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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You to All Who Have Heard the Call...

On this day, I give my deepest thanks for all those who stand tall to defend our Freedom.

To all those I've been honored to meet through Soldiers' Angels, I am humbled to have had the privilege to come to know you. To Steven and his Marines, to Omar, to Janette, and to Marcos, may you pass a quiet day, and know that though you are far away, you are never far from our hearts. To Christian, both Mikes, Cliff, Todd, Henry, Phil, Cisco, and all those who have safely returned home, may this day be a day to spend with friends and family, sure in the knowledge that you are loved and appreciated. To those who have returned wounded, and struggle to recover, may this day be free of pain, and may you be strong and fit. Know that we stand with you as you heal. To the families of those that have laid down their lives for our nation, may this day bring comfort and the knowledge that their sacrifice was not in vain, and that they will never be forgotten. And to those who still do battle with demons in the shadow of their minds, may this day bring peace. To my father-in-law, you will always be our Hero - both for what you did then, and for all you do each and every day. We love you. To all of you - you are our Heroes, you are loved, and we are grateful.

- Pam



Veterans' Day Links:
Brothers gather letters to war dead
Florida's only living WWI vet honored
Bush dedicates Marine Museum in Virginia
General: GIs preserve Afghan freedom
Veterans Day Center – at
Opinion: The Price of Freedom
Pace Thanks Vets, Talks on Way Forward in Terror War



Make Peace or Die:
Now available on DVD from and

"Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty." - Department of Veterans Affairs

When I set out to create the documentary film "Make Peace or Die: The First Days of War in Iraq with 1st Battalion 5th Marines" in many ways my personal intent was the same as Veterans Day: to honor the contributions made by, in this case, a small group of Marine Corps infantrymen.

To tell you a little about myself, I am the youngest of three boys. My oldest brother was a Marine and my middle brother was in the Navy. My father was a two-tour veteran of Vietnam. I was the first man in my family not to go into the military but rather studied cinema at the University of Southern California. My hope is that after watching this movie, the audience comes to deeply understand the level of honor, courage, and commitment with which each of these men serve -- as a filmmaker and an American, this is my duty.

Semper Gratus,
Valerian Bennett
Director, "Make Peace or Die:
The First Days of War in Iraq
with 1st Battalion 5th Marines"

"Make Peace or Die: The First Days of War in Iraq with 1st Battalion 5th Marines" is a boots-on-the ground account of the treacherous three-week journey by a group of infantry Marines from the oilfields of Kuwait to Saddam Hussein's palace in Baghdad during the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Footage from embedded reporters, Department of Defense archives, digital images from individual Marines, and interviews conducted by a former member of 1/5 in the summer of 2003 provide a rare glimpse into the souls of America's warriors. From their first full-scale battle with the enemy at Saddam Canal to dealing with the fog of war at a roadblock on the streets of Baghdad, we witness in these men the essence of conflict, both personal and professional, as seen through the ages. The film serves as both an intensely personal oral history and a chilling snapshot of events that would give way to the future in Iraq.

Since its debut at the Annual Conference in Houston, TX the film has been received by outstanding reviews:

"You captured the essence of 1/5's march to Baghdad...I witnessed first-hand the accounts you brilliantly brought to life in your DVD."Ross Simpson, Associated Press embedded reporter

"I really enjoyed this movie and look forward to sharing it with friends and family. I think it does a great job of representing what 1/5 and the Marine Corps is all about."Sgt. Jeffrey Camozzi

"I would like to thank you personally on a job well done...As a member of 1/5 during the initial invasion it was a great honor to have someone tell our story."Matthew McCaffery, Deputy Mayor, New Port Richey, FL




I wanted to pay tribute to all the men and women who served and serve in the Military of the United States of America.

For this special day, I made a memorial-wallpaper yesterday evening. I attach it. I hope that you like it.

God bless you, U.S. GIs and The States!

See you

Ignacio S. Cucuzza.
The staunchest supporter of U.S. forces overseas.

(click for larger version)



Good Morning America-

In honor of Veterans Day I would like to share this with you. Please pass it along.

My late father, John Mitchum was a WWII veteran and a patriot. He also happened to be a Grammy nominated poet and actor. My father wrote the only album John Wayne ever recorded, AMERICA, WHY I LOVE HER.

Several of his friends are joining to create a tribute to my father and his works by recording his poetry.

I would like to pay tribute to all our Veterans by sharing a few links with you.

Jimmie Rodgers (Honeycomb fame) came out of retirement to record the last poem written, PURPLE HEART.

Robert Easton recorded TAPS

Todd Van Voris recorded one of my father's favorite poems,FREEDOM NEVER SLEEPS.

John Mitchum reciting AMERICA, WHY I LOVE HER with a video.

