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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Marine sergeant to get Navy Cross

Marine Corps Times

Gidget Fuentes

The Marine Corps is awarding a Navy Cross medal to a Marine Corps sergeant who braved AK-47 gunfire and grenades to reach five wounded fellow Marines during house-to-house fighting in the Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in late 2004.

The medal — the nation’s second-highest award for heroics in combat — will be presented at Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Friday to Sgt. Robert J. Mitchell Jr., base officials said Monday. Lt. Gen. John Sattler, who commands I Marine Expeditionary Force, will pin the award on Mitchell, who left the Corps last year with an honorable discharge.

Mitchell, a corporal at the time, was leading his squad with Kilo Company of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment during Operation al-Fajr on Nov. 13, 2004, when word came of the Marines trapped inside the house and under attack by insurgents.

According to the citation, which will accompany the medal, Mitchell was struck in the left leg by a ricochet round and in the face and legs by shrapnel from exploding grenades. Inside the house, "while applying first aid to wounded Marines, he noticed a wounded insurgent reach for his weapon. With his weapon inoperable, he drew his combat knife, stabbed the insurgent and eliminated him instantly.

"Limping from his own wounds, Mitchell assisted in the evacuation of the casualties through the impact zone under enemy fire, ultimately saving the lives of multiple Marines," the citation reads. What ensued was an hour-long firefight in the house dubbed by the Marines the "House from Hell" and that left about a dozen men wounded and Sgt. Byron Norwood, 25, dead.

Among the Marines who Mitchell helped treat was 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal, his company first sergeant, who was wounded by gunfire and shrapnel shortly after entering the house. A photograph of the wounded and bleeding Kasal, hand still holding his 9mm pistol, being carried from the house became a much-hailed image of the Marines’ fighting spirit.

Mitchell’s Navy Cross will be the second bestowed to 3/1 Marines for actions that day: Kasal received a Navy Cross during a May 1 ceremony at Camp Pendleton

First Black Navy Diver Dies

Associated Press
July 26, 2006

RICHMOND, Virginia - Carl M. Brashear, the first black U.S. Navy diver, who was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2000 film "Men of Honor," died Tuesday. He was 75.

Brashear died at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth of respiratory and heart failure, the medical center said.

Brashear retired from the Navy in 1979 after more than 30 years of service. He was the first Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee, the result of a leg injury he sustained during a salvage operation.

"The African-American community lost a great leader today in Carl Brashear," Gooding said of the man he played alongside Robert DeNiro, who was Brashear's roughneck training officer in "Men of Honor." "His impact to us as a people and all races will be felt for many decades to come."

Read the Rest, at

Our hearts are with this Hero's family.
U.S. Army Spc. Andrew Sutton walks past a store during a foot patrol in Mosul, Iraq. (photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock)

When war calls

From AR News

By Kamryn Jaroszewski
July 25, 2006

The following is a commentary.

Four years after saying “I do” to my military man, we’re gearing up for round three. Experts say confusion, anger and denial are all a part of learning about deployments. I’m not sure what stage I’m in – it tends to change by the minute, sometimes.

This one has hit me much harder than the first two.

Deployment number one came five months into our marriage. I knew it would happen before we said our vows, so it was basically a waiting game; I put on my “supportive wife” hat and ran with it. Jared left in September 2002 bound for Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. I was still in the Army then, and found myself taking more pride in my uniform and what it stood for; after all, my husband was a desert-clad warrior defending the freedoms of the United States. We missed our first birthdays, holidays and anniversary together, but I learned to survive for seven months with my dog, Amigo, prayers from my family and calls from Jared as my sole comforts.

I’d never smiled so big in my life as I did the day he came home. I shouted to the world that my husband was a hero.

We had one year together before he left again.

I was grateful I never really understood what the Quick Reaction Force was until after he came home. Despite being a parachute rigger, Jared trained to be a gunner on a 26-man QRF team tasked with convoy security in Iraq. I knew he would drive around protecting vehicles, but I didn’t know about the secret missions or exactly how accurate sniper rounds could be. Or that he had no protection around his hatch for the first half of his deployment.

Ignorance was bliss.

That deployment was harder on us emotionally. Jared lost his dad on New Year’s Day, and a friend from his unit, Sgt. Rocky Payne, a few months after that.

Rocky’s death is an example of the enemy’s accuracy.

But instead of remembering his year in Iraq with sorrow, we instead felt immense pride; Jared’s QRF team drove 1,197,000 miles with no accidents or fatalities. I’m forever indebted to those 25 men, because there were a few close calls.

When he returned, I was skinny and tanned and ready to jump into starting a family with both feet.

