Keep Your Helmet On!

Be A Part of a Tribute to Fallen Heroes - Help Build the Fallen Soldiers' Bike
Help support the families of our deployed Heroes - Visit Soldiers' Angels' Operation Outreach
Help Our Heroes Help Others - Click Here to visit SOS: KIDS
Nominate your Hero for IWT's "Hero of the Month" - click here for details!
Search Iraq War Today only

Thursday, September 14, 2006

‘Bastards’ search for insurgents high, low
By Lance Cpl. Ray Lewis1st Marine DivisionIt doesn’t matter if insurgents want to hide high or low. Marines assigned to L Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment are still searching everywhere The company recently conducted an insurgent search east of Fallujah Sept. 5.
Full Story

Marines Make Midnight Run to Aid Iraqi Girl

1st Lt. Joshua R. Rosales, Navy Seaman Royce R. Ross and Cpl. Jared S. Nelson, came to the aid of a 7 year old Iraqi girl who fell from a three-story building in Gharmah, Iraq. The three rushed her to Camp Fallujah's trauma center after Iraqi police were unable to get her to a hospital in Fallujah. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva

U.S. Marines rush to the aid of a 7 year old Iraqi girl
after she fell from a three-story building.

By Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva
1st Marine Division
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq, Sept. 13, 2006 — “America’s Battalion” Marines made a midnight run to rush to the aid of a 7 year old Iraqi girl after she fell from a three-story building.

"It’s hard to show we’re working for hearts and minds in the infantry. This was an example of it tonight."

Cpl. Jared S. Nelson

Marines from Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, rushed the girl to Camp Fallujah’s surgical center for treatment after local police were unable to get her proper medical attention.

The battalion is serving with Regimental Combat Team 5.

The incident occurred late at night in Gharmah, a small city north of Fallujah. Iraqi police there tried to rush the young girl to the Jordanian hospital in Fallujah, but had difficulty getting to the hospital, according to 1st Lt. Joshua R. Rosales, a 25-year-old platoon commander who responded to the call for help.

“We got the call from the commanding officer to link up with Iraqi Police at the police station,” explained Rosales, from Raleigh, N.C. “We met up with them in Gharmah, and they had the little girl. They wanted us to be careful.”

Rosales said the girl was accompanied by her uncle. She was crying, suffering from waves of pain from her injuries. She was scared, and then Marines were loading her into the back of a humvee. Rosales’ hospital corpsman, Navy Seaman Royce A. Ross, a 23-year-old from Houston, got to work immediately checking his tiny patient.

“I was making sure all her vital signs were good,” Ross explained. “Everything looked good enough to move her. I saw right away she was going to be OK.”

Ross saw that she already had an intravenous tube inserted into her arm, but the tubing wasn’t put in properly. He spoke through his broken Arabic and the girl’s uncle’s broken English to get permission to start another.

“The blood clotted at the IV,” he explained. “I wanted to start another but her uncle didn’t want me to.”

Ross kept on with his preliminary examination. He said he saw a large contusion to the girl’s left wrist and possibly a fracture. The girl’s breathing was labored. Ross said he was concerned there were possible injuries to her chest affecting her breathing.

“It sounded like she was snoring,” he said. “What we had then was a possible broken wrist, possible problems with her torso, but she was crying, so she was breathing. We knew she’d be okay.”

Still, Marines couldn’t be sure until they could get the young child to the trauma center at Camp Fallujah to have a thorough examination. Ross, the girl, her uncle and Cpl. Jared S. Nelson, a 21-year-old from Salisbury, Md., climbed into the back of the humvee for the sprint from Gharmah to Camp Fallujah.

Nelson said he made similar runs last time he was deployed to Iraq, but it was always to rush a Marine to safety. This time was a little different.

“I provided security in the back,” he said. “They couldn’t all get down low, so I kept watch over them while we drove. It was pretty bumpy.”

Nelson watched his passengers from the corner of his eye. Ross continued to tend to the girl, and her uncle repositioned her stretcher every time the humvee jolted over a bump.

Rosales, Ross and Nelson delivered the Iraqi girl to Fallujah Surgical where Navy doctors and corpsmen took over. They continued with more in-depth examinations.

