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Monday, November 13, 2006

Military Bloggers Raise $180,000 Online for Wounded

How did the fundraiser for Project Valour-IT go? Just look!


Grassroots Fundraiser for Valour-IT Provides Wounded with Voice-activated Laptops

Pasadena, CA (November 13, 2006): Divided into “competing” teams representing Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force, military and civilian bloggers spent the days leading up to Veterans Day 2006 raising over $180,000 to aid severely-wounded troops. The funds raised will allow Soldiers’ Angels Project Valour-IT to continue its work of supplying voice-activated laptops to the wounded.

The Valour-IT fundraising competition is a yearly online event. The first friendly competition raised $100,000 in 10 days last year. This year it was extended to 13 days and the total raised, when donations by mail are counted, is expected to exceed $210,000. Depending on vendor discounts, this year’s total should fund the purchase and shipment of over 300 laptops.

Valour-IT’s inspiration, Army Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss, writes from personal experience:

I know how much it means to the guys who are stuck lying on their backs, unable to use their hands to so much as scratch…I know how humbling it is, how humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt [when I received a voice-activated laptop]. I can't wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier…

Project Valour-IT began in August 2005 after Captain Ziegenfuss suffered serious hand wounds in Iraq. Friends realized how much having a voice-activated laptop could help and encourage him as he healed, and an idea was born. Valour-IT has since supplied over 650 laptops to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from severe injuries in military hospitals and at home.

About Project Valour-IT
Project Valour-IT is a project of Soldier's Angels. For more information, see the Valour-IT website at Soldier's Angels is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing aide and comfort to thousands of members of the armed forces and their families through care packages, help for the wounded, and support for military families. For more information about Soldier’s Angels, see the program website at

Thank you to all who donated to help this wonderful program.
Pacific Ocean (Nov. 5, 2006) - An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the "Diamondbacks" of Strike Fighter Squadron One Zero Two (VFA-102) completes a super-sonic flyby as part of an air power demonstration for visitors aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). VFA-102 is one of the nine squadrons and detachments assigned to Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) and embarked aboard Kitty Hawk. Kitty Hawk and CVW-5 is currently deployed off the coast of southern Japan on a scheduled deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jarod Hodge

(click photo for larger version)

Joint Mission Provides Supplies to Diyala Citizens

Capt. Andrew Hercik, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, hands out a new pair of shoes to a young Iraqi boy during a mission to give out soccer balls, clothing and shoes to local Iraqi villages in the Diyala province, Nov. 6. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Lipscomb, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division)

Nov. 10, 2006
SR# 111006-09

By Spc. Ryan Stroud

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

BALAD RUZ, Iraq (Nov. 6, 2006) – While reducing violence is a main focus for both Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces, not all missions revolve around capturing the enemy. Members of the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, and the 5th Iraqi Army are out to prove that.

Convoys headed out to different villages in the Diyala province, Nov. 6, as the Soldiers from 5-73 together with 5th Iraqi Army soldiers were armed with a different type of ammunition -- soccer balls, clothing and shoes.

"We went out to help get the Iraqi Army on the civilian's good side," said Spc. Randell Marshall, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 5-73, and a native of Fitzgerald, Ga., understanding why its important for the Iraqi citizens to have confidence in their security forces.

"We donated a lot of supplies, clothing, shoes and soccer balls so the Iraqi Army could give those out," he added.

"The main point behind the mission was to build a rapport between the Iraqi Army and the local citizens," said Capt. John Pratt, Company B, 404th Civil Affairs.

"It's for the locals to see their army isn’t just for going on raids and detaining people, they are here also because they care and want to help," he continued. "They are not the Shia Army or Kurdish Army; they are all of Iraq's Army."

The Soldiers were hoping the mission would be a positive one as they had many boxes of supplies to hand out. When they arrived, they were greeted with many smiling faces.

"It was a very positive mission," said Pratt. "The gifts that were given out had a positive reaction on the locals."

"We stopped at one village and they were thrilled to see us," added Marshall. “We passed out our supplies to them and stayed there for a few hours. They even cooked for us."

"I saw kids already shivering,” he added. "It's not even cold to us, but to them it's freezing. That is why missions for handing out supplies to help the villagers are really important.”

"The experience was overwhelming,” said Spc. Kevin Geis, HHT, 5-73.

"The kids are very appreciative of what we can give them," he continued. "They were smiling and cheering, and giving us the thumbs up. It’s a great feeling."

Both Soldiers from 5-73 and the Iraqi Army feel these missions will leave a lasting effect on the community, Marshall said. He also added he hopes this will help the Iraqi Army in their future missions.

"We are trying to help the Iraqi Army out with helping the communities out so when we leave, the Iraqi Army will be able to go out and do these kinds of missions on their own," Marshall said.

