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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Woohoo! The Results are In!

The Votes are in and the Winners are…
January 23rd, 2007 (12:37 pm)
The votes are in! I am happy to announce the winners of the Best Military Blog Contest sponsored by
VA Mortgage (the list includes final vote count):

1) Soldier’s Perspective [] 1103
2) Stryker Brigade News [] 995
3) Sgt Hook [] 846
4) Black Five [] 470
5) Afghanistan Without a Clue [] 305
6) Marine Corps Mom’s [] 157
7) Acute Politics [] 136
8) Neptunus Lex [] 93
9) AfghanBlog [] 86
10) Iraq War Today [] 83
11) From My Position…On the Way [] 81

It's a squeaker, but I made it - woohoo! More details on the results here.

Thank you to everyone who voted for me. It's an honor to be in such good company.

Manama, Bahrain (Jan. 22, 2007) - Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England greets U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Junior Sailor of the Year Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Teresa Charvira and NAVCENT Command Master Chief Christopher Angstead, center, before conducting a town hall meeting. England thanked the military personnel aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain for their dedicated service during his visit. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Julian Carroll

What It's All About

Of the Gettysburg Address, Edward Everett, who'd preceeded President Lincoln speaking that day, wrote "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as close to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

Well, this month marks my 2 year blogiversary here at IWT, and can truly say, I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as close to the central idea of this blog in two years of posting, as Amy did in the piece below (sent by her father):

In Memory of PFC Ryan Hill

On Friday Jan 19th, my husband, Ryan, and I lost a great friend in Iraq. He was nearly 21. He was killed by an improvised explosive device.

Ryan Hill had asked to drive the lead truck out on patrol, preferring he take the risk of the most dangerous position rather than his buddies, or his commander who was riding shotgun and is imminently expecting the birth of his first child.

His mother Shawna is one of my favorite people and an inspiration unmatched by any other. At her request to hold Ryan's company up in prayer, I wrote them the following note.

I thought I'd share this with you all, and if you know a soldier, please send the note to them for me, because it's for them too.

There is a caterpillar in my refrigerator. It's hibernating there at the request of my 3 1/2 year old son.

I made Brownies, and he took his hot wheels jeep "muddin" through the batter when I wasn't looking. He recently "cleaned" himself with the last vestiges of the perfume I wore on my wedding day, and he has secretly been using the catbox instead of the potty.

His favorite toy is a 99 cent catnip mouse he calls Scabbers, and he thinks his 10 month old sister's pigtails make her look like Shrek.

He perpetually asks for chocolate milk, to have pancakes for dinner, and if he can go to disneyland for just a minute.

He's ruined my best lipsticks and he cut his lip with my razor trying to shave like Dad.

I misplaced $150 only to find the cash stuffed into his piggy bank.

Thank you.

Thank you that the battles I face are with a 3 year old.

Thank you that the only Explosions I live through happen in my daughters diaper, and that the only land mines I worry about are the ones the dog leaves too close to the slide.

Thank you for my petty problems and my trivial troubles.

Thank you that Bambi's mother is as much of death as my children have seen.

Thank you for keeping the war out of my backyard so the neighborhood kids can play there instead.

And thank you for all you do to help restore peace to the mothers and joy to the children in Iraq who have bigger concerns in their world than the poop that concerns mine.

Thank you that one of the sweetest, bravest, and most brilliant boys in all the world, and his beautiful sister, princess Shrek, are growing up in the peace you are paying for, back home in Portland Oregon, USA.

My Husband will be a Pall bearer for Ryan Hill at his memorial service.

I saw Ryan off at the Airport when he left home, and I'll see him at the airport when he comes home. And I'll thank him, as I do you, for picking up the tab for my freedom, I hadn't realized I had run up such an expensive bill.

We Love you all. God bless you all. We're praying for you all.

Amy B.


Amy wrote this letter and sent it out to the people she knew.
I'm her very proud father. And I'm honored to send it on to you.
Thank you for your selfless service to America.

William M. (Amy's father)


William says that Amy is 'truly world class.' I agree. Amy, thank you for saying it so clearly, and for supporting our Heroes.

NEW SCHOOLS — Staff Sgt. Riley Smallwood, a native of Griffen, Ga., plays with young children Jan. 15 outside the newest girls and boys school in Mushadhidah, Iraq. Smallwood was one of several soldiers who visited the schools to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and to deliver school supplies to the students. U.S. Army courtesy photo Story

In Today's News - Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Quote of the Day
"We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free,
and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in."