“They did as good as they could by bringing them in,” said Navy Capt. David Norman, a 51-year-old nurse anesthetist from San Diego assigned to Fallujah Surgical. “The corpsman did an excellent job. She was a challenging case. Her injuries were beyond our abilities to diagnose.”

Norman said doctors identified the left wrist fracture Ross discovered and suspected she might have suffered possible head injuries and a pelvic fracture. Doctors decided to medically evacuate the girl along with her uncle to Coalition treatment facilities in Baghdad for more extensive care.

“If she did sustain head injuries and a pelvic fracture, she could have died if they didn’t respond like they did,” Norman added.

“This was my first time working as an ambulance for Iraqis,” Ross said. “It was good to be able to treat someone you see on the streets all the time.”

“It’s nice because you know the kids are innocent,” Nelson added. “I’m always talking to the kids.”

Nelson and Ross didn’t think much of their actions. They said it was part of the job, just a little more satisfying because it demonstrated to that family and the community in Gharmah that Marines are here to help them, no matter what the case.

“It’s hard to show we’re working for hearts and minds in the infantry,” Nelson said. “This was an example of it tonight.”

“This shows the people we’re out here for them. In our line of work, that’s sometimes hard to do,” Ross said. “It shows that when someone gets hurts, we can step out and let that other side shine.”

Rosales said he was proud of his team’s reaction to the call for help. They maintained cool heads and were able to adapt from combat operations to the midnight mercy run without missing a beat.

“They put themselves at risk for this little girl,” Rosales said. “That’s something I see all the Marines doing. They put themselves at risk for the Iraqi people.”

This mission, though, is more rewarding than some of the routine operations. They were able to ease the pain of a little girl, help a family and do something good for the community.

“You want to do things like this, especially for the kids,” Nelson said. “The little girls are always the sweet, shy ones that come up and ask for candy.”

Navy doctors and hospital corpsmen crowd their gloved hands together to tend to a 7 year old Iraqi girl's injuries after she fell from a three-story building in Gharmah, Iraq. Marines from Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 rushed the girl to Fallujah Surgical after Iraqi police were unable to get her to a hospital in Fallujah. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva

Dyess welcomes back bomber squadron
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- A lot of make up time began for 279 members of the 9th Bomb Squadron that returned to this base today from a deployment to Southwest Asia.The squadron deployed to a desert base and joined the 40th Air Expeditionary Group in its support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Watch video story on deployment return. More

UAV catches AIF mortar team in the act

September 12, 2006
PR# 091206-02

Khan Bani Sa’ad, Iraq (September 12, 2006) – Two men were detained and a small cache discovered after Coalition Forces observed, with an unmanned aerial vehicle, six men fleeing the origin of an indirect fire attack on the civilians of Khan Bani Sa’ad, south of Baqubah today.

After two mortar rounds impacted near the village, the nearby UAV observed the men fleeing the suspected origin of the attack in a gray sedan at a high rate of speed. With the help of the UAV, Soldiers from the 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion pursued the suspected mortar team.

The suspected Anti-Iraqi Forces attempted to hide the car in a palm grove then fled on foot in opposite directions. Upon arrival at the scene, 1-68 CAB detained two of the men who had jumped into a nearby irrigation canal. The unit found the sedan along with one 120mm mortar system and six AK-47 magazines.

The detainees, the vehicle, and the cache have been transported to Forward Operating Base Warhorse where the detainees are being held for questioning.

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 13, 2006) - Secretary of the Navy, Dr. Donald C. Winter presents the Navy Cross to the wife of Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson during a ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 13. Petty Officer Axelson was killed during a mission to locate a high value anti-coalition militia leader in Asadabad, Afghanistan in June 2005. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

America Supports You: Bikers Demonstrate Nation’s Patriotism, Compassion

By Linda Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2006 – When Noel Totten arrived home to find 40 leather-clad motorcyclists pulled up at his house in Bloomington, Minn., he knew why they’d come.

A few weeks earlier, he’d received a call from Gregg Schmitt, director of the Minneapolis-based “Tribute to the Troops.” Schmitt asked Totten if members of the motorcycle group could stop by to pay their respects for the loss of his brother.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eric W. Totten, 34, an Army Chinook helicopter pilot, was killed when his chopper went down in Afghanistan on May 5.

Totten told Schmitt his family would welcome the group’s visit.

