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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Natalia's Corner - Deployment, Part IV

Deployment, Part IV

Soon after the unit arrived in Iraq, the scheduling to take leave started, they were told, "if someone had a special request on when they would prefer to take their 2 week leave, to feel free to do so, and they were going to try their best to grant it." And of course, my husband raised his hand right away to put in his request (his first son was due to be born 4 days before Christmas) for the middle of December.

One morning he called me and gave me the great news "he was scheduled to come home on Dec 8." Best news I have heard in a long time, we felt so blessed!

Due to my diabetes not getting under control, following a diet, 3 insulin shots daily with weekly dosage increasment, weekly ultrasounds, by-weekly fetal monitoring at the hospital, weekly appts. with my ob/gyn, neonatal care specialist, diabetic nutricionist, and weight loss at the end of the pregnancy.

My Doctor decided to induced the labor (sugar levels were dangerously high for the unborn baby) at 37 weeks. That was another tough moment for me, as much as I wanted my husband to hold my hand during labor and delivery, I wanted our son to be healthy. One of Maxwell's fatherhood dreams was, to attend child bith classes and help with his son delivery. I thought that was the cutest thing I ever heard this 6"1 man say.

On Dec 5th, I was 1 cm dialated, the 8th, came by and he was not home yet. Maxwell finally got home on the 13th and to his surprise, I was sitting at the airport waiting for him "I still remember that beatiful smile," he couldn't believe that: Yeah! I was still pregnant!

Two days after and at 39 weeks, he was holding my hand as our son entered the world! Shawn Maxwell Chappell 7lbs 3oz was born on Dec 15, 2005....


Shawn then:

Shawn at 3 mo:


Need to catch up on Natalia's Corner?
Deployment, Part I
Deployment, Part II
Deployment, Part III


Additional NOTES from Pam:
* Certain details will be edited to protect security concerns or family privacy. My edits appear in brackets [ ]. Any personal details that appear in these posts have been approved by Natalia and/or Maxwell.

* Maxwell's status as the blog's "adopted" Hero, and Natalia's posts about her experiences, should NOT be construed as their endorsement of any opinion I post on this blog, or representative of any policy or position of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or any other government entity. This is merely a way to allow readers to learn more about what military families experience, and to offer an opportunity to support a deployed Hero and his family.

* To learn what you can do to help, click on Maxwell's picture over on the left, or go here.
To adopt "your own" Hero, visit Soldiers' Angels.
Marines, Iraqis test 'push-button' 9-1-1 system for Iraqi convoys
By Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva
1st Marine Division
Iraqi soldiers took another step closer to independent operations when they completed testing and evaluation of a new tracking and communications system for their convoys.
Full Story

Making Mincemeat of Moonbats - Part II

From the Thunder Run:
Allen Drury and His 2500 Reasons
Allen Drury; you remember him he is the subject of my post Allen Drury – Liberal Shill. Well the other day Allen called for the impeachment of George W. Bush in his post 2,500 Reasons President Bush Should be Impeached. He writes:

2,500 Reasons Americans should hang our collective head since we as a
people allowed this war to happen.But that isn’t where it gets really good, classic Allen comes out when a single
commenter asks:

925blog said...Should all the democrats who approved this war also be

To read the not-so-tolerant reply, and the rest, visit The Thunder Run

On the prowl
Crewmembers of a Navy EA-6B Prowler perform pre-flight checks before takeoff from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, on Thursday, June 15. Air Force and Navy crewmembers here fly the Prowler, providing support to ground troops in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brian Ferguson)
Full Story


June 19, 2006
Contact: Robert Dixon (916) 441- 6197

B L O G S H O C K E R !

Daily Kos Embraces Pro-Troop “Move America Forward”

(SAN FRANCISCO) – Liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of the popular left-of-center blog,, has just returned from his first annual "YearlyKos" convention by embracing a surprising mantra: that of the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization, Move America Forward (website:

In a posting headlined "Move America Forward" the blogger "Kos" denounced the former Dean campaign’s slogan of “Take America Back” as being "regressive."

"…let's remind people that we are focused on the future. And that's where we want to take our country."

So Kos’s solution? He wants to embrace the slogan "Move America Forward."

[See: ]

In response to his online proposal, Move America Forward’s Executive Director, Robert Dixon, said he welcomed Markos Zuniga to the pro-troop family.

"For the past couple years, has served as home of some of the most irresponsible anti-military and ‘Blame America First’ propaganda. I don’t think many of the contributors to that blog understand that America has been attacked and our nations is now at war, because in many of their posts it seems as if they are rooting for the United States and our Coalition Partners to lose the war," said Dixon.

"Given the media’s extensive praise for Mr. Zuniga’s talents and abilities, it strikes me that Mr. Zuniga could be so oblivious to the existence of Move America Forward as the nation’s leading pro-troop organization. Our organization has been discussed in vivid terms dozens of times at the site.