-- Thomas Paine

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Petraeus Predicts Tough Days For Iraq
5 Americans killed in Iraq copter crash Blog: Night Patrol in Iraq
Insurgents Shot Down U.S. Chopper
Transition of Authority Ceremony Marks Progress of Iraqi Battalion

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Israeli President Could Face Rape Charge- Gaza Gunmen Claim Links to Al Qaeda
Deadly Clashes Rock Lebanon - PHOTOS
Hezbollah-Led Strike Leads to Deadly Clashes Across Lebanon
Protests paralyze Lebanon, 3 killed - Video
Group Plans 'Terror-Free' Gas Station
9/11 Tourism Drop Cost $15B, 200,000 Jobs
Mexico Holding 11 Iraqis With Fake Papers
Thwarted Al Qaeda in Iraq Plot Would Have Smuggled Terrorists Into United States on Student Visas
9/11 kin launch ads to protest memorial
New passport rules cause few glitches

Supporting Our Heroes (Or Not)
GIs in Iraq Get Their Mats After Insult - VIDEO

Other Military News
Tokyo to seek U.S. military help if quake hits: paper
Marines Rate the Gear of War

Worldwide Wackos
Ahmadinejad: America Is Incapable of Inflicting 'Serious Damage' on Iran
Iran says "wise" Americans will bar any attack
North Korea shows flexibility on nuclear talks: Seoul

Homegrown Moonbats
Carter: Book has prompted discussion

Politics / Government
Bush Urges Bipartisan Agenda in State of the Union - VIDEO - TRANSCRIPT - PHOTO ESSAY
RAW DATA: State of the Union Policy Initiatives Book (pdf)
Dems Blast Bush's Iraq Policy - VIDEO - TRANSCRIPT
Crowd Full of Wannabes
Lawyers: Libby Meant to Be Rove's Fall Guy
Watergate Plotter E. Howard Hunt Dies at 88
Israeli President to Be Indicted on Rape, Abuse of Power Charges
China confirms satellite test, says no threat

Immigration / Border Control
761 Illegals Rounded Up in SoCal
Ex-Border Agents Await Word of Bush Pardon
U.S. immigration swoop targets criminal aliens

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment
Indiana Mom, 4 Kids Found; Suspect Arrested
Murder charges "hogwash" Pickton said
Family of 5 Found Executed in Torched House in Upstate New York Suburb
Palestinians beaten at Guilford College
DNA tests clear men in Georgia, New York
Texas co-ed killer wins reprieve
Killer convicted after blaming daughter

U.N. News
U.S. introduces U.N. resolution on Holocaust deniers

Science / Nature
Australian Diver Stabs Great White in Head With Chisel to Free Self From Jaws
Facing global warming, are people like frogs?
Biggest threat to U.S. drinking water? Rust
Small feathered dinosaur glided with biplane wings
Japanese marine park captures rare shark on film
Rome's Palatine Hill shows new treasures

Psychologist Meets With 'Jungle Girl' - PHOTOS
Tijuana Police Have Guns Confiscated, Issued Slingshots
Mummified Baby Found Inside Florida Storage Unit
Taxi ride in China: the spitting image
Snake charmers hold council for survival

Fox News
Feds Nab Suspect in L.A. Mercury Spill
Sundance Sales Go Wild; First Review of Dakota Fanning Movie 'Hounddog'
Oakland Raiders Hire Youngest NFL Head Coach of Modern Era
'Dreamgirls' Gets Leading Eight Oscar Nominations, Shut Out for Best Picture

Reuters: Top News
Louisiana governor seeks Katrina probe after comments
Japanese toy firms look to adults
Yahoo says ad system on track for early release
Study finds mental stimulation combats Alzheimer's
Two flu shots needed to protect young children
Studio's gambles pay off for DiCaprio, Eastwood
Oil just below $55 after jump on U.S. reserves build
Indices rise as oil jumps
Sun, RF Micro rise after beating estimates
AMD falls after posting loss
Gold near 7-week high, silver and platinum jump
It's unanimous: No $70 oil
Weak cable connection for 2007
Yahoo profit drops, but new ad system buoys hopes
Sun Microsystems turns profit after 5 qtrs in red
AMD falls after posting loss
News Corp joins Chandlers' bid for Tribune
Xerox profit beats street, revenue woes hurt stock
Williams-Sonoma denies it has hired Goldman