Greeting the riders at his home Sept. 8, Totten pulled his brother’s dog tags, painted portrait and photo out of his car to show the riders. Schmitt, president of the Minnesota booking agency, The Music Works, and Universal South recording artist Rockie Lynne, co-founder of the ride, gave Totten a framed portrait of his brother made by volunteer Rick Block.

Schmitt and Lynne founded the Tribute to the Troops ride Sept. 11, 2004. During that first ride, about 60 bikers on 45 motorcycles visited the homes of three fallen heroes in the Twin Cities metro area.

Coordinating the annual tribute, Schmitt said, is a way to give back for all the good things in his life.

“I’ve volunteered for a lot of different things, but never anything that felt as important or meaningful as reaching out -- as strangers -- to a person whose heart is aching from the loss of a loved one and telling them we care, we won’t forget.”

In 2005, 90 riders visited 14 families throughout Minnesota, and Lynne performed at a benefit concert. The event raised $5,000 for Wounded Warriors, a Nebraska-based nonprofit corporation founded in 2003 to support the soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Lynne said meeting families who have lost a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father “will change you for the rest of your life.”

“The sense of loss on those people’s faces is so powerful, it makes you want to do something,” he said. “You’ll never take our freedom for granted again.

“I don’t think the gravity of it hits you until you actually pull into someone’s driveway,” Lynne said. “We can never ever know what they feel. We can only let them know their loss didn’t go unnoticed.”

This year the riders visited 11 fallen servicemembers’ families over the course of three days. The ride started at the state Capitol Sept. 8, and ended with a concert at the Medina Ballroom in Hamel, Minn., Sept. 10. By the third day of the ride, the number of motorcycles participating had increased to 130.

“All of the neighbors were so impressed,” Totten said by phone following the riders’ visit to his home. “At first they were concerned, seeing all these motorcycles coming down the street. But when they all came out of their houses and saw how peaceful everything was, they joined in, applauding when Rockie, Gregg and I each gave a little talk.

“I felt very special that they were willing to devote their valuable time and energies to give Eric recognition -- not only Eric, but all service people,” he said.

Totten said his brother joined the Army shortly after high school when a lifelong friend who had gotten into drugs committed suicide.

“He decided he didn’t want to go that way. He decided to make something out of his life,” Totten recalled. “So at the young, tender age of 18 he joined the Army to play in the Army band.” The soldier musician then went on to become a Ranger, and in 1997 was named Ranger of the Year.

“Many Army people have told me that (achieving) that is like (winning) the Army Olympics,” Totten said. “Two real husky, muscle-bound soldiers came up to me and said, ‘I wouldn’t even begin to think about trying to be Ranger of the Year like your brother did.’”

The Ranger of the Year went through flight school and realized that he’d found his calling in the military.

“He simply loved it,” Totten said. “He got around the world on many important missions. He volunteered to do a flood-relief mission in Albania. He did two tours in Bosnia. But he was humble. He never bragged about it. Most of the stuff that I found out about my brother was through friends of his in the military.

“He wasn’t one of those guys who said, ‘Look at me and look what I’ve done,’” Totten stressed. “He just didn’t have that kind of personality. But, when he was asked to do something, he went beyond the call to do it and do it right and do it better than ever. That’s just the way Eric was.”

At the time of his death, Totten said, his brother had reached the rank of chief warrant officer 3 and was on his second tour in Afghanistan.

Tribute to the Troops wasn’t the first motorcycle group to acknowledge family’s loss, Totten said. Several hundred riders attended his brother’s funeral in Augusta, Kan., where their grandparents had bought 30 cemetery plots for the family shortly before World War II.

After the family learned protesters planned to attend the funeral, Totten said, the Patriot Guard called to offer their services. The nationwide motorcycle group, which grew to 50,000 members in just over a year, attends fallen troops’ funerals as invited guests to pay respects and shield mourning family members and friends from protestors.

“When we came out of the church, we didn’t realize there were going to be 400-plus Patriot Guard riders there,” Totten recalled. “The sight was spine-tingling.

“We were walking out of the church, getting into our limousines as they were loading the casket into the hearse, and we noticed each Patriot Guard rider had a 3-by-5-foot American flag,” he said. “They’d formed a line on each side of the drive. It was as if we were driving under a canopy of American flags.”