"If it is not a moment of gross naivitae on the part of Mr. Zuniga, perhaps he has finally woken up to how bankrupt the ideas advanced by his fellow travelers in the ‘Blame America First’ movement are," Dixon said.

"We would encourage Markos Zuniga to continue to embrace "Move America Forward" as his slogan and do what is right by showing his true support for the mission our men and women are serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are always welcoming convert to the 'Support Our Troops' movement," Dixon concluded.

VALIANT FORMATION – U.S. Navy aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (front), USS Kitty Hawk (middle) and USS Abraham Lincoln (back) sail in formation at the start of Valiant Shield 2006 in the Philippine Sea, June 18, 2006. As the largest joint exercise in recent history, it encompasses 28 naval vessels, nearly 300 aircraft and approximately 22,000 servicemembers from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Spike Call

Old-World Values Translate to Ranger's Success

U.S. Army Spc. Mikhail Venikov

U.S. Army Spc. Mikhail Venikov, winner of the 2006 Best Ranger Competition, said learning the virtues of discipline and hard work helped him win the title. U.S. Army photo by Don Kramer

By Don Kramer
Fort Lewis Northwest Guardian

FORT LEWIS, Wash., June 19, 2006 — Old-world values translated to excellence recently for one Fort Lewis Ranger.

Spc. Mikhail Venikov learned the virtues of discipline and hard work from his father before the family immigrated to America from Kazakhstan in 1989. It was those virtues, he said, that helped him earn the title Best Ranger of 2006.

The victory made a reality out of a dream that began when he saw the competition on television soon after he arrived in the United States as a young boy.

"I’ve always wanted to do it," Venikov said, "even before I joined the Army."

Young Venikov grew up doing push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and honing his mental toughness. His father was a former Soviet special forces soldier, who was taught his children traditional values.

"It was very strict, old world," Venikov said of his upbringing. "We learned military values."

But those things paid off when he embarked on the Best Ranger Competition. Two events that challenged Venikov the most were the road march with a 70-pound rucksack, water and weapon on the first night, and the land navigation course on the second.

Venikov is now at the end of his first enlistment, during which he’s deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. Although he’s weighing all his options for the future, he said he’ll always be grateful to the Army and America for his family’s chance at freedom. He said he appreciates the nation’s effort to spread freedom overseas and is proud to have been a part of it.

"I think what we’re doing (in Iraq and Afghanistan) is great,” said Venikov. "I personally think people should serve their country somehow. I thank America for everything it has done for me and am glad for a chance to serve."

INSPECTION —U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Rickey Rife (left), assistant division commander of the 101st Airborne Division, and Iraqi army Brig. Gen. Douriad Ali Ahmad tour a palace during a pre-inspection on Forward Operating Base Courage in Mosul, Iraq, June 14, 2006. Rife and Ahmad met to discuss the July 20, 2006, handover of the operating base back to the Iraqi people. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock
Lead Photo Archive

In Today's News - Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Quote of the Day
"May those who paid the supreme sacrifice never be forgotten and I also hope that you are constantly reminded of the unswerving dedication of our enemy to do anything necessary to eventually destroy everything we hold so dear. "

-- former POW Paul A. Kari

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Missing US soldiers' bodies found in Iraq (as of now, the US Military is neither confirming nor denying this report)
Japan PM Pulls Ground Troops - May expand air services in Iraq
Elderly Home Blast Kills 2 in Iraq's 2nd Largest City
US forces kill 15 suspected insurgents in Iraq raids

Operation Enduring Freedom
Blast hit U.S.-led coalition convoy in Afghan south - Video

Homeland Security / War on Terror
San Francisco Airport to Screen All Cargo for Bombs
US-Canada border poses daunting security problems
Cheney sees success in warding off attacks

Troops on Trial
US soldiers charged with murder in Iraq - Video

Other Military News
Big Help for Big Easy - Blanco deploys National Guard
Homosexuality Classified as Mental Disorder by Pentagon

Immigration / Border Control
City to crackdown on illegal immigration

Worldwide Wackos
Rice Warns N. Korea Not to Test Long-Range Missile
Cloudy sky casts shroud around North Korea missile plan - Video
Bush says Iran faces sanctions if rejects offer - Video
Bush to keep up pressure on Iran in Europe - Video

Politics / Government
Deputy Secretary of State quits for Wall Street
Senate Democrats press to reduce troops in Iraq
Bridgeport mayor admits to cocaine use (Yep - my state makes the news again. A cut above, aren't we?)
Pa. House Speaker bows to public on raise

In the Courts
Supreme Court tackles wetland protection

Hurricane Season / Wild Weather
Torrential Downpour Floods Texas, Louisiana Area
More storms expected in flooded Houston

Palestinian Man Anguishes Over MySpace Romance
Doctors probe heart attack risk for soccer fans
Man arrested after "nightmare" high-speed drive
Michael Jackson's finances center of trial

Other News of Note
Mexico forgets Zapatista demands at election
Hawaiian school admissions questioned
AP: Police got phone data from brokers

Fox News
Top Bird Flu Experts to Meet With Officials in Indonesia
Video: Prosecutor Stands by Duke Gang Rape Charges
Stocks to Watch: Kroger
Report: Apple in Talks to Sell Full-Length Movies on iTunes
Video: First Female Episcopal Bishop May Divide Church
Switzerland, Ukraine Win- FULL WORLD CUP COVERAGE
Body of Maryland Publishing Mogul Philip Merrill Found
Hurricane Capture Cup in 7 (What a game this was!)

