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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sometimes My State Just Has Its Head Up Its...

...well, never mind. Just read:

Veterans battle to keep their day

By Donna Porstner
Stamford Advocate Staff Writer
Published May 21 2006

STAMFORD -- They've stormed the beaches of Normandy, fought the Vietcong and defended their country against the "axis of evil."Now, local veterans are taking on the city's Board of Education, fighting its decision not to close for Veterans Day next year.

By requiring school children to attend classes, veterans say the board has decided not to observe the holiday.

Representatives of the local American Legion, Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars are planning to protest the change in the school calendar at the school board meeting Tuesday night at the Stamford Government Center."This is not Memorial Day for the guys who have been killed, to remember them. This is for the guys who are alive," said John Rubino of the local Marine Corps League. "Veterans Day is for living, breathing veterans of all armed forces. These guys have gone though a lot and they have earned that one day of the year."

Veterans say having school on the holiday is disrespectful to the men and women who served their country.

Read the Rest

Related Article: Board Criticized for Holding Classes on Veterans' Day

Visit this site to see how you can help

Hat Tip to A Storm in Afghanistan via the Mudville Gazette

How Maine Honors the Fallen

Appleton honors fallen soldier: Special tribute in annual town report


APPLETON (May 24) - A page in the 2006 town report will pay special tribute to Joshua Humble, the 21-year-old Appleton soldier killed this winter while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.Selectman Donald Burke said the town report is dedicated to Nancy Brown of Appleton, but will also include a memoriam for the soldier.

A town report is the official record of public life in a community for the last year. It includes information ranging from the most minuscule amount of unpaid property taxes to the official records of actions taken by the townspeople as they conduct the government of their community. The inclusion of the soldier's memorial in this year's edition makes his service part of the permanent formal record of life in Appleton...

Read the Rest
by Staff Sgt. Jacob Bailey
May 24, 2006
Sgt. William Crane, from the 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, battle-sights his weapon at a range near Tal Afar, Iraq.

Must See A&E TV - Tonight

A&E to air raw, moving portrait of ‘Lucky’ Marines

By Rob Colenso Jr.
Marine Corps Times staff writer

You probably remember the stories of “Lucky Lima.”

The company from 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, a Reserve outfit out of Columbus, Ohio, deployed to Iraq in March 2005 with 184 Marines, the last of nine Marine Corps Reserve infantry battalions to be called up for war.

By the end of its seven-month tour, about one in three leathernecks with the company had been killed or wounded.

In all, 59 Purple Hearts were awarded to Lima Marines, 23 of them posthumously. The company’s collective losses galvanized the Columbus community of Brook Park — and the nation as a whole.

You may have heard about the company’s role in Operation Spear in Karabilah, a city near the Syrian border that had become a base of operations for foreign fighters.
And you probably saw the smoking aftermath of the amphibious assault vehicle that hit a roadside explosive so massive that the 23-ton vehicle flipped onto its back and all 11 Lima Company leathernecks inside were killed.

It’s easy to remember the painful things — the images from the nightly news don’t really go away. But you’ve never seen them through the eyes of the Marines who fought there.
Until now.

A new A&E Network documentary set to air May 25, “Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company,” gives viewers a window into their world, largely through video and photos shot by the Marines themselves. As Sgt. Steve Hicks, platoon sergeant for Lima’s 3rd Platoon, puts it at the start of the documentary: “Everybody had a camera.”

And the Marines photographed everything. From pizza-eating contests in their barracks at Iraq’s Haditha Dam to the aftermath of the Aug. 3 explosion that flipped the assault vehicle, the Marines saw — and filmed — it all.

“The Marines of Lima Company never intended this footage to be made public,” said Michael Epstein, who directed and produced the film for Viewfinder Productions. “It’s vastly different than footage you see from embedded reporters — or even footage shot with the intent of later being folded into a film. This is one company’s unfiltered experience of war.”

Epstein’s spare, unadorned production allows the Marines to tell their own tales of success, frustration and loss. Follow-up interviews after the battalion’s return from Iraq and interviews with the parents and spouses of Marines killed in combat help bring richness and depth to the combat footage.

