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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Staff Sgt. Tyvieo Woods, a medic from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, provides security for his platoon near Tal Afar, Iraq.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob Bailey.

Happy Birthday to the US Army!

Click for larger version

On this day in 1775, the US Army was founded.

"Since its birth on 14 June 1775-over a year before the Declaration of Independence-the United States Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of our nation. Soldiers have fought more than 10 wars, from the American Revolution through the Cold War, the Gulf War, to the current War on Terrorism. This 231st Birthday is a recognition of The Army’s history, traditions, and service to the Nation, a Call To Duty, 231 Years of Service to Our Nation."

Heroes then, and Heroes now. Thank you to all who have served, all who are currently serving, and all who will serve in the United States Army.

2006 Army Birthday Message

White House Birthday Letter to the Army

Photos From Birthday Events Around the World

Birthday Ball Photos

For larger views of the coin pictured above:
Coin Front

Coin Back

Lots more to see, including video messages from Army leadership, at the US Army Website

Also check out:'s Army Birthday page.


U.S. Army soldiers discuss tactics and strategy during a night of counterinsurgency raids in the town of Husiniyah, Iraq, on June 11, 2006. The soldiers are with Easy Company, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Larson, U.S. Navy. (Released)

Zabul Province Children Return to Classroom

Afghan children learn the alphabet in one of five classrooms donated by Bazaar Mayor Bang, a local businessman. U.S. Army photo by 1st. Lt. Matthew A. Psilos

By U.S. Army Capt. Lawrence Sekajipo
Task Force Warrior

QALAT, Afghanistan, June 9, 2006 — More than 75 children in Khakeran and Anwari valleys, Deh Chopan district, celebrated the first day of school May 27 despite enemy insurgents’ intimidation throughout Zabul Province.
Three volunteer teachers and 60 students traveled as far as nine miles to attend the first day of school.

The project, led by Afghan and coalition forces, was helped by the commitment and dedication of Khaki-Afghan Police Chief, Abdul Hassan, and U.S. soldiers from Task Force Warrior, 2nd Platoon, Creek Company of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment from Fort Polk, Louisiana.

“The children are very enthusiastic about school and are enjoying the classes. The teachers, headed by Mohammed Zahir (from Mangelkhan Village) are excellent and have set an example by their fortitude and willingness to educate the youth of the district despite the threats to themselves and their families."

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Matthew Psilos

Hassan, together with U.S. Army 1st Lt. Matthew Psilos, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Yusuf Jackson and Afghanistan National Army 1st Lt. Ataullah, began making improvements to the education system of the two valleys in March.

The team faced a challenge of finding volunteer teachers despite the fear of reprisals from enemy insurgents. In the past, the Taliban has threatened teachers in Anwari Valley by telling the locals that any volunteer would be beaten or even killed.

Some locals said Taliban were spotted stopping children on their way home from school in the vicinity of Baylough Village. Two males were seen taking books from children -- books with Koran writings that were later burned by the men.

Such incidents have enraged many Zabul residents, including Zabul Governor Del Bar Arman.

“Why are they (Taliban) against education? We have lots of verses (in the Koran) on education and the insistence on education,” said Arman. “How can they destroy schools in the name of Islam?”

Arman said some of the men disrupting the education system are illiterate themselves. The rationale behind preventing children from obtaining an education or being able to read the Koran is something that escapes Arman.

Local villagers in the two valleys have shown interest in improving education in the region for the sake of their children. One local businessman involved is Bazaar Mayor Bang, who offered five of his shops for use as classrooms. He also provides supplies, snacks and water for the local children.

Psilos and his platoon were able to gather schools supplies including notebooks, pens, pencils, bottle water, backpacks, blankets and water coolers.

Bang and Psilos are currently planning future expansions to the school. They hope to have at least seven classrooms to accommodate the children.

Afghan National Army, Afghanistan National Police and U.S. soldiers from Creek Company, 2nd Platoon, will provide security during and after school hours to ensure students and teachers are protected throughout the school day.

“The children are very enthusiastic about school and are enjoying the classes,” said Psilos. “The teachers, headed by Mohammed Zahir (from Mangelkhan Village) are excellent and have set an example by their fortitude and willingness to educate the youth of the district despite the threats to themselves and their families.