"These missions build trust and respect," added Pratt.

"When the locals look at us, they see a force that is not going to take sides,” he continued. "They see a professional Army who is here to establish justice.”

“Some of the citizens have had doubts about the Iraqi government and its army. These missions help establish that trust that is needed," Pratt said.

"U.S. Coalition Forces work with the Iraqi Army daily on these types of missions and through these missions, we train the Iraqi Army in becoming a professional organization," Pratt said.

But Marshall and Geis both agree the best part of the supply missions is seeing the children after they have received their new gifts.

"Seeing the kids smile is the best part of the mission,' said Marshall. "The weather is changing and to see them smile when we hand out winter clothes and shoes to those who are barefooted, it’s a nice feeling.

"Watching these kids, it's really a nice thing because you get to see the good side of Iraqi people and not the 'bad guys' running around," he added. “They are good people.”

"This is the best mission you can go on,” said Geis. "These kids are the leaders in the next 15 to 20 years, and we might have a lasting effect on them with these missions."

Local Iraqi boys kick around a new soccer ball received during a supply mission headed up by the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, and the 5th Iraqi Army, Nov. 6. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Lipscomb, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division)

Local Iraqi citizens sit and wait as Iraqi soldiers from the 5th Iraqi Army Division pass out supplies donated by the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, Nov. 6. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt 1st Class Matthew Lipscomb, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division)

by Sgt. 1st Class Dexter D. Clouden
November 6, 2006
Pfc. Raymond Purtee, from the 561st Military Police Company, attached to the 10th Mountain Division, provides convoy security during a patrol near Bagram, Afghanistan. US Army photo.

In Today's News - Monday, November 13, 2006

Quote of the Day
"There is no doubt in my mind we were right in fighting.
I don't think we had to fight to preserve America
but it was necessary in order to preserve American honor.
A free people were threatened with the yoke of Communism
being imposed by force, I fought to prevent that
and I feel that fight was successful.
Our belief in freedom of choice for all
required that we help the South Vietnamese
or any other nation that needs our help."

-- Capt. Harry T. Jenkins, USN - former POW (see below)

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Bush Ready to Hear 'Fresh Approach' on War in Iraq
Bush Meets With Bipartisan Panel on Course of Iraq War
White House adopts different tone after elections
Iraq Cabinet Changes Vowed as Violence Claims 159 - VIDEO
Democrats say will push for Iraq withdrawal
Iraq PM plans government shake-up as bomber kills 35 - Video
Baghdad Bus Bomb Kills 20
Baghdad morgue took in 1,600 bodies in October: source

Operation Enduring Freedom
Report: Insurgent Activity Rising in Afghanistan
Taliban insurgency major Afghan challenge: UN team

Supporting the Troops
Store donates 120 wedding gowns to vets
Bush Hails Bravery, Dedication of Troops - Video

Mid-East Ceasefire / Hamas Rising / Israel at War
Fatah, Hamas Leaders to Meet in Gaza
Mideast Peace Talks on Table
Iran: 'Swift' Retaliation to Any Israeli Attack
Olmert heads to U.S. to gauge post-election policy
Hezbollah to stage protests after talks fail
Palestinian factions open talks on unity govt posts
Hamas accepts peace conference proposal

Worldwide Wackos
Israeli PM Arrives in U.S. With Iranian Nuke Agenda
Ahmadinejad blasts U.N. Security Council
U.S. Officials Think Castro Has Cancer
S.Korea won't join arms interdiction plan: reports

Politics / Government
Pelosi Backs Murtha's House Bid
Lame-Duck Congress Reconvenes
McCain Considers Possible 2008 Presidential Bid
Lawmakers gear up to fight some old battles
Black candidates head for middle at polls
Wounded Bush meets rising China at APEC summit
Lawmakers gear up to fight some old battles
GOP pressed on offshore drilling limits
2 ex-presidents tour with well-honed act

Immigration / Border Control
Boy in deportation flap heads to Mexico

U.N. News
White House intent on Bolton for U.N. envoy

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News
Billionaires set to fight over L.A Times

Mother Nature
Kyoto countries seen agreeing steps to extend pact

3 Dead After Georgia Mule-Carriage Accident
Town gives women equal footing on road signs
N.Y. Man Shot to Death in Fight Over Parking Spot

Other News of Note
American Airlines Flight 587 Memorial Dedicated
Reaction mixed on Flight 587 memorial
Man Accused of Mailing Threatening Letters to Politicians, Celebrities

Fox News
Cops Arrest Man They Say Killed Florida Deputy
2 in Court for Hit-and-Run That Killed Mom, 2 Kids
Report: eBay Auctions 'Sexist' Viennese Urinals
Stocks to Watch: Merck, Tyson and Sony

