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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mr. Robert Stokely: A Last Ride to Take My Boy Home

Over at The Thunder Run is a post you really must read. Mr. Robert Stokely, father of Sgt. Mike Stokely, KIA in Iraq, writes of his journey to bring his son home.

David at The Thunder Run writes:
The Samurai class of Feudal Japan believed that life was impermanent, short lived and glorious and they lived their life just like that and even chose as their symbol the cherry blossom, beautiful and heart stiring yet fragil and gone in an instant. This is the life Sgt. Mike Stokely lived a purpose driven life that was only there to serve others. Never concerned about his own well being he volunteered to go out on the patrol that night so that another soldier could stay back. He is an American hero doing what others would not do even when he was scared to do so.

There really isn't anything I can add, so I'll let Mr. Stokely tell you in his own words what it was like to take his boy home. There is no hiding this link to a hidden section, its here in all its glory to be shared with others and cried over with friends. But never forget, Sgt Stokely's life is not to be mourned but rather it should be celebrated, for he showed us through his life what it truley means to be selfless and an American Fighting Man...
Make sure to stop by the Thunder Run and read this one.

Coronado, Calif. (Aug. 22, 2006) - Sailors and Marines render honors to the National Ensign at the commencement of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) swearing-in ceremony on the flight deck aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). More than 85 service members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard from 29 countries around the world participated in the naturalization ceremony. Ronald Reagan is currently pier-side in its homeport at Naval Air Station North Island. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Blachly

The Dinosaur is Back!

Billy Budd, over at American Dinosaur, has recently returned from a six-month blog hiatus.

Billy and his wife are dedicated supporters of our Heroes, and he's always got something posted that's worth checking out - stop by and give a look.

And make sure to wish him a belated "Happy Birthday" while you're there!)

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Bailey
August 22, 2006
Spc. Antoine Davis, from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division patrols Tal Afar, as an Iraqi child walks alongside.

Job Well Done - Operation Armor-Up

Operation Armor-Up is one of the wonderful special projects that has been run by Soldiers' Angels. Robin and her dedicated team worked tirelessly to provide Kevlar blankets to troops in the field. Their mission is now complete, and any funds donated for Armor-Up now will be applied to efforts that assist our wounded Heroes.

Recently, the team received this note of thanks:

Your doing amazing things for these Soldiers here. I can look back when we were shakin in our boots going out in those old trucks, your blankets came in, and the whole world changed that day. Everyone looked sharper, worked harder, and just got a rush of life because we were better protected. Now the trucks they are making, cant even fall under the truck catagory, because of all the armor and gadgets. We were just hidden on a small camp using old equipment and too many people would have had to travel too many miles to get us the good stuff.

A big HOOOAH to the Armor-Up team for all your hard work!

To learn more about Soldiers' Angels Special Projects, go here.

FLIGHT DECK DRILL — A U.S. sailor checks the countermeasure washdown system on the flight deck aboard the USS Boxer, while off the California coast, Aug. 20, 2006. The CMWDS provides a blanket of water protection to the exterior of a ship during a chemical, biological or radiological attack. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Paul Polach

In Today's News - Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Quote of the Day
"We must dramatically reduce the level of violence in Baghdad that is fueling sectarianism. Iraqi and U.S. forces will help the citizens of Baghdad by reducing the violence that has plagued this city since the Samarra [mosque] bombing."
-- Maj. Gen. J.D. Thurman, commander, Multinational Division Baghdad,
in an Aug. 8, 2006 briefing regarding the second phase
of Operation Together Forward

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Kurdish woman curses Saddam for chemical attack - Video
McCain faults administration on Iraq

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Death row Bali bomber planned attack online: police

Troops on Trial
Eight Marines to Have Article 32 Hearing

Other Military News
Marines in Individual Ready Reserve to Be Recalled

Mid-East Ceasefire
Amnesty International Accuses Israel of War Crimes
More Lebanese troops deploy on Syrian border
Iran's Mideast influence boosted by "war on terror" - Video
Big powers study Iran's reply to nuclear offer - Video
A look inside Hizbollah bunkers - Video
UN force will police Lebanon arms embargo: France
Israel: No plans to end Lebanon blockade
EU seeks troops for Mideast peacekeeping
UN Drafts Rules for Force in Lebanon