“This project has been very rewarding for the soldiers of 2nd Platoon -- the results have been outstanding and tangible,” added Psilos. “This gives my soldiers a feeling of responsibility and pride in what they have been able to accomplish.”

Afghan children on their way to school stop and pose for a photograph. The donated book bags were distributed to the students by U.S. soldiers of 2nd Platoon, Creek Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment (Task Force Warrior), from Fort Polk, La. U.S. Army photo by 1st. Lt. Matthew A. Psilos

Afghan students pose with U.S. Army 1st Lt. Matthew A. Psilos, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment (Task Force Warrior), from Fort Polk, Louisiana. Book bags and school supplies were distributed by U.S. soldiers of 2nd Platoon, Creek Company. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Yusuf Jackson


How can you help support similar efforts by our Heroes?

An Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter descends to extract U.S. Army soldiers from an area west of Forward Operating Base Summerall, Iraq, during operations on June 9, 2006. The soldiers are attached to the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. DoD photo by Spc. Charles W. Gill, U.S. Army. (Released)

Wounded Warriors Need Your Help

From Willie at Soldiers' Angels Germany:

The Department of Pastoral Services at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center , wrote to the Soldiers Angels today:

"Backpacks and tennis shoes are what we need right now. Shorts are another item we need with it warming up here."

A lot of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who are airlifted to Landstuhl from Iraq or Afghanistan arrive with only the clothes on their backs.

Here in Germany is now summer and the LRMC Chaplain's Office ask for following donations:
backpacks, duffel bags, shorts: M, L, XL, XXL and tennis shoes: all sizes.

Backpacks you can order at:

Please e-mail SA Germany if you can help.

Also from Soldiers' Angels Germany:
Heroes (information on a special Stars and Stripes feature on valor in warzones)
The canopy of trees below become a blur as U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Chris Harding looks out the door of an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during a search and rescue training mission in South Korea on June 7, 2006. Harding is attached to the 31st Special Operations Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Allen, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

Today is Flag Day...

I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America

and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,

indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Evolution of the United States Flag (from
No one knows with absolute certainty who designed the first stars and stripes or who made it. Congressman Francis Hopkinson seems most likely to have designed it, and few historians believe that Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, made the first one.

Until the Executive Order of June 24, 1912, neither the order of the stars nor the proportions of the flag was prescribed. Consequently, flags dating before this period sometimes show unusual arrangements of the stars and odd proportions, these features being left to the discretion of the flag maker. In general, however, straight rows of stars and proportions similar to those later adopted officially were used. The principal acts affecting the flag of the United States are the following:

On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

Act of January 13, 1794 - provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.
Act of April 4, 1818 - provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe.

Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 - established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.

Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 - provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.

Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 - provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizon tally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.

Other Links / Information:
Flag Etiquette
Glossary of flag terms
The American Flag Foundation, Inc. (featuring information on the 2006 Pause for the Pledge)
America's Tallest Flagpole (with "live cam")
Worlds largest Flag
Flag Day at
Flag Day at Echo9er

Spc. Adam Connick, from the 101st Airborne Division, searches for weapons caches near Bayji, Iraq, during morning "rush hour." Photo by Spc. Charles Gill.

In Today's News - Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Quote of the Day
"The National Guard will support federal law enforcement agencies that have responsibilities for the security of our borders. What we will be doing is bringing military skills, military equipment, military expertise and experience to assist at the request of the Department of Homeland Security."
Chief of the National Guard Bureau Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum,
referring to the 2,500 Guard troops en route to the Southwestern U.S. border

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Pushing 'Forward' - Iraqi PM begins crackdown
Clashes, car bomb as Iraq launches Baghdad sweep - Video
Bush tells Iraq leader U.S. will back him
Bush says troops to stay until not needed
Marines Probe Internet Music Video About Killing of Iraqis

Operation Enduring Freedom
Two foreign soldiers, 14 Taliban killed in Afghanistan - Video
Coalition troops prepare Afghan offensive