Two months later, we were pregnant. Two months after that, we found out we’d be reporting to Alaska in the middle of the winter for a three-year tour.

All of my careful planning went right out the window. I was now being taken from the home I’d made for the last three years – away from my military family – and dropped into the arctic in my third trimester of pregnancy.

I tried to keep my hormones under control and look at everything as an adventure. Then I found out he was going back to Iraq.

I have to admit I’ve struggled slightly with keeping a positive attitude. It will be nice to pay off our bills, but he’ll miss our daughter’s first words, steps and holidays.

I realize I’m not unlike thousands of other military wives who temporarily become single parents while their husbands deploy again. I also know I don’t always have to like it. At times, I wish we could hide our heads in the sand and pretend we don’t hear Uncle Sam knocking at the door.

In reality, I know I have to set an example for my daughter – even at an early age. Through me, she will learn how to be a strong, independent woman. She will learn it’s okay to miss someone and be afraid for them.

Most importantly, though, she will learn how to be patriotic and believe in the values that make up the country she was so lucky to be born in. So for her, I will put aside my frustration about this deployment and teach her the first lesson of her life: her daddy is a hero.

(Editor’s note: Kamryn Jaroszewski is the editor of Alaska Post at Fort Richardson, Alaska.)
CHILD'S PLAY — An Iraqi child plays with U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andres M. Reyes during a patrol in Haqlaniyah, Iraq, July 21, 2006. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brian M Henner

In Today's News - Thursday, July 27, 2006

Quote of the Day
"It is easy to take liberty for granted,
when you have never had it taken from you."

--Dick Cheney

News of Note
Israel at War
Hezbollah Digs In, Israelis Battle On
An American in Beirut:Why I Haven't Left
Israel's 'Deep Regret' Over Deaths
Deadly Day in Gaza
23 Palestinians killed in action
Gaza Residents Get Phone Warnings
Act of Faith
UN says Israel warned many times before fatal attack
Israel kills 24 Palestinians in Gaza - Video
Families of captured Israeli soldiers ask France for help - Video
Israel pounds south Lebanon - Video
Rome talks yield no plan to end Lebanon fighting - Video
Hezbollah fighters kill 9 Israeli soldiers

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Dean: Al-Maliki an 'Anti-Semite;' Slams Bush (this from the man who says the Dems can control Hezbollah)
Al-Maliki: Iraq is an Ally
Dems Protest Al-Maliki's Speech
Heckler Disrupts PM's Address
Saddam: I Prefer Firing Squad (I'm OK with that)
US may increase Iraq force by delaying departures - Video

Homeland Security / War on Terror
September 11 charities get share of WTC movie receipts

Worldwide Wackos
Rice says six-way talks on North Korea unlikely at ASEAN
U.S. wants meeting if N. Korea boycotts

Homegrown Moonbats
Anti-Americanism prompts push for "citizen diplomacy"

Politics / Government
Specter proposes challenge of Bush's power on laws
Former President Ford released from Colorado hospital

In the Courts
Teen Sniper Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Ind. Court
Wash. Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban

Mother Nature
56 Deaths From Calif. Heat
Photos: W. Coast Heat Wave
Livestock Carcasses Pile Up
Temps dipping in California heat wave

News from My Neck of the Woods
Report: Memo warned about Big Dig bolts

Human hand, skulls found at stripper's home
Stripper Who Kept Severed Hand in Jar Issued Warrant (What the....?)
Red-faced spellcheck firm corrects own spelling
New Monopoly game uses debit card, no cash
Woman testifies about cell phone in throat

Other News of Note
House Lawmakers Debate India Nuke Deal
Russian Rocket Crashes After Liftoff (Must have been one of them there Korean models) Straights: Gays Discriminate Against Us in Resort Town
Mexican leftist says he is president, vows protests
US won't dump WTO talks, but path unclear -Schwab

Fox News
Mueller: FBI Looking to Improve 'Business Side'
Jury Finds Yates Not Guilty of Murdering Kids
Vegan Diet May Reduce Need for Type 2 Diabetes Meds

Reuters: Top News
Colombia rebel attacks kill 4, shut oil pipeline
Research investigates electricity in wound healing
Methane rain forecast for Saturn's giant moon Titan
Motorola unveils thin phone for emerging markets
Californians to soon get $1.1 bln from Microsoft
Geography a boon, no longer a burden, for Mongolia
Sun kills 60,000 a year, WHO says
Britain's kids sweat it out in new mini-gyms
"Overheated" Lohan taken to hospital
Symantec rises 3.8 pct on Inet
Stocks end a bit lower on Boeing's forecast - Video
Zimmer declines 4 pct on Inet
Reynolds American 2nd-qtr net tops view, shrs jump
Black & Decker profit up but outlook, stock fall - Video
A high-yield combination
Finding the right adviser, by Linda Stern
Fed Beige Book says some economic slowing seen Chicago votes living wage law for "big-box" stores
SEC orders more exec pay disclosure
EMI decides not to pursue Warner bid: sources
GM results seen easing pressure on alliance talk
Deadline looms on Inco's offer for Falconbridge