Worldwide Wackos
Report: Iran Won't Stop Uranium Enrichment
Iran Wants to Talk but Keep Nukes
White House Quiet on Package
North Korea nuclear test only a possibility for now: Ban
Oil prices slip on Iran's offer
Diplomats pore over Iran nuclear offer

Politics / Government
Primary Colors - Alaska, Oklahoma and Wyoming hold primary elections
Alaska governor concedes defeat in primary
Bush prods Congress on medical liability limits

Mother Nature
Katrina: A Town Heals
Video: In Their Own Words
Powell Says Delayed State Plans Stalled Katrina Funds
Tropical Storm Debby Forms in Eastern Atlantic
Brown: U.S. still not prepared for disaster
Full coverage on Katrina, one year later (Reuters)

'Cannibal' Plot Trial Opens
Robber nabbed after taking same flight as victim
Cons escape with different sort of pepper spray
Kangaroos put on the pill to curb population

Other News of Note
Ready and Waiting
Karr waits to be extradited - Video

Fox News
Philippine Police Kill Six Alleged Truck Robbers
Two Killed, One Hurt in Charity Bike Ride Accident (this is really sad)
Report: Iran Won't Stop Uranium Enrichment
White House Quiet on Package
170 Killed, Including 45 Kids, In Russian Jet Crash
Stocks to Watch: Borders
Cops: Mideast Man Extorted Nude Images From U.S. Teen
Hotel Porn Gets Conservative Activists Hot and Bothered
Paris Hilton Leads YouTube Ad Revolution

Reuters: Top News
Investigators find Russian plane's black boxes - Video
Ancient biblical waterworks found in Israel
Sri Lanka atrocity tales rage but proof impossible - Video
Thailand's smile hides multitude of sins
Arroyo looks certain to escape impeachment
Microsoft sues "cybersquatters"
Hybrid cars will pay for themselves over time: study
Recall curbs outbreak of rare eye infection:CDC
Cheaper blood thinner just as effective, study says
Tom Cruise, Paramount end production deal
Paris Hilton music video censored in India

AP World News
Russia plane crash wreckage being probed
Medicare drug benefit hits $50M glitch
Paramount cuts ties with Cruise company
Beltre leads Mariners past Yankees, 6-5
Study: Even a few extra pounds risky
Weather suspected in Russian plane crash
Falcons trade Duckett to Redskins
Microsoft considers discounts for Vista
Rogers, Tigers blank slumping White Sox
Mets acquire Green from Diamondbacks
Sean 'Diddy' Combs to be a daddy again
Dow closes down 5, Nasdaq finishes up 2
Sprinter Gatlin agrees to 8-year ban
Mindy McCready changes probation plea
Jury recommends death for Va. killer
New study shows herpes cases declining
LeBron, U.S. team not making guarantees
Obituaries in the news
Army Expands Child Care Options
Blog: The Battle for Baghdad
Opinion: The Cult of the Offensive
Get New Value Out of Your Old Car
The Absurdities of Airport Security
Understanding Veteran's Health Care

CENTCOM: News Releases


Initial trial of Urban Resolve 2015 wraps up - podcast
Web-based system helping the joint warfighter with intelligence situational awareness - podcast

Department of Defense
Iraqi Forces Respond Quickly - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Iraq's Army Striding Towards Independence - Story
Baghdad Shows Progress, Battle Not Over - Story
Increased Security Shows Positive Results
Soldiers Help Citizens of Southwest Baghdad - Story
Local Leaders Discuss Progress, Stability - Story

Chief of Staff Visits Soldiers at Speicher
Iraqi Police Receive Protective Vests
Navigating Basra, One Day at a Time
Iraqi Farmers Union Holds First Election

A-10 Thunderbolts Surge for Afghan Offensive
Chief Master Sgt. Praises Afghan Progress
Security Forces ‘Fly Away’ to Support Mission

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
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