AP World News
Paris Hilton's private items on Internet
Yahoo's 4Q profit tops analyst views
Sharapova, Clijsters advance to semis
Suns of the East? Phoenix thumps Wizards
Inconsistency dooms Casey with Wolves
8 arrests in 1971 police killing in S.F.
'Borat' improv script lands Oscar nom
Sun returns to black after years in red
Study: H.S. football players overweight
Lil' Oscars: Breslin, 10, wins nom
Race for best-picture Oscar remains open
Paper: Scribe properly ID'd herself
DT: Navy's Deadly New Darts
Op-ed: Worth Dying For
Wanna Be a Blue Angel?
Kit Up! The Stuff Beyond Standard Issue

CENTCOM: News Releases

Department of Defense
Petraeus Supports Troop Increase in Confirmation Hearing - Story
Stability & Security in Iraq Report (pdf)
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

U.S. Soldiers Help Open Schools in Mushahidah - Story
Iraqi Soldiers Receive Leadership Training - Story
Dark Horse Keeps Watchful Eye Over Base - Story
Stryker Force Ready to Respond to Threats - Story
Mobile Surgical Unit Exercises Muscles - Story

School Supplies Bring Smiles to Children
82nd Airborne Steps Up Security in Baghdad
Transition Team Braves Attacks to Train Police
Defense Secretary Praises Coalition Partners
'Providers' Give Iraqi Soldiers Tools for Missions
Cav Soldiers Help Iraqis Open New Schools
Training Teams Teach Iraqis to Run Operations
Married Couple Dedicated to Serving in Iraq

Volunteers Spark Warmth at Burn Center
U.S. Air Assets Support Strike in Afghanistan

Marine Trains U.S. Embassy Troops in Djibouti

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

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Baler Radar Site Catanduanes Radar Site Manila

South Korea
Cheju Upper/Radar Chonju Chunchon Inch'on Kunsan Masan Mokp'o
Osan Pusan Seoul Suwon Taegu Taejon Tonghae Radar Site Ulsan Yosu

* If you're deployed, and want to see your location's weather listed here, please email me! *

Today in History
0772 - Stephen III ends his reign as Catholic Pope
0817 - St Paschal I begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Stephen IV
1076 - Synod of Worms German King Henry IV fires Pope Gregory VII
1118 - Giovanni Caetani elected Pope Gelasius II
1328 - King Edward III of England marries Philippa of Henegouwen
1458 - Matthias I Corvinus chosen king of Hungary
1534 - François I signs classified treaty with evangelical German monarchy
1568 - In the Netherlands, Duke of Alva declares William of Orange an outlaw
1616 - Jacques Le Maire discovers Street Lemaire/Cape Receiver
1634 - Emperor Ferdinand II declares Albrecht von Wallenstein a traitor
1639 - Connecticut colony organizes under Fundamental Orders
1644 - Battle at Nantwich Cheshire Parliamentary armies win
1652 - Duke of Orléans joins Fronde rebels
1656 - 1st Jewish doctor in US, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland
1679 - King Charles II disbands English parliament
1722 - Czar Peter the Great begins civil system
1742 - German leaders elect Charles VII Albert Emperor
1764 - Governor Winthrop Telescope, is destroyed in a Harvard fire
1839 - Charles Darwin elected member of Royal Society
1847 - 1,500 New Mexican Indians & Mexicans defeated by US Colonel Price
1848 - James Marshall finds gold in Sutter's Mill in Coloma CA
1861 - Arsenal at Augusta GA seized by Confederacy; Federal troops from Fort Monroe are sent to Fort Pikens
1862 - Romania principality arises under King Alexander Cuza
1874 - General J van Swieten conquers Kraton Atjeh, after 1000's die
1892 - Battle at Mengo, Uganda French missionaries attack British missionaries
1899 - Rubber heel patented by Humphrey O'Sullivan
1900 - Battle at Tugela-Spionkop, South Africa (Boers vs British army)
1901 - Emily Hobhouse views Lord Kitchener's concentration camp at Bloemfontein
1902 - Denmark sells Virgin Islands to USA
1908 - General Baden-Powell starts Boy-Scouts
1915 - German-British sea battle at Doggersbank & Helgoland
1922 - Lehman Caves National Monument established
1923 - Aztec Ruins National Monument, New Mexico established
1924 - Mussolini disallows non-fascists work union; Russian city of St Petersburg renamed Leningrad
1925 - Moving picture of a solar eclipse taken from dirigible over Long Island; Sandler follows Branting as premier of Sweden
1935 - 1st canned beer, "Krueger Cream Ale", is sold by Kruger Brewing Co in Richmond VA
1939 - 30,000 killed by earthquake in Concepcion Chile; Spanish government moves to Figueras
1941 - British troops march into Abyssinia
1943 - Hitler orders nazi troops at Stalingrad to fight to death; Jewish patients/nurses/doctors incinerated at Auschwitz-Birkenau
1944 - Allied troops occupy Nettuno Italy
1945 - Scottish 52nd Lowland division occupies Heinsberg
1948 - Dutch Liberal Party forms-People's party for Freedom & Democracy (VVD)
1951 - Dutch government Drees-van Schaik resigns
1952 - Fire in main building of French Port Martin Antarctic base
1958 - After warming to 100,000,000º, 2 light atoms are bashed together to create a heavier atom, resulting in 1st man-made nuclear fusion
1962 - 28 refugees escape from East to West Germany; Jackie Robinson is 1st Black elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
1964 - Martin Kresses final comic strip of Eric the Viking
1969 - Spanish General Franco announces state of emergency
1977 - 5 lawyers murdered by fascist in Madrid
1978 - Carter Executive Order on Intelligence (#12036)
1985 - 15th Space Shuttle (51-C) Mission-Discovery 3 is launched
1986 - Voyager 2 makes 1st fly-by of Uranus (81,593 km), finds new moons
1990 - Japanese MUSES-A (Hiten) launched towards moon
1993 - Polish ferry boat John Heweliusz sinks, 52 killed; Soyuz TM-16 launches

