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Friday, August 04, 2006

MEDICAL TEAM — A UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter from the 1st Forward Support Medical Team flies to a medical evacuation point during a mission near Tal Afar, Iraq, July 30, 2006. The crew is assigned to the 542nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance) out of Fort Campbell, Ky. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey


Ros, a Soldiers' Angel whose poem "Ordinary Man" I posted the other day, is not pleased:
This past weekend, as I was writing letters as part of my contribution to the Living Legend team, I saw something on the Soldier's Angel board that made me soooooooooo mad - I am still not sure who I am going to write and blast about it. You KNOW I will be writing.On the board was the posting that a young soldier had just died in iraq. This young man, Thomas Velez I believe is the name (God forgive me if I don't have that right). The post included a link to 3 news outlets that had the 'story' in details. So, I clicked the links. And then.....well....if ya never seen a brat mad - let me tell you...NOT a pretty sight...

Read the Rest, over at Yikes! (Kat's blog)
LAKE MARTINEZ, ARIZ. (July 27, 2006) - Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Conley, Search and Rescue corpsman, signals to the crew chief to lift off during practice rescue training near Lake Martinez on July 27. The constant training prepares the corpsman and Marines for real-life emergencies.

Full Story

Salena Zito

Salena Zito has some great pieces out lately - check them out when you get the chance:

Will Casey Strike Out? (The Weekly Standard)
THIS YEAR, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is host to perhaps the most expensive, combative, and rigorously contested U.S. Senate race. Seeking a third term, Republican senator Rick Santorum faces a strong challenge from state treasurer Bob Casey Jr., who sports a political brand name--his father was a popular two-term governor, as well as a state auditor general.

Casey, like his father, holds unconventional positions--for a Demo crat--on gun control (he's against it) and abortion (he says he's against it, too). At the moment, Casey's ahead: The most recent Quinnipiac survey has Casey ahead by 18 points, and a recent "Strategic Vision" poll gives Casey a 10-point lead.

The fact is, though, that Bob Casey Jr.'s potential weaknesses--and Santorum's political strengths--make this race far from over...

Rudy: Hero of our age? (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Ronald Reagan was the last candidate to make New York see red. Recent polls suggest Rudy Giuliani may be the next.

Gallup has three of four Republicans putting him at the top of their list.

He loves the Yankees, roasted peanuts (shells included) and the opera. During radiation treatments for prostate cancer, his staff played "stump the mayor" with operatic trivia.

His moderate Republican face displayed all of our anger, grief and horror on Sept. 11. A voracious reader, he turned that night to Roy Jenkins' Winston Churchill biography, poring over its recounting of how vital Churchill was to Britain's survival during World War II...

Air Force leaders sign memorial spire
WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Two of the Air Force's top leaders signed a segment of the nearly completed Air Force memorial during a visit to the construction site in Arlington, Va., today.

Full Story

Families United Urges Congress to Pass Fallen Heroes Protection Act

Call Congress!
Families United today thanked the sponsors of a bill to safeguard the honor of fallen service members and urged its members and all Americans to contact their representatives in Congress and demand they pass the bill as soon as possible.

The Fallen Heroes Protection Act (HR 5772), sponsored by Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-LA) and cosponsored by 23 others, would prohibit the names and likenesses of fallen service members from being used in political demonstrations or for commercial purposes, and in any instance where the service member's family did not offer explicit permission.

"No one should have to endure the grief of seeing their son, their brother, or their daddy, who gave his life for our freedom, exploited by those who would use his name and his face for disgusting political stunts," said Families United member Gary Qualls. Mr. Qualls is the father of Marine LCPL Louis W. Qualls, who saved the lives of 21 Marines and 37 Iraqi National Guard troops before falling to insurgent fire in the Battle of Fallujah. Read the full release here.

Take Part in the Freedom Walk
We're proud to be in partnership with America Supports You, which spotlights what Americans are doing to support our troops.

On September 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country, Freedoms Walks will take place across the United States. The purpose of these walks is to establish a national tradition to reflect on the lives lost on September 11, 2001, to renew our commitment to freedom and the values of our country, and to honor our veterans, past and present.