Officials Identify Army 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
- London establishes the first one-way streets.
1833 - Britain abolishes slavery in the colonies, freeing 700,000 slaves.
1864 - Fort Morgan (Mobile, AL) falls.
1866 - The Treaty of Prague ends the Austro-Prussian war.
1869 - The first carload of freight (boots & shoes) arrives in San Francisco, from Boston. 1872 - The first Japanese commercial ship carries tea to San Francisco.
1889 - The first ship-to-shore wireless message is received in the U.S.
1904 - The Automobile tire chain is patented.
1914 - Japan declares war on Germany.
1924 - Mars makes its closest approach to Earth since the 10th century.
1939 - The U.S.S.R. and Germany sign a non-aggression pact.
1944 - Romania is liberated from Nazi occupation.
1960 - The world's largest frog (3.3 kg) is caught in Equatorial Guinea.
1961 - The U.S. lunar probe Ranger-1 reaches 190 km from Earth before falling back.
1966 - The Lunar Orbiter 1 takes its photograph of Earth from the Moon.
1973 - The Intelsat communications satellite is launched.
1977 - Bryan Allen, in the Gossamer Condor, makes the first man-powered flight of a mile.
1979 - Bolshoi Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov defects in New York City.
1979 - The U.N's Vienna office opens.

- French King Louis XVI (1774-92)
1785 - Oliver Hazard Perry, U.S. Naval hero
1869 - James (Sunny Jim) Rolph, San Francisco mayor (1912-31), MUNI backer
19-- - Cathy St. George, Playboy playmate (Aug, 1982)
1901 - John Sherman Cooper (Sen-KY)
1912 - Gene Kelly Pitts, dancer/actor (An American in Paris, Going My Way)
1930 - Michel Rocard, Prime Minister of France
1933 - Pete Wilson (Sen-CA)
1944 - Antonia Novello, US Surgeon General
1951 - Queen Noor of Jordan
1966 - Laura Richmond, Playboy playmate (Sep, 1988)
1967 - Nancy Jane Cox, Miss Kentucky-America-1991

- Oliver Hazard Perry, U.S. Naval hero, on his 34th birthday
1926 - Rodolpho Alfonzo Rafaello Pietro Filiberto Guglieimi Di Valentina
D'Antonguolla (Rudolph Valentino), silent movie idol, at age 31
1927 - Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti executed in MA (robbery / murder)
1989 - Yusef Hawkins, African-American youth beaten by 30 whites and then shot to death (Bensonhurst, NY)

Reported Missing in Action
Baker, Elmo C., USAF (MO); F105D shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998
*** decorations include Silver Star with 3 OLC, Bronze Star with Device, Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 OLC, Air Medal with 10 OLC, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit***

Braswell, Donald R., US Army; escaped August, 1967 (w/Holt)

Carrigan, Larry E., USAF (AZ); F4D shot down (navigator / bombadier, w/Lane), released by DRV March, 1973 - alive as of 1999

Gerndt, Gerald L., USAF (WI); F4D shot down (pilot, w/Sawhill), released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998

Holt, Dewey T., Civilian; escaped August, 1967 (w/Braswell)

Lane, Charles, USAF (SD); F4D shot down (pilot, w/Carrigan)

Midnight, Francis B., USAF (IN); F4D shot down (pilot)

Ness, Patrick L., USN (MN); F4B shot down (radio intercept officer, w/Sitek) by direct SAM hit, KIA, remains returned April, 1986

Sittner, Ronald N., USAF (OH); F4D shot down ("GIB", w/Tyler), remains returned December, 1997

Sawhill, Robert R., USAF (PA); F4D shot down (w/Gerndt), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive as of 1998

Sitek, Thomas W., USN (NY); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Ness), KIA, body not recovered

Tyler, Charles R., USAF (AZ); F4D shot down (pilot, w/Sittner) released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998

Bergevin, Charles L., USAF (CT); RF4c disappeared while on reconnaissance mission over Quang Binh province (navigator, w/Setterquist); presumed KIA, body not recovered
*** My adopted MIA hero - see post here ***

Ferguson, Walter, Jr., US Army (NY); DIC May, 1970

Setterquist, Francis L., USAF (MN); RF4C disappeared while on reconnaissance mission over Quang Binh province (pilot, w/Bergevin), presumed KIA, body not recovered