Totten said the townspeople did not know his brother, but when they heard about the protestors, they lined the side of road. The few that didn’t have a flag either saluted or held their hand over their hearts as the funeral procession passed by.

“Augusta is only a town of about 5,000 people, and it looked to me like the whole town was there,” Totten said.

“When we passed the fire department, they had a huge American flag hanging from a fully extended hook and ladder,” he said. “All of the firemen were standing there at attention. Everybody stood still as the hearse drove by. It was like everybody froze in time. It was so impressive.

“Before this, I had some doubts about this country’s patriotism,” Totten said. “At that moment I realized that patriotism is alive and well in this country.”

Last week’s visit by the Tribute to the Troops riders once again rekindled Totten’s faith in America’s patriotism and compassion, he said.

Having people acknowledge their loss gives them a welcome opportunity to talk about their loved one and share their grief, he said.

“We very much appreciate it when people take their valuable time to give recognition to the families of the fallen and the wounded,” he said. “It is so cleansing for people to be able to talk.”

Related Links:
Musical photo essay
Tribute to the Troops
America Supports You

by Staff Sgt. Russell L. Klika
September 13, 2006
Spc. Danell Herd and Pfc. Michael Ferryman, from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, greet Iraqi children during a roadside break while looking for smuggling routes along the Syrian/Iraqi border.

In Today's News - Thursday, September 14, 2006

Quote of the Day
"The object of war is not to die for your country
but to make the other bastard die for his."
-- General George S. Patton

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Judge to Saddam: 'You're Not a Dictator'
10 Killed in Violence in Central Iraq
Death squads threaten Iraq's political process
10 more killed in Iraq; militant caught

Operation Enduring Freedom
Taliban Kills 4 Afghanistan, Poland Promises 900 Troops
U.S. declines Taliban funeral target
US Considered Bombing Taliban Funeral
Fifty Killed in Afghan Violence

Troops on Trial
Officer Recommends Trial For Marine in Iraqi Murder Case
Chaplain Convicted of Disobeying Order

Other Military News
Wiccan sign allowed on soldier's plaque (It's about time.)
Army adds real soldiers to video game

Mid-East Ceasefire
Israeli Military Appeals Release of 19 Hamas Leaders
Corrupt? Misguided? West Bank militants face heat
Amnesty: Hezbollah committed war crimes (Shocking....really)

Worldwide Wackos
Iran, EU Postpone Talks on Uranium Enrichment
IAEA protests "erroneous" U.S. report on Iran
Iran says open to "new conditions" over atom standoff
Differences on N. Korea overhang Bush-Roh talks
Castro photos raise expectations at summit

Politics / Government
Richards Dead at 73
Bush to Visit Capitol Hill in Search of GOP Support
Senate Republicans defy Bush over terrorism trials

U.N. News
Flooding affects 357,000 Ethiopians: U.N.

Mother Nature
Helene Forms as Gordon Becomes Category 3 Hurricane
Indonesians displaced by mud feel anger, misery
Arctic ice melting rapidly, study says

News from My Neck of the Woods
Conn. mom breaks record for biggest baby (Yikes!)

Can you hear me now?
Grapes of wrath for thief...

Other News of Note
Montreal Rampage Probed
Changes to Islamic law on rape hit snag in Pakistan

Fox News
Dwarf Planet Named Eris After Greek Goddess
Stocks to Watch: Xilinx
Flood in Chinese Coal Mine Traps Seven Workers

Reuters: Top News
Britain's Brown attempts to heal leadership rift
Russian central banker killed in contract "hit" - Video
Thai monkey business over as orangutans head home
Game makers call for mobile shopping revolution
CBS wants to buy the next YouTube, not YouTube
Master clarinet maker in Chile wows music world
Dengue outbreak kills over 100 Cambodian children
Hip hop music fans have more sex: study
Judge orders made-for-TV band to change name
Marianne Faithfull has breast cancer

AP World News
Shuttle astronauts unfurl solar panel
IMF lifts global growth forecast
Software streams music with PC off
White Sox pitcher Garcia nearly perfect
Experts see slow obesity fight for kids
Google adds more mapping innovations
Twins star rookie Liriano out for season
Mother of missing boy commits suicide
Garcia almost perfect in White Sox win
Dow closes up 45, Nasdaq finishes up 12
Obituaries in the news
Central America seeks American retirees
Shuttle Crew Behind Schedule