These were all written for all Americans with love, honor and respect
God Bless the Troops and God Bless America
Cindy Mitchum


This post includes graphics by Doug Kidd

PERIMETER SECURITY — Small boats provide perimeter security to the Navy's MK-105 Magnetic Influence System during operations with amphibious assault ship USS Saipan in the Persian Gulf, Nov. 2006. The Saipan is currently on deployment conducting maritime security operations in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin K. Thomas

In Today's News - Saturday, November 11, 2006

Quote of the Day
But fame is theirs - and future days
On pillar'd brass shall tell their praise;
Shall tell - when cold neglect is dead -
"These for their country fought and bled."

-- Philip Freneau

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Mortar Attacks Target U.S. Diplomatic Office in Iraq
Car bomb blasts kill 8 in Baghdad shopping area
U.S. Offers $50,000 Reward in Missing Translator Search
Nat'l Guard Units May Go Back to Iraq
Al Qaeda Claims to Have 12,000 Fighters in Iraq
Blair to Give Evidence to Iraq Study Group
Pentagon reviews Iraq war strategy
3rd son from Wash. family sent to Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
General: GIs preserve Afghan freedom

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Al Qaeda may plan Europe transit attacks: report
Group threatens attacks on Sri Lanka civilians

Other Military News
Military service may be connected to ALS
Nearly 70,000 Vets Call Alaska Home
Marine to Receive Medal of Honor

Mid-East Ceasefire / Hamas Rising / Israel at War
Palestinians Mark Passing of Yasser Arafat
Palestinian PM May Resign to Allow Aid
Abbas hopes for Palestinian unity govt by December
Abbas urges Israel to make peace
Lebanon talks on govt change collapse

Worldwide Wackos
Iran ready to consider Russian uranium plan

Politics / Government
GOP: McCain to Launch '08 Exploratory Committee
Bush woos Democrats despite divisions on UN post
Senate race reveals regional divide in Virginia
Dems pledge to sever ties to lobbyists
Bush, Democrats pledge to work together

In the Courts
Massachusetts Judge Settles Dispute by Ruling Burrito is Not a Sandwich (Your tax dollars at work...)
Health groups file to appeal U.S. tobacco case
Google faces legal challenges over video service
Judicial independence remains under fire

Warrantless wiretaps unlikely to be OK'd

Mother Nature
Kenyan children demand action on climate change
Heavy snow blankets Iowa, Minnesota

Dancing eunuchs taxing red-faced shopkeepers
Hundreds to compete for rock, paper, scissors title
Thai zoo to teach panda to mate with "porn" videos

Other News of Note
Wal-Mart Brings Christmas Back, Cuts More Prices
U.S. urges restraint in Bangladesh
NASA tries to regain contact with probe

Fox News
American AIDS Victims Live Longer
PlayStation 3 Opens to Large Crowds in Japan
Studies: Manatees May Not Be So Dumb After All
Woman Who Killed 2 Daughters in 2003 Released
Former NFL Coach Bill Walsh Battling Leukemia
'Sopranos' Wasn't Enough for Daniel Baldwin
Oscar-Winning Actor Jack Palance Dies at 87

Reuters: Top News
Fear grips residents in crime-hit Naples
"BlackBerry Thumb" sparks new form of hand massage
Dollar pressured by concerns about China reserves
Hormel lifts forecast; shares jump
Oil falls below $60 as inventories rise
NYSE shares at new high, exchange stocks rise
Stocks rise on oil, AIG; techs lift Nasdaq - Video
Market edgy over China's reserves plan
A time to prune
NTL set to bid mostly in cash for ITV: source
Dubai may sell part of stake in DaimlerChrysler
France's Alstom ups share of Paris region train deal
Dubai-led fund confirms initial EADS stake talks
Wal-Mart extends price cuts to small appliances
Inflation, retail top U.S. stocks' agenda

AP World News
Buckeyes score big in record-setting win
Top-Ranked Gators open with easy victory
Yankees trade Gary Sheffield to Tigers
Violations cited in W.Wa. mine deaths
Obituaries in the news
NYC plane crash survivor leaves hospital
Sign the Veterans Bill of Rights
Blog: Deadly Suicide Attack in Pakistan
Play Military Trivia and Win an iPod
Gear in the News - MH-53E

CENTCOM: News Releases








USJFCOM signs cooperative research and development agreement with Raytheon - podcast
USJFCOM to join high-tech scientific research network
Planning discussions continue for next multinational experiment
More about Multinational Experiment 5
USJFCOM to participate in Orlando military conference - podcast

Department of Defense
Pace Thanks Vets, Talks on Way Forward in War - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Coalition, Iraqi Forces Detain Suspected Terrorists - Story
Iraqi Army Busts Suspected Arms Ring - Story
Reward Offered to Find Kidnapped Soldier - Story
Marines Work to Dissolve Cultural Barriers - Story