Reuters: Top News
New US church leader says homosexuality no sin
South Korean stem cell scientist goes on trial
US court fails to decide wetlands regulation issue
IBM develops speedier transistor
MOG starts test of music-based social network
New breast cancer gene raises risk in Europeans
Novartis recalls cough-suppressant patch
Kidman, Urban soothe paparazzi with cold beer
Bruce Willis sues paparazzo
IBM develops speedier transistor
Motorola unveils five new low-end phones
Japan, U.S. set to agree on beef import resumption
Nestle to buy fat buster Jenny Craig for $600 mln
Sanofi shares fall on French drug sale worries
Emap says to return 285 mln stg after unit sale
Stocks futures gain, housing data eyed - Video
HGS set for govt anthrax drug deal: report
Stocks down on rate worries, BOJ boosts yen
Nestle-Craig deal boosts small-cap diet companies
Sepracor stock rises on takeover speculation
Retailers chase growth, fear slowdown
LG aims to sell in 5,000 US stores
When widening margins aren't enough
A valuable circuit, by Erik Dellith

AP World News
Bank of Japan chief apologizes for scandal
Arizona wildfire forces evacuations
China pharmaceuticals appeal Viagra ruling
Foreclosures may jump as ARMs reset
Jerry Lewis recovering after stent surgery
Spain beats Tunisia; makes case for title
Episcopalians debate over gay bishops
Obituaries in the news
Tribal colleges filling growing need
Senate Ready to Debate Iraq
Prosecutor Urges Death for Saddam
Navy Has No Plans to Kill EFV

CENTCOM: News Releases










Department of Defense
Iraqis Assume Lutufiyah Area Responsibility - Story
Soldiers Upgrade Humvees With New Armor - Story
Army Reservists Assemble 'FOB in the Box' - Story
Renovated Yusufiyah Playground Reopens - Story
Afghan Villagers Get Medical Care - Story
Macedonian Troops Praised - Story

Australian Navy Cools Down the Oil Platforms
Civil Affairs Soldiers Help Baghdad Citizens
Logistics Team Supports 'First Strike' Troops
Sailors Adapt to Life, Work on Iraq's Oil Terminals

U.S. Army MPs Mentor Afghan National Police
Engineer Reflects on Second Afghan Deployment
Task Force Celebrates Army’s 231st Birthday


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

Afghanistan Update

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 Army 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
1567 - Jews are expelled from Brazil.
1756 - 146 British soldiers are imprisoned in the 'Black Hole of Calcutta'; most will die there.
1779 - Battle of Stone Ferry
1782 - Congress approves the Great Seal of the U.S., and the eagle as its symbol.
1791 - King Louis XVI is caught trying to escape the French Revolution.
1793 - Eli Whitney applies for a patent for his cotton gin.
1837 - Queen Victoria ascends British throne at 18.
1863 - The National Bank of Davenport, IA, becomes the first bank chartered in the U.S.
1863 - West Virginia becomes the 35th U.S. state.
1867 - President Andrew Johnson announces the purchase of Alaska.
1893 - Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murder in New Bedford, MA.
1900 - In China, the Boxer Rebellion begins.
1911 - In New York, the NAACP is incorporated.
1943 - British troops launch Operation Bellicose, the first 'shuttle bombing' raid of WWII
1944 - Congress charters the Central Intelligence Agency.
1947 - President Truman vetoes the Taft-Hartley Act.
1963 - The U.S. and U.S.S.R. agree to set up a 'Hot Line.'
1964 - General William Westmoreland succeeds General Paul Harkins as head of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV).

1899 - Jean Moulin hero of the French Resistance during WW II
1945 - James F Buchli New Rockford ND, USMC/astr (STS 51C, 61A, 29, 48)
1953 - Brian Duffy Boston Mass, Major USAF/astronaut (STS 45)

- King William IV of England
1947 - Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel, gangster, shot
1966 - Georges Lemaître, originator of "Big Bang" Theory

Reported Missing in Action
Kari, Paul A., USAF (OH); According to him, this is the first F4C shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - alive as of 1998

McDonough, John R., USNR (NJ); bridle connecting cable from launch catapault to EA1F broke; insufficient launch speed, plane sank - Killed, body not recovered

Tunnell, John W., USN (CA); A1H lost over water - KIA, body not recovered

McCain, Marvin Raymond, Jr., US Army (AL); KIA, remains recovered August, 1973