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Out of Indonesian Prison - Militant Islamic cleric released
Out of jail, Indonesian radical urges Islamic unity - Video
Australian Survivors of Bali Blast Balk at Release
Unpaid Palestinian Workers Storm Hamas-led Parliament (What? A terrorist organization isn't working out as a form of government? Say it ain't so...)
UN experts urge Guantanamo closure after suicides (Yeah, and the U.N. knows how to deal with terrorists...right?)
Pentagon to disclose interrogation tactics

Immigration / Border Control
Official: 1,000 Troops at U.S.-Mexico Border by Thursday

EU-US "partners in crime" on CIA flights: Amnesty
Rove avoids being charged in CIA leak case (Note the headline - 'avoids being charged,' not 'not enough evidence to charge' or 'Rove didn't commit a crime')

Politics / Government
House Passes $94.5 Billion Bill for Iraq, Hurricane Aid
House OKs Pay Raise
Ex-Atlanta Mayor Gets Jail
Bush education policy to miss goals: Harvard study - Video
Webb wins Democratic Senate primary in Virginia

Homegrown Moonbats
Panel Recommends Firing Controversial Professor (Ward Churchill)

Cops Arrest Daryl Hannah For Tree-Climbing Protest

Hurricane Season
$1.4 Billion in Bogus Katrina Aid (watch the reaction to this from the same people who said that an actual application procedure would only slow aid to helpless victims)
AFL-CIO:$700M to New Orleans
Alberto Whips Florida Coast
Alberto weakens after drenching Florida

But who's going to do this sober?
The president, the prime minister and the king
Tibetan herders join rush for prize fungus

Other News of Note
Microsoft warns of 8 "critical" security flaws

Fox News
Manhunt for Reno Suspect- Video: Suspect Sought
Stocks to Watch: Meade
Brazil Wins Eighth Straight

Reuters: Top News
Shuttle crew arrives in Florida for launch test
EBay to unveil further Skype tie-ins
Who helped make John Wayne great? Director John Ford
E-newspapers just around the corner. Really
Heavy wrinkles could be sign of lung disease
Study shows taste for meat and fish inherited
Jerry Lewis suffers minor heart attack
Former "Friends" star Kudrow clinches NBC deal
Goldman group agrees to buy AB Ports for $4.6 bln
Global equity meltdown costs investors $2 trillion
Arcelor says met with Mittal, more talks to come
Bayer prepares higher offer for Schering
Roll-out of upgraded 3G may curb Web-based calling
Aegis revenues up ahead of key shareholder meeting
Wall Street seen higher but CPI key for sentiment - Video
Casey's General Stores shares rise
Michaels shares dip amid option probe worries
Herley shares fall after suspensions
Applied Digital says unaware of reason for fall in share price
Reuters Summit: Investment Outlook
Strategist picks defensive stocks
Growth risk as banks rush to lift rates
Food for thought

AP World News
Wade can't be stopped as Heat shock Mavs
Usher helps clean up New Orleans school
Brazil opens defense of title with win
AMA wants warning labels on high-salt food
Korn lead singer has a blood disorder
Conway Chosen to Lead Marines
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle Cut Eyed

CENTCOM: News Releases






Department of Defense
Troops Spread 'Universality of Freedom' - Story
Bush Impressed With Iraqi Government - Story
Bush Arrives in Iraq on Surprise Visit
Bush Summit Focuses on Iraq Strategy
Defeating Ideology at Heart of Strategy - Story
Detainees Released in Iraq; Terrorists Killed - Story
Terrorists Kill Three Afghan Civilians, Wound Six

Marines Working With Local Police in Qaim - Story
Soldiers Have 'Luck' on Their Side - Story
Iraqi Police Station is One of the Best- Story

NATO Donates Trucks, Equipment to Iraq
Operation ‘Cool Carpet’ Bridges Relationships
Montana Reservists Man Ammo Supply Point
Iraqi Army Runs Successful Firing Range

U.S. General Speaks to Afghan Cadets
French Military Starts Second Phase of Ops
Zabul Province Children Return to Classroom
Afghans Receive Medical, Humanitarian Care

U.S. Air Force Pilot Surpasses 4,000 Hours - Story

Shopping Malls Promote Patriotism - Story

Injuries Killed Zarqawi
Officials Identify Detainee Suicides
Coalition Works to Disrupt Terror
Bush: Zarqawi’s Death a Triumph
Zarqawi Died After Air Strike
Forces Destroy Terrorists’ Truck
Victory Depends on Government
Forces Kill Top Terrorist
Police Reopen Station in Mosul
Work to Restore Marshes Continues
Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
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