0076 - Publius A. Hadrianus, 14th Roman Emperor (117-138)
1712 - Frederick II (the Great), King of Prussia (1740-86)
1800 - Sir Edwin Chadwick, British social reformer
1820 - John Milton Thayer, Union Brevet Major General
1828 - Adam Jacoby Slemmer, Union Brigadier General
1832 - John Pegram, Confederate Brigadier General
1888 - Ernst Heinrich Heinkel,German inventor (1st rocket-powered aircraft)
1891 - Walter Model,German field marshal
1895 - Hans Fischböck, Austrian Finance minister (Nazi-occupied Holland)
1907 - Maurice Couve de Murville, French Premier (1968-69)
1913 - Mark Goodson, TV game-show producer (Goodson-Toddman)
1921 - Bernard J. Dwyer (Representative-NJ)
1924 - Robert W. Kastenmeier (Representative-WI)
1927 - Paula Hawkins (Senator-FL, 1981-86)
1931 - Kees Zÿlstra, Dutch MP (PvdA)
1940 - Flip Buurmeijer, Dutch MP (PvdA)
1946 - John Harrison, South African correspondent (BBC)
1948 - Elliott Abrams, Assistant Secretary of State/supplied arms to the Contras
1949 - John Belushi, comedian/actor (SNL, Blues Brothers); Bart Gordon (Representative-TN)
1952 - William F. Readdy, astronaut (STS 42, 51, 79)
1961 - Krasimir Mikhailov Stoyanov, cosmonaut

0041 - Caligula (G.C. Germanicus], Roman emperor (37-41), assassinated at 28
0661 - Ali ibn Abu Talib, Kalif of Islam (656-61), murdered
0772 - Stefanus III/IV, Pope (768-72)
0817 - Stefanus IV [V/Colonna], pope (816-17)
1336 - Alfonso IV the Benignant, King of Aragon (1327-36), dies at 36
1547 - Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, executed for treason
1678 - Joan Maetsuyker, Governor-General of Netherlands East-Indies, dies at 72
1862 - James McIntosh, Confederate Brigadier General, dies in battle at about 33
1864 - Stephen Gardner Champlin, Union Brigadier General, dies at about 36
1943 - John Burns, English minister of Local Government (1905-14), dies
1953 - (Karl R) Gerd von Rundstedt, General-field marshal (Normandy), dies at 77
1965 - Winston Churchill, PM of Britain (C) (1940-45, 51-55), dies at 90
1989 - Ted Bundy, serial killer of up to 100 women, executed in Florida at 42
1993 - Thurgood Marshall, 1st Black Supreme Court Justice (1967-91), dies 84
1995 - Wim H. Sinnige, Amsterdam PvdA alderman of Finance, dies at 60

Reported Missing in Action

Booze, Delmar G., USMC (NE); F4B shot down (navigator/bombardier, w/Sprick, same incident as Pitt and Helber)

Helber, Lawrence N., USMC (OH); F4B shot down (navigator, w/ Pitt - different plane, but same incident as Booze)

Pitt, Albert, USMC (NY); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Helber, same incident as Booze and Sprick)

Sprick, Doyle R., USMC (NM); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Booze - same incident as Pitt and Helber)

Simpson, Max C., US Army (NM); drowned while swimming, body not recovered