In one scene, a camera follows Stephanie Derga to a bar in the Columbus area. Her son, Cpl. Dustin Derga, 24, was killed May 8, 2005, shot in the back with an armor-piercing round during Operation Matador on the Iraq-Syria border. The bar is a popular hangout for Lima Company’s Marines — they spend more time with one another than they do with civilians now that they’re back from war — and Derga prefers to spend time with them as well.

At the start of the documentary, Lance Cpl. Trevor Smith tells the viewer, “I don’t really talk to people about what happened.”

But throughout, it becomes clear that the Marines want to tell their story, to be remembered as more than “the company that lost so many Marines.” They talk of the relationships they built with Iraqi soldiers, moving from early skepticism to loose bonds of friendship in the crucible of combat.

They cite the improved Iraqi turnout between the two elections that bracketed their seven-month deployment, noting that the rise in participation is thanks, at least in part, to their efforts during that long summer.

“I just want people to remember them for what they did, not because they died,” Smith says as the documentary draws to its close.

“Combat Diary” doesn’t explore the details of the battles Lima Company fought to the same depth that it does the stories of the company’s wounded and fallen. But it does provide a stark, honest and gripping portrait of idealism tempered by the pain of brothers lost in war.

“Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company” airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time May 25 on the A&E Network.

My Hero...

Natalia sends this picture of her Hero...

This is my husband Maxwell saying goodbye to our first son Shawn (11 days old).

Serving with honor since Oct. 2005


Natalia, thanks for this great picture!

Maxwell, thank you for everything you do, and for the sacrifices you and your family make for all of us.

Keep your helmet on - take care, and stay safe.

Radio Special in Support of Our Troops

This Saturday, May 27th we pay tribute to those fallen soldiers and their surviving family members in a national six-hour radio event that will express support for our troops and their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. This special program will focus in particular on “Gold Star Family Members” – the mothers and fathers who lost a son or daughter in the war against terrorism, and their heroic children who fought the brave fight against the terrorist threat

But these parents aren’t Cindy Sheehan clones. Rather these family members SUPPORT the men and women fighting in Iraq and their mission to defeat the terrorist threat. You must hear their stories. You must hear their love for their country and pride in the efforts their children made as a member of the United States military.

Tune in via radio (or stream the programs from anywhere in the United States) online at on Saturday.

Broadcast times of online stream:

* Part One Airs for Two Hours:
12:00 – 2:00 PM Pacific // 3:00 – 5:00 PM Eastern

* Part Two Airs for Three Hours:
3:00 – 6:00 PM Pacific // 6:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern
CITIZEN CONCERNS — U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Baxter (center) speaks to a homeowner, through interpreter Abby, as Senior Airman Richard Ross takes notes, during patrols through the rural village of Yayci, Iraq, May 18, 2006. Baxter, Ross and other airmen from the 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron conducted a walk-through of Kirkuk's outlying western villages to assess local citizen climate and concerns. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy L. Wood

In Today's News - Thursday, May 25, 2006

Quote of the Day
"Aviation is proof, that given the will,
we have the capacity to achieve the impossible."
-- Captain Eddie Rickenbacker

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Bombing Kills Three in Baghdad
White House Cautious Over Setting Iraq Troop Timetable
Iraqi VP: Blair, Bush to discuss pullout

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Report: FBI Failed to ID Spy

Other Military News
VA Chief 'Outraged' by Delay in Revealing Vets' ID Theft ID Theft Center
China criticizes Pentagon's military report

Senate Votes to Limit Debate on Immigration Legislation
Mexico's Vicente Fox in U.S.
Video: Final Senate Vote

Leave spy judgements to government: officials

Hamas Rising
PM: Israel Needs 'Partner'
Palestinian factions discuss ways to end crisis

Worldwide Wackos
Envoy says no progress on North Korea talks

Cheney to Testify?
AG Says Reporters Can Be Prosecuted for Publishing Classified Leaks
Rep. Jefferson Won't Resign
Hastert Not Under Investigation
House leaders demand FBI return documents