CENTCOM: News Releases


Liveblogging: Urban Resolve 2015 - Read Chris' liveblog
Deputy director for joint force training to take NATO post

Department of Defense
Iraqi Police Capture Insurgents - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Iraqi Army Reaffirms Faith in Future of Iraq - Story
A Moment for Historical Reflection in Mosul - Story
Airmen Deploy to Monitor Airspace, Battlefield - Story

Soldiers, Civilians Hold 9-11 Memorial Race
Troops in Iraq Honor Victims of Sept. 11 Attacks
Quality of Life Projects Continue to Find Success
Officials Award Health-Care Clinic Contracts
Marines Work to Enhance Communications

Legacy of Fallen Citadel Graduate Lives On
Coalition Forces Deliver Cement to Afghan Village
Reconstruction Team Donates Prayer Rugs

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 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


Today in History
1716 - In Boston Harbior, the first U.S. lighthouse is lit.
1807 - Aaron Burr is acquitted of a misdemeanor charge.
1812 - Napoleon and his forces occupy Moscow.
1814 - Francis Scott Key is inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."
1847 - U.S. troops under General Scott enter Mexico City.
1872 - Britain pays the US $15 milliin for damages during the Civil War.
1886 - George K. Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee patents the typewriter ribbon.
1891 - The "Empire State Express" train goes from NYC to East Buffalo (436 miles,) in 7 hours, six minutes (a record).
1899 - In NY, Henry Bliss becomes the first automobile fatality.
1917 - The provisional government of Russia is established; a Republic is proclaimed.
1923 - Miguel Primo de Rivera becomes dictator of Spain.
1930 - Nazis gain 107 seats in the German election.
1938 - The Graf Zeppelin II, the world's largest airship, makes its maiden flight.
1940 - Congress passes the first peace-time conscription (draft) bill.
1948 - A groundbreaking ceremony for the U.N. world headquarters takes place.
1954 - Hurricane Edna (the second of that year) hits NYC, causing $50 million in damage.
1956 - In Washington, D.C., the first prefrontal lobotomy is performed.
1957 - A U.N. resolution condemns the U.S.S.R.'s invasion of Hungary.
1963 - Mary Ann Fischer of SD gives birth to the U.S.'s first surviving quintuplets (4 girls, 1 boy).
1964 - Walt Disney is awarded the Medal of Freedom at the White House.
1965 - "F-Troop" premiers on TV.
1968 - The USSR's Zond-5 is launched on the first circumlunar flight.
1972 - "The Waltons" premiers on TV.
1973 - Israel shoots down 13 Syrian MIG-21s.
1974 - Charles Kowal discovers Leda, Jupiter's 13th satellite.
1975 - Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is canonized - the first U.S.-born saint.
1983 - The U.S. House of Representatives votes in favor of a resolution condemning Russia for shooting down a Korean jetliner (416-0).
1991 - Carolyn Suzanne Sapp of HI is crowned Miss America 1992.

1849 - Ivan Pavlov Russia, physiologist/pioneer in psychology
1864 - Lord Cecil of Chelwood, helped form League of Nations, Nobel Prize winner (1937)
1886 - Jan Garrique Masaryk, statesman/minister to London (1918-35)
1887 - Karl Taylor Compton, physicist/atomic bomb scientist
1899 - Hal Wallis, movie producer (Maltese Falcon)
1907 - Cecil Brown, news correspondent (CBS)
1921 - Hughes Rudd, TV newscaster (CBS)

- Louis Montcalm, French general (Plains of Abraham)
1836 - Aaron Burr, 3rd VP
1852 - Arthur Wellesley, General/Duke of Wellington
1901 - President William McKinley dies in Buffalo, of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin. (VP Theodore Roosevelt becomes President.
1911 - Piotr Stolypin, Russia's PM, assassinated by Mordka Bogrov
1982 - Bashir Gemayel, Lebanon's president-elect, killed by a bomb; Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, in a car crash

Reported Missing in Action
Taylor, Neil Brooks, USN (ME); A4C shot down, KIA, body not recovered

Stoddard, Clarence W., Jr., USN (TX); A1H shot down, KIA, body not recovered