To date, Peoria, Ariz.; Yuma, Ariz.; Travis AFB, Calif.; Aurora, Colo.; Belleview, Fla.; Deltona, Fla.; Ocala, Fla.; Crawfordsville, Ind.; Dearborn, Mich.; Bellevue, Neb.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Plano, Texas; and Salt Lake City, Utah are all hosting a Freedom Walk on or around Sept. 11. The cities of Chesapeake, Poquoson, Hampton, Norfolk, and Portsmouth in Virginia are all also hosting Freedom Walks.

Families United urges all our members to take part in building this important tradition. To find out how to host a Walk in your area, or to register to participate in the National Freedom Walk, click here.

Gold Star Community
We have two Gold Star family conference calls scheduled for August. They will be held at 8:00 p.m./Eastern time on Tuesday, August 8 and Tuesday, August 22. Please watch your email for call details, or send us a note to receive the dial-in number or request more information about the calls.

Chuck Larson


For information on how to contact Congress, go here.
Seattle, Wash. (Aug. 2, 2006) - The amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) and guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) take part in the 56th annual Seafair Festival Parade of Ships. Seafair is Seattle's month-long traditional summer festival, which includes parades, amateur athletics, air shows and boat racing. Seafair honors past and present sacrifices and contributions made by our Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shaun Douglas G. Morrison

An Afghani Orphanage Needs Your Help

Soldiers' Angels SOS: KIDS is assisting a unit that is supporting an orphanage in Afghanistan. Leah sends this picture, and information on what is needed most:

There are 125 girls ages 4 to 13, and 525 boys ages 4 to 17

  • Fleece or flannel blankets for beds for winter time

  • Socks to wear at night and with their sandals

  • Sweatshirts and/ or sweaters (They wear uniforms for school)

  • Long scarves for the girls to wear with uniform

  • Sport shorts- they can wear to play sports and after school

  • Fly catcher strips for rooms and lunch room to keep flies off the food and out of sleeping rooms

  • Sporting equipment like- playground balls- all sizes, soccer balls, superballs, Kites, hippity- hops, etc.

  • Backpacks and school supplies- not coloring books but pens, pencils, notebook paper, notebooks, etc

  • Craft items like clay for potter, paint sets for painting, yarn, beads, etc for the kids to make things

  • If you would like to help this effort, visit the SOS: KIDS page for information on what you can do.

    Related Site:
    SOS: KIDS blog
    by Tech. Sgt. Brian Christiansen
    August 4, 2006
    Spc. Alan Handy, from the North Carolina Army National Guard, in support of the U.S. Border Patrol, scans the U.S.-Mexico border in San Luis, Ariz.

    Medevac Helo Attacked During Rescue of Afghan Child

    American Forces Press Service
    WASHINGTON, August 3, 2006 – A U.S. medical evacuation helicopter carrying an injured Afghan child came under attack with small-arms fire Aug. 1 in Afghanistan’s Zabul province, U.S. military officials said.

    The incident happened just days after media reports indicated Taliban leaders were urging followers to target U.S. and coalition medical personnel and clergy, officials said.

    Army Col. Michael Rose, Task Force Falcon and 10th Combat Aviation Brigade commander, called the attack a senseless and cowardly act. “This crew risked their lives to save this little girl, and the Taliban response to that was to try to shoot down an unarmed helicopter. This makes no sense at all,” Rose said.

    The 24-month-old Afghan girl was being transferred for treatment for third-degree burns to more than 45 percent of her body. “She basically pulled a pot of boiling oils onto herself," said Army Capt. Patrick Zenk, 159th Medical Company’s detachment commander for Regional Command South. "The patient's parent tried to bring the child to Qalat for treatment, but the roads were impassable."

    Crewmembers aboard an escort helicopter said they observed small-arms fire directed at the UH-60 Blackhawk medevac helicopter shortly before landing at Forward Operating Base Sweeny, forcing it and an escort helicopter to take evasive measures. A door-gunner on the escort helicopter returned fire, killing the gunman.

    The medevac crew successfully transported the child to a U.S. aid station at Forward Operating Base Sweeny. She was then flown by helicopter to a U.S. emergency medical care facility in Kandahar.

    Army Sgt. Erik Zlatkin, a surgical specialist with the 759th Forward Surgical Team who helped treat the young patient, said care provided by the 159th flight medics probably saved the child's life. She arrived at the aid station in good condition, he said. “She should be OK,” he said.

    About a third of the more than 430 medical evacuation missions the unit has performed have been in support of Afghan citizens, Maj. Robert Howe, 159th Medical Company commander, said.