AP World News
Chicago City Council OKs 'living wage'
Research unlocks secrets of tiny tremors
GM posts 2Q loss of $3.2B on charges
Bonds' trainer set to appear before jury
Professor invents 'ripeness' sticker
Simpson to appear on Rosie's 'View' debut
Lance Bass of 'N Sync reveals he's gay
USOC drops Houston, Philly from running
Anheuser-Busch 2Q earnings rise 7.4 pct.
Angels win, but Colon hurts elbow
Economy shows signs of slower growth
Verlander wins 13th as Tigers top Indians
Ochoa, Kim, Waugh share Evian Masters lead
NASCAR analyst Parsons has lung cancer
Obituaries in the news
Calif. trial begins in lawyer's wife death
N.C. lawmakers OK innocence commission
Senator: Congress Will Approve F-22 Buy
White House Working on Detainee Legislation
Crew of Tipped Ship Grateful for Rescue - Video
First Black Navy Diver Dies

CENTCOM: News Releases









Department of Defense
U.S. Soldiers Capture Terrorists - Story
Iraqi Forces Nab Insurgents
Bombs Continue in Afghanistan
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Stops in 'Hot' Zone Require Quick Off-loads - Story
'Camp Justice' Becomes 'Thunder Cove' - Story
Soldiers Join Noncommissioned Officer Corps - Story

British Regiment Gets Hometown Treat
Local Tribes Work Together to Rebuild Iraq
Market Sign of Prosperity for Iraqi Town
Tactical Operations Center Tracks Troops
Iraqi Nurses, Corpsmen Fight Disease
Army Officers Learn How to Plan Missions

Medics Visit Remote Afghan District
Extremists Destroy Afghan School

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
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
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

Two Servicemembers Die in Iraq - 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


Today in History
1689 - Jacobite Scottish Highlanders defeat a Royal force at Killiecrankie.
1789 - Congress establishes the Department of Foreign Affairs (State Department.)
1816 - U.S. troops attack Fort Blount, on Apalachicola Bay FL.
1837 - The U.S. Mint opens in Charlotte, NC.
1844 - The U.S. Mint in Charlotte, NC, is destroyed by fire.
1861 - Union General George McClellan takes command of the Army of the Potomac.
1909 - Orville Wright tests the first U.S. Army airplane, flying for 1 hour, 12 minutes.
1944 - The Gloster Meteor becomes the first British jet fighter used in combat; the U.S. regains Guam from the Japanese.
1953 - An Armistice is signed, ending the Korean War and dividing Vietnam into two countries.
1955 - Austria regains full independence after occupation.
1962 - The Mariner-2 is launched to Venus for a flyby; Martin Luther King, Jr., is jailed in Albany, Georgia.
1969 - Pioneer-10 is launched.
1974 - The House Judiciary Committee votes 27-11 to recommend Nixon be impeached.
1987 - John Demjanjuk, accused Nazi "Ivan the Terrible," testifies in Israel.
1988 - Radio Shack unveils the Tandy 1000 SL computer.

1768 -
Charlotte Corday, assassin of Jean-Paul Marat
1857 - Jos‚ Celso Barbosa, found Federalist Party

1883 -
Montgomery Blair, lawyer (Dred Scot case)
1976 - Ray Brennan, first victim of "Legionnaire's Disease"
1980 - Shah Mohammed Reza Pahavala of Iran
1990 - Kim Thomas-Friedland, news anchor (FNN)

Reported Missing in Action
Berg, Kile D., USAF (WA); F105D shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1996

Kosko, Walter, USAF (VA); F105D shot down, believed Killed

Purcell, Robert B., USAF (KY); F105D shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Bare, Wiliam, USAF (OK); RF4C shot down

Corbitt, Gilland W., USAF (CO); RF4C shot down

Hardie, Charles D., USN (TX); presumed Killed after aircraft encountered problems over water, body not recovered

Patterson, Bruce M. USN (OR); presumed Killed after aircraft encountered problems over water, body not recovered

Fullerton, Frank E., USN (GA); A4F crashed on bombing run, cause undetermined, presumed killed, body not recovered

Patton, Ward K., USN (KS); while returning to YRBM-18 from another craft, lost footing and fell into swift-moving river; presumed Killed, body not recovered