"I'll have what Spot is having..."
Loving your pets to death
Gas station's shocking sign of times (make sure to check this one out)

Other News of Note
Belarus to ban US, Canadian flights: spokesman
Defense off to rocky start in sniper trial

Fox News
Cops Seek Couple Accused In Grisly Taped Rape, Murder
Video: Manhunt
Possible Human-to-Human Bird Flu Case in Indonesia Bird Flu Center
Stocks to Watch: Big Lots
$6.6B Enron Settlement
Gov. Jeb Bush NFL Commish?
Mo. Teacher Accused of Drunken Fondling in School
'American Idol' Center
Video: Taylor Hicks is the next American Idol
Photos: Taylor vs. Katharine
Video: ‘Idols’ Prepare
Speakout! Hicks, McPhee
Video: The Judges

Reuters: Top News
U.S. storm-watching satellite heads into orbit
Giant grass to get larger role in energy supply
PC game spending hit $1.4 bln in US: NPD
World Bank, Microsoft marketing prepaid computers
Britain's surf capital draws die-hard wave riders
Video: Three hurt in cargo area fire at Istanbul airport
New Orleans seen top target for '06 hurricanes
Gambia retrains "bumsters" to shake sex tourism tag
Top FDA staff say left out of contraceptive ruling
"Sleeper effect" of cigarettes can last for years
New wave music impresario Ian Copeland dead at 57
Teenage girls hope for filmstar glory in Cannes
Unlikely trio eye women's French Open crown
Regions agrees to buy AmSouth: WSJ
Vodafone completes $4.55 bln Telsim buy in Turkey
Martha Stewart faces civil suit deadline: NYT
Tate & Lyle profits jump 16 pct, confident on 2006
Microsoft CEO says Vista on track for Jan shipment
Bertelsmann to buy out GBL, IPO off table
Stock futures mixed, GDP data due
LSE shares fall as takeover premium fades: dealers
Lenovo falls 5.88 percent after sharp Q4 loss
Kingspan says 2006 earnings will beat forecasts
Rayong Refinery IPO raises $655 mln, priced at low end
Reuters Summits: Global Energy
Statoil: Iran terms do not lure investment
Statoil still looking for assets in Angola
Oil may top $100 on new supply shortfall

AP World News
Foreign peacekeepers arrive in East Timor
Pope arrives in Poland for 4-day visit
MasterCard prices IPO at $39 per share
Diaw's late basket lifts Suns in Game 1
Study: ADHD drugs send thousands to ERs
Honda says brain waves control robot
Briere, Sabres beat Canes; take 2-1 lead
Park a marriage of recreation, filtration
Case may be first 3-person bird flu chain
Soler settles down, Mets rally past Phils
Mets acquire El Duque from Arizona
Guard May Go to Border Next Week
VA Chief Vows Accountability
Annual Fleet Week Begins in NYC
Number of Gays Leaving Military Rises
Virginia's Oceana BRAC Plan Rejected
New Tracks for Bradleys, Abrams Tanks

CENTCOM: News Releases


Department of Defense
Border Mission Won’t Degrade Readiness - Story
Suicide Bombings Mask Progress in Iraq - Story
Vice President Thanks Sailors, Marines - Story - Remarks
Officials Plan, Define Disaster Response Roles - Story

Co-op Brings New Hope to Iraqi Farmers - Story

Afghan Border Police, Villagers Secure Border - Story
Training Ensures Marines Ready for Combat - Story
Injured by Bombs, Iraqi Gets Prosthetic Hand - Story
Desert Operation Nets Suspects, Weapons - Story

Taji Center Stresses Counterinsurgency Ops
Gunners Safer, See Better With New Turrets
Security Mission Unit Keeps Sheikh Informed

Abizaid Visits 'Mountain Lion' Battlefields
U.S. Airmen Help Rebuild a Nation
Coalition Vendor Day Aids Afghan Businesses
Afghan Soldiers Get In-Depth Airdrop Training

Airman's 50th Birthday Begins with Run - Story

Memorial Parade to Salute Vets - Story
USAA to Salute Servicemembers - Story
Spouse Career Expo Planned