    “Our crews know that every time we launch, there is a very real possibility that someone out there wishes to do us harm,” he said. “We will not be deterred. These missions are critical to helping not only wounded servicemembers, but also Afghans in need.”
    (From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

    Related Sites:
    Combined Forces Command Afghanistan

    CHANGE OF COMMAND — U.S. servicemembers, Afghan army soldiers, dignitaries and civilians render honors during the Afghanistan Engineer District's change of command ceremony, Aug 2, 2006. U.S. Army photo by Maureen C. Ramsey

    In Today's News - Friday, August 4, 2006

    Quote of the Day
    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone;
    it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave..."

    --Patrick Henry

    News of Note
    Israel at War
    Israeli Offensive Pounds Beirut Day After Nasrallah's Threatens Tel Aviv
    Strikes kill 5, wound 10
    Rice: 'We Are Certainly Getting Close'
    Iraqi Shiites Rally for Hezbollah
    Malaysia to Send 1,000 Troops
    Rumsfeld, Rice OK Lebanon Aid Plan
    Video: Mideast Crisis
    Photo Essay: Crisis in the Mideast
    Strikes intensify Video
    Bridge bombing paralyses Lebanon aid
    Hizbollah kills 5 Israeli soldiers-
    Israel kills 2 Palestinians in Gaza: medics - Video
    Israeli forces pound Hezbollah positions
    Israel Hits Back

    Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Suicide bomb kills 10 south of Mosul: Iraq police
    Pentagon generals warn of Iraq civil war
    In Iraqi Town, US Feels Push Toward an Exit
    Insurgents Set Sights on Fallujah

    Operation Enduring Freedom
    NATO patrol bombed in Afghanistan - Video
    Afghan violence worsens: car bomb kills 21
    U.S.-led Afghan forces kill 25 Taliban

    Homeland Security / War on Terror
    NY can be venue for 9/11 perjury trial, judge says

    Troops on Trial
    Six Marines Charged with Assaulting Iraqi Civilians
    Petty Officer Held in Secret for 4 Months

    Other Military News
    S. Korea to Get War Control Over U.S. Troops
    U.S. Coast Guard Turns 216
    Senate Postpones Military Spending Bill

    Immigration / Border Control
    Bush makes immigration overhaul argument on border

    Worldwide Wackos
    Bush Urges Cubans to Work for Democratic Reforms
    Castro's sister says he is still family
    Cuba to defend against U.S. interference
    Iran says oil may hit $100/barrel
    Iran cleric: Shut down Security Council
    North Korea may have removed missile: media - Video

    Politics / Government
    Senate Approves Pension Reform Legislation
    Senate Rejects Tax Cut, Minimum Wage Hike Bill
    Sen. Clinton calls for Rumsfeld's resignation

    Mother Nature
    Eastern Heat Wave Kills 14; Electricity Demand Hits High (We're fine here, and it's cooled off some with the storms yesterday)
    Study: Fewer Hurricanes in 2006 Than Predicted
    Photo Essay: Heat Wave
    Tropical Storm pushes across Caribbean
    Evacuation ordered in Texas over dam

    Football Coach Charged With Pimping Teen Girl
    Ah, this should certainly put him in the mood...
    What if you're too jittery to read the leaflet?
    Spider invasion creeping out Austrians

    Fox News
    Women's Shooting Death Linked to Phoenix Serial Killer
    Stocks to Watch: Apple

    Reuters: Top News
    Thousands flee Sri Lanka fighting
    Ukraine's parliament to vote on Yanukovich as PM - Video
    Closer study of H5N1 strains needed: expert
    Space station crew members complete spacewalk
    Apple to connect iPod in cars
    AP, Google confirm online news deal
    North Korean girls flee propaganda for pop
    In Sudan, pale is beautiful but price is high
    AIDS drugs still effective after 10 years
    Blood pressure rises in stressed-out workers
    Influential rocker Arthur Lee dies in Memphis
    Rome Church condemns Madonna's crucifixion stunt
    Stock futures flat before July payrolls - Video
    Leap Wireless shares rise
    CV Therapeutics falls, PDL rises on Inet
    Dynamic Materials shares rise
    Apparel stocks soar on relief after sluggish July
    On the radar: Barr Pharma
    End seen for big runup in landlord shares
    Toyota Q1 profits jump as sales gallop
    Anglo to return $5 bln after profit jumps
    Securitas says signs $800 mln deal with GM
    Philips shares at 2-month highs after chip unit sale
    Motorola involved in SEC probe