Iraqis Interdict Insurgents on The Euphrates River
Medical Personnel Provide Care to Residents
Afghan Officer Saves Governor, Coalition Soldiers
Hawija SWAT Unit Graduates Elite Fighting Force
Iraqi Marines Learn Critical Maritime Security Skills

Coalition Sponsors Chamkani Sports Tournament
Afghan Reconstruction Projects Continue
Turkey to Open Provincial Reconstruction Team

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

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


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
1620 - Pilgrims land in MA, signing the Mayflower Compact (just and equal laws).
1647 - Massachusetts passes the first U.S. compulsory school attendance law.
1648 - The Dutch and French agree to divide St. Maarten and the Leeward Islands.
1778 - Iroquois in NY kill 40 in the Cherry Valley Massacre.
1811 - Cartagena, Colombia declares independence from Spain.
1864 - Union General Sherman's troops destroy Rome, GA.
1865 - Mary Edward Walker, the first U.S. Army female surgeon, is awarded the Medal of Honor.
1889 - Washington is admitted as the 42nd U.S. state.
1918 - Armistice Day-WW I ends at 11 AM on the Western Front.
- President Harding dedicates the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
1922 - The largest U.S. flag is displayed (150' X 90'); it is expanded in 1939 (270' X 90').
1924 - In San Francisco, the Palace of the Legion of Honor is dedicated.
1925 - Robert Millikan announces the discovery of cosmic rays.
1931 - Cornerstones laid for the Opera House & Veterans Building.
1933 - The "Great Black Blizzard" - the first great dust storm in the Great Plains.
1935 - The Explorer-2 balloon sets an altitude record of 72,000 feet over SD.
1939 - Kate Smith first sings Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."
1940 - A blizzard strikes the midwestern U.S., killing over 100.
1942 - Germany completes their occupation of France.
1959 - The first episode of "Rocky and His Friends" airs.
1965 - Rhodesia is proclaimed independent of Britain.
1966 - Gemini-12 is launched on a 4-day flight.
1968 - The Maldives (in the Indian Ocean) become a republic.
1972 - The U.S. Army turns over Long Bihn base to the South Vietnamese army.
1975 - Angola gains independence from Portugal; the Australian PM is removed by the crown (first elected PM removed in 200 years).
1982 - The 5th space shuttle mission-Columbia 5-is launched (the first commercial flight); Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa is let out of jail.
1983 - President Reagan becomes the first U.S. President to address Japan's legislature.
1985 - Yonkers is found guilty of segregating schools and housing.
1987 - Judge Anthony M. Kennedy is nominated to the Supreme Court.

1050 - Henry IV, Holy Roman emperor (1036-1106)
1744 - Abigail Smith Adams, second First Lady
1748 - King Charles IV of Spain (1788-1808)
1771 - Ephraim McDowell, surgeon (pioneered abdominal surgery)
1821 - Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist (Crime & Punishment)
1864 - Alfred Hermann Fried, German pacifist (Nobel 1911)
1869 - King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (1900-46)/Ethiopia
1885 - George S. Patton, U.S. General "Old Blood & Guts"
- Hugh Scott (Sen-PA)
1901 - Sam Spiegel, producer (On the Waterfront, Bridge over River Kwai)
1904 - Alger Hiss, State Department official and spy
1911 - King Hussein of Jordan.
1915 - William Proxmire (Sen-WI) (Golden Fleece Awards)
1945 - Daniel Ortega Saavedra, President of Nicaragua (1984-1990)

1831 - Nat Turner, former slave who led a violent insurrection, hanged in VA
1962 - Rene Coty, President of France
1984 - Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr.
1987 - L.T. Coggeshall, medical scientist (Secretary of HEW 1956-58)

Reported Missing in Action
Biss, Robert Irvin, USAF (PA); F4C shot down (pilot, w/Monlux), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Butt, Richard L., USAF (VA); F4C shot down (weapons/systems operator, w/Ringsdorf) - remains returned April, 1986

Mearns, Arthur, USAF (NY); F105D shot down - remains returned September, 1977

Monlux, Harold D., USAF (IA); F4C shot down (w/Biss), released by DRV March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Ringsdorf, Herbert B., USAF (AL); F4C shot down (pilot, w/Butt), released February, 1973 - deceased as of February, 1998

Swindle, Orson G. III, USMC (GA); F8E shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of this year, served as a Federal Trade Commissioner 1997-2005

Martinez-Mercado, Edwin J., US Army (NY); KIA, body not recovered

Shaw, Gary F., US Army (OH); KIA, body not recovered

Staton, Robert M., Jr., US Army (NC); KIA, body not recovered

Stuckey, John S., Jr., US Army (IN); KIA, body not recovered