Soldier Killed While on Patrol
Coalition Forces Kill 7 Terrorists
ISF Lead Ops in More Areas
Leaders Discuss Security
Unity Government a Turning Point
Too Soon to Announce Withdrawal
Next 100 Days Crucial, Casey Says
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 24 Enemy Fighters
Afghan Progress Frustrates Taliban
Up to 80 Taliban Believed Killed
Forces Kill 20 Enemy in Firefight
Afghanistan Update

Rice Comments on Gitmo Closing
Conference Focus: Maritime Ops
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

VA Urges Caution After Data Theft
NATO Secretary General Visits Ship
Sailors Train with USCG for VBSS
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Marine 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


Today in History
585BC - 1st known prediction of a solar eclipse
1085 - King Alfonso VI of Castily/León occupy Toledo on Moren
1241 - 1st attack on Jewish community of Frankfort-on-the-Main Germany
1522 - Emperor Karel I returns to Spain
1632 - Albrecht von Wallenstein recaptures Prague on Saksen
1659 - Richard Cromwell resigns as English Lord Protector
1660 - English King Charles II lands in Dover
1720 - "Le Grand St. Antoine" reaches Marseille, plague kills 80,000
1721 - John Copson becomes America's 1st insurance agent
1784 - Jews are expelled from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek
1787 - Constitutional convention opens at Philadelphia, George Washington presiding
1793 - Father Stephen Theodore Badin is 1st US Roman Catholic priest ordained
1810 - Argentina declares independence from Napoleonic Spain (National Day)
1812 - Earthquake destroys Caracas Venezuela
1844 - 1st telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot
1861 - John Merryman is arrested under suspension of writ of habeas corpus; it later sparks a supreme court decision protecting the writ
1862 - Battle of Winchester, VA
1864 - Battle of New Hope Church, GA
1887 - Gas lamp at Paris Opera catches fire; 200 die
1895 - Oscar Wilde sentenced to 2 years hard labor for being a sodomite
1898 - 1st US troop transport to Manila leaves San Fransisco
1900 - Eyre M. Shaw, 78, becomes oldest gold medalist in the Olympics
1911 - Revolution in México overthrows President José Porfirio Diaz
1914 - British House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule
1915 - 2nd Battle of Ypres ends with 105,000 casualties
1919 - Casey Stengel releases a sparrow from under his baseball cap
1923 - Britain recognizes Transjordan with Abdullah as its leader
1927 - Henry Ford stops producing Model T car (begins Model A)
1928 - Amelia Earhart (as a passenger) is 1st woman to fly Atlantic Ocean
1935 - Jesse Owens equals or breaks 6 world records in one hour
1937 - 1st airmail letter to circle the globe returns to New York
1940 - German troops conquer Boulogne; Golden Gate International Expo reopens
1941 - 5,000 drown in a storm at Ganges Delta region in India
1943 - Riot at Mobile, AL shipyard over upgrading 12 black workers; Trident conference in Washington, DC (operation plan '43 against Japan)
1944 - Partisan leader Tito escapes Germans surrounding Bosnia
1945 - Arther C. Clark proposes relay satellites in geosynchronous orbit
1946 - Abdullah ibn Hussein becomes king of Jordan; Jordan gains independence from Britain (National Day)
1947 - Coal dust explosion rocks Centralia Coal Company's Mine #5 killing 111
1949 - Chinese Red army occupies Shanghai
1950 - Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel opens in NYC
1953 - 1st atomic cannon electronically fired, Frenchman Flat NV
1955 - Series of 19 twisters destroy Udall KS & most of Blackwell OK
1959 - Khrushchev visits Angola; Supreme Court rules that Louisiana prohibiting black-white boxing is unconstitutional
1962 - US unions AFL-CIO starts campaign for 35-hour work week
1963 - Organization for African Unity formed by Chad, Mauritania & Zambia
1964 - Supreme Court rules closing schools to avoid desegregation unconstitutional
1965 - India & Pakistan border fights
1966 - Peru & Argentina soccer fans fight in Lima; 248 die
1968 - Gateway Arch in St Louis dedicated
1969 - Sudanese government is overthrown in a military coup
1973 - Argentine Peronist Hector Cámpora installed as president
1973 - US launches 1st Skylab; crew Kerwin, Conrad, Weitz
1978 - "Star Wars" released
1979 - American Airlines DC-10 crashes in Chicago killing 275; Israel begins to return Sinai to Egypt
1981 - Daniel Goodwin, scales outside of Chicago's Sears Tower in 7 hours
1982 - Iranian troops reconquer Khorramshar
1983 - "Return of the Jedi" (Star Wars 3) released; 1st National Missing Children's Day is proclaimed; Fire in Nassermeer, Egypt, kills 357
1985 - Cyclone ravages Bangladesh; 11,000 killed
1986 - Ferry boat Shamia sinks on Maghna River Bangladesh, 600 killed; Hands Across America - 7 million people hold hands from California to New York; Virgilio Barco elected President of Colombia
1989 - Mikhail Gorbachev elected Executive President in the Soviet Union
1991 - Israel evacuates 14,000 Ethiopian Jews
1992 - Oscar Luigi Scalfaro elected President of Italy

