution.
1861 - Virginia citizens vote 3-1 in favor of secession.
1862 - Stonewall Jackson's Confederates take Front Royal, VA.
1864 - Battle of Dallas (GA); First day of fighting at the Battle of North Anna (VA)
1865 - For the first time since Lincoln's assassination, the flag at the White House flies at full staff; The Grand Review victory parade takes place in Washington, DC.
1867 - The Jesse James Gang robs a bank in Richmond, MO, getting away with $4,000. Two people are killed.
1873 - Canada's North West Mounted Police Force (RCMPF) forms.
1900 - The Associated Press (AP) News Service forms.
1903 - Wisconsin adopts the first U.S. direct primary election law. 1915 - Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary and Germany.
1928 - 22 die in a bomb attack on the Italian embassy in Buenos Aires.
1939 - The St. George Cross (British) is first presented; Hitler proclaims he wants to move into Poland
1940 - The first great Spitfire dogfight occurs.
1943 - Over 800 Allied bombers attack Dortmund.
1944 - Chinese counter-attack at the Hunan front
1945 - The British arrest Admiral Karl Doenitz; The German island of Helgoland surrenders to the British; Heinrich Himmler commits suicide; Lord Haw-Haw is arrested; Winston Churchill resigns as PM.
1953 - Schools first use Cliff's Notes.
1956 - A World Trade Center is dedicated in Ferry Building in San Fransisco.
1977 - Moluccan extremists hold 155 people hostage (over 100 are children) on a hijacked Dutch train. The children are released six days later; the siege ends on June 11th; the Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeals of H. R. Halderman, John Ehrlichman, and John Mitchell (Watergate)
1981 - Barcelona fascists take 200 hostages.
1991 - The last Cubans troops leave Angola.
1994 - 270 pilgrims die in the crowd crush in Mina, Saudi-Arabia.

1790 - Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d'Urville, explorer
1813 - Union Brevet Major General Mason Brayman
1824 - Union Major General Ambrose Everett Burnside
1837 - Union Brevet Major General James Sanks Brisbin
1848 - German WWI General / chief of staff Helmuth J. L. von Moltke; Otto Lilienthal, pioneer aviator.
1908 - Max Abramovitz, American architect (Lincoln Center, U.N. Building)
1913 - Major General Ian Graeme
1933 - Bruce A. Peterson, American test pilot (M2, HL-10)
1938 - John R. Miller (Representative-WA)
1958 - Thomas Reiter Germany, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-22)

1153 - David I, king of Scotland
1498 - Girolamo Savonarola, dictator of Florence, tortured & executed
1701 - Captain William Kidd, Scottish pirate, hanged in London
1881 - Kit Carson, frontiersman
1934 - Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow (Bonnie & Clyde), killed in shootout with police in Shreveport, LA.
1945 - Heinrich Himmler Nazi/Gestapo leader, suicide while in prison
1983 - Albert Claude Belgian, biologist, Nobel prize winner
1991 - Peter T. Thwaites, British Brigadier General / playwright

Reported Missing in Action
Walker, Orien Judson, US Army (MA); Killed in Captivity, February,1966

The following USN personnel reported MIA from SH3A:
Homuth, Richard W. (CA); KIA / BNR

Pettis, Thomas E. (AL); KIA / BNR

Schmittou, Eureka Lavern (AL); KIA / BNR

Soucy, Ronald Philip (IN); KIA / BNR

Cochran, Isom Carter, Jr.,US Army (TX); slipped crossing river, Killed / BNR

Lane, Glen O., US Army SF (TX) ; presumed KIA or captured in ground fight (w/Owen)

Owen, Robert D., US Army SF (VA) ; presumed KIA or captured in ground fight (w/Lane)

Schrump, Raymond C., US Army (WI); captured while driving truck, released by PRG February, 1973 (injured) - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Benton, Gregory R., USMC (CA); family states is Native American (record lists caucasian)

Ramirez, Armando, US Army (AZ); UH1H shot down, KIA / BNR

Byrns, William G., USAF (MO); F4D shot down (w/Bean), released by DRV March, 1973 - active duty Colonel as of 1996 - alive and well in 1998

Bean, William R., Jr. USAF (AL); F4D shot down (w/Byrns), released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well in 1998

Barnett, Charles E. USN (TX); A7B shot down - remains returned November, 1988 - ID'd February, 1989