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Friday, February 23, 2007

Today Belongs to the Marines

February 23, 1999

He was only 17 when, in 1959, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. While stationed in Hawaii with Company E of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, he won the Pacific Division Rifle Championship. He set the Marine Corps record on the "A" Course at Chrry Point with 248 out of a possible 250 points, and won the Wimbledon cup by out-shooting more than 3000 other servicemen in competition in 1965.

As impressive as his competitive shooting was, though, Gy Sgt. Hathcock was not a showpiece. He was a true Marine, and proved it in service in Vietnam. He joined the new sniper program, and went to work on Hill 55, southwest of Da Nang. He and his fellow snipers took such a toll on the enemy that the NVA put a $30,000 price on the head of the man they called Long Tra'ng - white feather, for the item he wore in his hat to taunt his enemies.

Hathcock made good on his words - "one kill." He was involved in a number of covert ops, in some cases accepting assignments he was given a very small chance of living through. Hathcock was responsible for the swift and sure demise of a French interrogator who worked for the North Vietnamese - torturing captured American Airmen. He took out one North Vietnamese general from 800 yards away.

One enemy sniper learned the hard way exactly how good Hathcock was. After a long "cat and mouse" session, Hathcock, with the help of his spotter, shot the enemy sniper from 500 yards away, the bullet going right up through the scope of the enemy's rifle.

Unbelievably, one of Hathcock's kills involved a shot from a scope-mounted Browning M-2 .50 caliber machine gun at a staggering 2500 yards! It stood as the record for a combat kill until 2002, when it was broken by a Canadian sniper team led by Master Corporal Arron Perry of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Perry's shot was from a distance of 2,430 meters from a McMillan Long-Range Sniper Weapon - it took out a Taliban fighter during Operation Anaconda.

It wasn't just Hathcock's shooting, though, that made him so highly regarded among his fellow Marines. In 1969, when the Amphibious Tractor he was riding in ran over an anti-tank mine, he was severely burned rescuing his brothers. He pulled seven from the flames before jumping to safety. His injuries were devastating - severe burns over ninety percent of his body (forty nine percent were third-degree burns).

And yet, even that did not take him from the Corps. Though he could not effectively return to combat, neither did he disappear. He instead devoted his energies to helping establish a scout and sniper school at Quantico. Sadly, it would be Multiple Sclerosis that eventually separated Hathcock from his beloved Marines - just 55 days shy of the 20 years of service that would have earned him full retirement pay.

Inexplicably, Hathcock was never honored with an award so many believe he truly earned - the (Congressional) Medal of Honor. A humble Hero, Hathcock did not seek commendation from his superiors - typical of the truly noble.

Though he eventually lost his battle with Multiple Sclerosis at 0630 on February 23, 1999, he remains to this day the ideal of the Marine Corps Hero.

Links for information about GySgt Hathcock:
Sniper Central
Sgt Grit
US Marine Corps News
Carlos Hathcock Award
Carlos Hathcock Tribute Page

If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

Heaven is well guarded indeed.

GySgt. Hathcock is there, his white feather softly waving, on a hill keeping watch.

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February 23, 1945

"...Marines on the ground, still engaged in combat, raised a spontaneous yell when they saw the flag. Screaming and cheering so loud and prolonged that we could hear it quite clearly on top of Suribachi..."

On this day in 1945, a flag was raised over Mt. Suribachi.

This is the picture that most of us know:

As you may know, the picture above was a second flag.

The controversy surrounding the "staged" photo (which wasn't) has unfortunately obscured, at times, the unfailing bravery displayed on that day.

It is the same every day when our heroes are in battle.

In tribute to these brave men, here is a photo of the first flag raising
More US Marines earned the Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima
than in any other battle in US History.

The battle lasted 36 days.

By the time it was all over, there had been 25,851 U.S. casualties.

1 in 3 troops engaged were killed or wounded.

6,825 American lives were lost.

Virtually all 22,000 Japanese were killed.