Citizens Report Weapons, Bombs
Taliban Burns Afghan School
Afghan Police Foil Attack
Afghans Graduate From U.S. School
NATO Pledges Support to Mission
Tripartite Commission Meets
Afghanistan Update

Detainees Die of Apparent Suicide
Two Soldiers Killed, One Wounded
Memorial Construction to Start
VBSS Teams Train on USS Simpson
USS Cole, Bulkeley Deploy
Missiles Will Aid in Terror War
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

Officials Identify 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
- The U.S. Army is founded.
1777 - Continental Congress adopts the Stars-and-Stripes, replacing the Grand Union flag. 1850 - Fire destroys part of San Francisco.
- Battle of Second Winchester, VA.
1864 - Confederate General Leonidas Polk is killed in action at the Battle of Pine Mountain.
1900 - The Hawaiian Republic becomes the U.S. Territory of Hawaii.
1917 - General Pershing arrives in Paris.
1923 - President Harding is the first U.S. President to use radio, dedicating Baltimore's Francis Scott Key memorial.
1940 - German forces occupy Paris.
1941 - Ground is broken for the Boeing Plant II (ex-AFLC Plant 13) in Wichita, KS.
1942 - In Bridgeport, CT, the first bazooka rocket gun is produced.
1944 - The first B-29 raid against mainland Japan occurs.
1949 - The State of Vietnam is formed.
1951 - UNIVAC 1, the first commercial computer, enters service at the Census Bureau.
1952 - The keel laid for the Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine.
- President Eisenhower signs the order adding the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.
1963 - Valery Bykovsky, in Vostok 5, orbits the Earth 81 times in 5 days.
- The Mariner V is launched for a Venus fly-by; the U.S.S.R. launches Kosmos 166 for the observation of the Sun from an Earth orbit.
1975 - The U.S.S.R. launches Venera 10 for a Venus landing.
1985 - Lebanese Shiite Muslim gunmen hijack TWA Flight 847 after takeoff from Athens.
1991 - The Space Shuttle STS 40 (Columbia 12) lands.

- Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, physicist (formulated Coulomb's Law)
1811 - Harriet Beecher Stowe, author (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
1855 - Robert Marion La Follette, Progressive Presidental Candidate
- Alois Alzheimer Germany, psychiatrist/pathologist (Alzheimer Disease)
1868 - Karl Landsteiner, immunologist/pathologist, Nobel Prize winner
1925 - Pierre Salinger, newsman (ABC)/press secretary (John Kennedy)
1928 - Ernesto (Che) Guevara, Latin American revolutionary
1946 - Donald Trump; Ralph McAllister Ingersol II, newspaper publisher

- Benedict Arnold Revolutionary War general
1965 - H.V. Kaltenborn newscaster (Who Said That?)
1986 - Marlin Perkins "Wild Kingdom" host, dies near St. Louis.

Reported Missing in Action
** The first American POW's in Vietnam**
Appice, Giacomo, US Army; part of a US Maintenance crew assisting French supply units, released August, 1954

Morgan, Doyle, USAF; part of a US Maintenance crew assisting French supply units, released August, 1954

Salas, Ciro, USAF; part of US Maintenance crew assisting French supply units, released August, 1954

Schuller, Jerry, USAF; part of a US Maintenance crew assisting French supply units, released August, 1954

Sroveck, Leonard, US Army; part of a US Maintenance crew assisting French supply units, released August, 1954

Guarino, Lawrence N., USAF (NJ); F105 shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - alive as of 1998

McManus, Kevin J., USAF (NY); F4C shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Mechenbier, Edward J., USAF (OH); F4C shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Grace, James W., USAF (LA); F4D shot down

Kahler, Harold, USAF (NE); F105D shot down

Wilson, Richard, Jr., US Army (AR); vehicle accident, Killed, body not recovered

Davis, Francis J., USN (IA); presumed Killed

McLeod, David V., Jr., USAF (FL); HH53C shot down