Reuters: Top News
Australian air guitar T-shirt actually rocks
A shoppers' guide to hot digital entertainment
Singaporean is world's fastest text messager
Children showing hardening of arteries -U.S. study
Higher death rate seen for black U.S. heart patients
Studio gambles with "Casino Royale" and new Bond
"Borat" still big at worldwide box office
Stocks to eye inflation, retail
Dollar slips again on forex diversification talk
Samsung says DRAM demand for Q1 2007 "very strong"
Markets lower, energy stocks hit
Hormel lifts forecast; shares jump
Market edgy over China's reserves plan
Smokes and a good meal, by Paul DeMartino
Samsung says DRAM demand for Q1 2007 "very strong"
European banks hiding full pension obligations
BHP Billiton JV buys Gulf of Mexico development
News Corp in early talks with Chinese blogs
Holiday sales seen modestly higher: survey
Gap, others, see "Red" for the U.S. holiday season

AP World News
Study: Waltzing helps mend hearts
Colts top Bills 17-16 to improve to 9-0
Poor Pakistanis donate kidneys for money
McQueen shades net $70,000 at auction
Arkansas, Rutgers climb up AP Top 25
Investors await retail, inflation data
Woods' winning streak ends at HSBC
25 years later, Luke and Laura wed again
Henin-Hardenne wins 1st WTA Championship
USC beats mistake-prone Oregon St. 35-10
Sign the Veterans Bill of Rights
Play Military Trivia and Win an iPod

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
Bush Thanks Veterans for Safeguarding America's Freedom - 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
1002 - English king Ethelred II launches a massacre of Danish settlers.
1775 - American Revolutionary forces capture Montreal.
1789 - Ben Franklin writes "Nothing . . . certain but death and taxes."
1830 - Oliver Wendell Holmes publishes "Old Ironsides."
1843 - In Washington State, Mt. Rainier State erupts.
1849 - Peter Burnett is elected the first governor of California.
1854 - The New Era sinks off the coast of NJ, killing 300.
1865 - P.T. Barnum's New American museum opens in Bridgeport, CT; the U.S. issues its first certificates; the first shipment of canned pineapples leaves Hawaii.
1909 - 259 miners die in a fire at the St. Paul Mine in Cherry, IL.
1921 - The U.S., France, Japan and the British Empire sign a Pacific Treaty.
1927 - The NY-NJ Holland Tunnel, the first twin-tube underwater auto tunnel, opens.
1931 - Hattie Caraway (AK) is appointed the first U.S. woman Senator.
1941 - The British aircraft carrier Ark Royal sinks in the Mediterranean.
1942 - The minimum draft age is lowered from 21 to 18.
1946 - The first artificial snow is produced from a natural cloud in Mt. Greylock, MA.
1956 - The Supreme Court strikes down segregation of races on public buses.
1965 - The Yarmouth Castle burns and sinks off the Bahamas, killing 89.
1969 - VP Spiro T. Agnew accuses network TV news of depths of bias and distortion.
1970 - A cyclone kills an estimated 300,000 in Chittagong, Bangladesh; Lt. General Hafez al-Assad becomes PM of Syria following a military coup; VP Spiro Agnew calls TV executives "impudent snobs."
1971 - Mariner-9 becomes the first craft to orbit another planet (Mars).
1978 - NASA launches HEAO.
1979 - In NY, Ronald Reagan announces his candidacy for President.
1982 - The Vietnam War Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC.
1985 - The Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupts in Colombia, killing 25,000.
1986 - NASA launches the space vehicle S-199.

- King Edward III of England (1327-77)
1850 - Robert Louis Stevenson, author (Treasure Island)
1856 - Louis D. Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice (1916-39)
1930 - Fred Harris (Sen-OK)

- St. Nicholas I (the Great), Pope (858-67)
1460 - Henry the Navigator, prince of Portugal
1829 - Sam Patch, loses his life in a 125' dive into Genesse Falls
1868 - Gioacchino (Antonio) Rossini, composer (Barber of Seville)
1974 - Karen Silkwood, killed in a car crash under suspicious circumstances

Reported Missing in Action
Bloom, Darl R., USMC (PA); RF8A collided with another aircraft, Killed, body not recovered

Jenkins, Harry T., USN (DC); released by DRV February, 1973 - died in the crash of a homemade aircraft August, 1995

Erskine, Jack D., Civilian; employee of Geotronics Company, VC sketches of him found

Ray, Ronald E., US Army (TX); recon patrol ambushed in Laos, severely wounded in the action

Bancroft, William W., USAF (IN); RF4C shot down (navigator, w/Wright), KIA, body not recovered

Wright, David I., USAF (MD); RF4C shot down (pilot, w/Bancroft), KIA, body not recovered