1550 - Camillus de Lellis, Italian soldier/monastery founder/saint
1713 - John Stuart, 3rd earl of Bute, English premier (1760-63)
1781 - Ferdinand, archduke of Austria-Este/Governor-General (Sicily)
1852 - Louis Franchet d'Espèrey [Desperate Frankey], French marshal (WWI)
1865 - Frederick Augustus III, King of Saxon (1904-18); John Raleigh Mott, organizer (YMCA, Nobel 1946); Pieter Zeeman, Dutch physicist (Zeeman effect, Nobel 1902)
1886 - Philip Murray, founded Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
1889 - Igor Sikorsky developed a working helicopter
1892 - Josip Broz Tito Kumrovec, leader of Yugoslavia (1945-80)
1907 - U Nu, Premier of Burma (1948-58, 1960-62)
1932 - Georgi Mikhailovich Grechko, cosmonaut (Soyuz 17, 26, T-14)
1934 - Ron Nesson, press secretary (Gerald Ford)
1943 - Wynand C. Malan, South African lawyer/NP/DP-politician
1949 - Jamaica Kincaid [Elaine P. Richardson], Antigua/US journalist (New Yorker)

0615 - Boniface IV, Pope (608-15)
0709 - Aldhelmus of Ealdhelm, abbot/bishop/poet/saint, dies at about 69
0946 - Edmund the Older, King of Wessex/England (939-46)
1085 - Gregory VII [Ildebrando], Pope (1073-85)
1125 - Hendrik V, last Salische German King
1261 - Alexander IV [Rinaldo dei conti di Segni], Pope (1254-61)
1510 - Georges d'Amboise French cardinal/viceroy in North Italy, dies at 49
1849 - Andreas Michiels, Dutch Military Governor of West Sumatra, dies in battle at 52
1895 - Ahmed Djevdet Pasja, Turkish minister of Justice, dies at 73
1926 - Symon Petlyura, leader of Ukraine (pogroms), assassinated at 47
1949 - Simon H. Spoor, intelligence officer/general (WWII), dies at 47
1968 - George KFW von Küchler, German marshal (Netherlands 1940), dies at 86
1986 - Chester Bowles, US senator/ambassador, dies at 85
1992 - Philip C. Habib, US diplomat (Middle-East/Asia), dies at 72; Viktor Grishin, hardline soviet communist, dies at 78
1996 - David W Howe test pilot, dies at 77
1997 - Muhammad Fadhel, PM of Iraq (1953-54)

Reported Missing in Action
Harnawee, Tha Chan "Chip," Thai Special Forces / Air America (Thailand); released September, 1974 - alive and well as of 1998

Graves, Richard C., USNR (MA); A1H crashed

Weitz, Monek, USMC (MA); KIA / BNR

Williams, Leroy C., USMC (FL); KIA / BNR

Springman, Richard Harold, US Army (CA); released by PRG February, 1973 - alive as of 1996

Strong, Henry H., USN (PA); A4F shot down