    AP World News
    Maddux throws 6 no-hit innings for Dodgers
    Utley extends hit streak to 35 games
    Blood clot fiber study may aid treatment
    Gibson tirade tapes may not be released
    Co. wants ultrasound to ID juicy pork
    School fire races through Eskimo village
    Penelope Cruz says she's met Suri Cruise
    USOC bans track coach Trevor Graham
    Ariz. police report break in major case
    Group sues EPA over beach pollution
    Obituaries in the news
    Firefighters survive house blast in N.Y.
    New Trident Missiles: Wait 'Til Next Year?
    No Pakistan Nukes Buildup, Envoy Says

    CENTCOM: News Releases










    Department of Defense
    Coalition Forces Detain Terrorists - Story
    Medevac Helo Attacked - Story
    For Top News Visit DefenseLink

    Iraqis, Marines Work to Improve Security - Story
    New Hospital to Treat Detainees, Soldiers - Story
    Exercise Focuses on Crisis Response - Story

    Marines, Iraqi Soldiers Work for Security
    Iraqi, Cavalry Troops Patrol Jihad 'Hood'
    Iraqi Cadre to Begin Training Enlisted

    Munitions, Weapons Airmen Secure Bombs
    Air Force Specialists Keep Planes in Flight
    Airmen Work to Ensure Planes Meet Mission

    U.S., French Marines Train in Desert
    Task Force Helps Locals Help Themselves

    Volunteers Help Task Force with Health Visit

    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

    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
    1693 - Dom Perignon invents champagne
    1735 - A jury acquits John Zenger (NY Weekly Journal) of seditious libel (charged by the royal governor of NY - a victory for Freedom of the press.
    1753 - George Washington becomes a master mason.
    1777 - Retired British cavalry officer Philip Astley establishes the first circus.
    1790 - The U.S. Coast Guard is founded as the Revenue Cutter Service.
    1830 - Plans for the city of Chicago are laid out.
    1892 - Sunday school teacher Lizzie Borden is arrested in Fall River, MA, for the murder of her parents.
    1914 - Germany declares war on Belgium; Britain declares war on Germany.
    1916 - The U.S. agrees to buy the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.
    1925 - After 13 years of occupation, U.S. marines leave Nicaragua.
    1927 - The Peace Bridge between the U.S. and Canada opens.
    1944 - Anne Frank is arrested by Nazis at age 15.
    1956 - For the first time, a motorcycle is ridden at over 200 mph (Wilhelm Herz-210 mph).
    1960 - A rocket-propelled USAF research aircraft sets a speed record at 2,150 mph.
    1971 - For the first time, the U.S. launches a satellite into lunar orbit from a manned spacecraft.
    1974 - The Crawford-Butler Act permits Puerto Ricans to elect their own governor.
    1977 - President Carter establishes the Department of Energy.
    1981 - Oliver North is assigned to White House duty.
    1988 - Congress votes to award reparations of $20,000 to each Japanese-American interned during WWII.
    1990 - The European community proposes a boycott of Iraq.

    1755 - Nicolas-Jacque Conte, inventor of the modern pencil
    1823 - Oliver Perry Morton (Gov-IN)
    1859 - Knut Hamsun Norway, writer / Nazi (Hunger - Nobel 1920)
    1901 - Louis Armstrong, Jazz great ("Hello Dolly," "Wonderful World" - oldest musician in Billboard history to score a Number One song
    1900 - Arturo Umberto Illia, president of Argentina (1963-66)
    1943 - Michael J. McCulley, Cmdr. USN / astronaut (STS-34)
    1955 - Andrew M. Allen, Cpt. USMC/ astronaut (sk: STS-46)
    1955 - Charles D. "Sam" Gemar, US Army / astronaut (STS 38, 48)

    1265 - Simon de Montfort, English baron, in battle
    1526 - Juan Sebastian Cano, Spanish explorer
    1981 - Melvyn Douglas actor, dies at 80
    1984 - Mary Miles Minter, silent screen star

    Reported Missing in Action
    Burns, John R., USAF (TN); A1E crashed, KIA, remains ID'd Feb, 1993

    Bisz, Ralph C., USN (FL); A4E shot down, believed KIA, body not recovered

    Waldhaus, Richard, Civilian (CA); Released by PRG February, 1973