You can find some information on this historic battle at:

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U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bob Weigold walks his explosive detection dog, Timo, along the perimeter of the base, Feb. 22, 2007, in Southwest Asia. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Frank Hatcher

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In Today's News - Friday, February 23, 2007

Quote of the Day
Semper Fidelis (Always faithful)
-- US Marine Corps Motto

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Al Qaeda in Iraq Vows Revenge for 'Rape'- Iraq 'Dirty Bomb' Factory Raided
Iraqis eke out living in Baghdad rubbish dump Blog: An Update on Iraq's Provinces

Operation Enduring Freedom
Britain to send extra troops to Afghanistan: report (So everybody just cut the Brits some slack, OK?)
Father, Son Paratroopers Serve in Afghanistan - Story

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Doctors call Padilla unfit for terrorism trial
Somali leader to hold reconciliation conference
U.S. to exempt kids from passport rules

Other Military News
Army struggles to shorten Guard tours Podcast: Inside Walter Reed Hospital

Religion of Peace??
Egyptian Court Sentences Blogger Charged With Insulting Islam to 4 Years in Prison
Report: Iran Plans Women-Only Island

Worldwide Wackos
Iran Fails to Meet Deadline on Nukes (Is ANYONE surprised by this??)
North Korea accuses United States of hostility, lies
Cheney raises concerns about China, NKorea deal - Video

Politics / Government
Pelosi Calls Bush to Complain of Cheney's Comments on Democrats' Iraq Strategy (Oh, boo flippin' hoo, Nancy)
Report: Dems Drafting Bill to Limit Iraq Effort (But you're not doing something Al Qaeda's going to be happy about...)
Ind. Candidate in Hot Water Over Comments
Cheney issues rallying call not to abandon Iraq
Clinton's Iraq vote haunts her on campaign trail - Video
Prodi aims to stay on after winning allies' backing - Video
Bush touts energy plan in North Carolina

Immigration / Border Control
Credit for Illegals? Bank On It! (Bank of 'America,' my eye)

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Scores Gets Stripped of Liquor License Over Prostitution Arrests
Cops: Principal Bought Crack in School Office
Man charged over string of British letter bombs

U.N. News
South Korean gets five years in oil-for-food case

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Second Iraq 'Mystery Weapon' More 'Nefarious' Than the First
Couple's Nasty 'Breakup' a Hit on YouTube

Science / Medicine / Technology
Hypersonic Rocket Would Take You From London to New York in Less Than Two Hours
Experts doubt Clovis people were first in Americas
Medieval Muslims made stunning math breakthrough
U.S., Russian astronauts go on spacewalk
Studies: Circumcision reduces HIV risk

Mother Nature
Killer Chimps Make Spears, Hunt Bushbabies
Indonesia eyes cement balls to stop mud

Ash Wednesday Mass Interrupted by Porno Recordings (What's with the porn stories lately??)
Thief gets F in planning and driving
Two clowns shot dead at circus
N.Y. cops find stomach-churning squalor

Other News of Note
Dad Outraged Over 'Anti-Muslim' Text

Fox News
Rest in Peace - Anna Nicole judge gives custody of body to baby
VIDEO: Key Players React to Anna Nicole Ruling
No Dough, No 'Cotton Eye Joe'
PHOTO ESSAY: Indonesia Ferry Blaze - STORY
Former NBA Star Dennis Johnson Dead at 52
Britney Spears Back in Rehab; Spears' Dad Talks to FOX (It's like the Rehab hokey pokey - you put the poptart in, you take the poptart out...)
Rooting for the Underdog on 'American Idol'
Google Takes On Microsoft With Subscription-Based Office Suite

Reuters: Top News
Microsoft hit with $1.52 billion damages
U.S. airlines pledge to review service plans
Massachusetts spurs health-care debate
Kids shovel down more calories watching TV
China praised by researchers for its AIDS efforts
DeGeneres brings gentler tone to Oscars as host - Video
Australia extends record run, others pause
Sanyo stock tumbles
Dow down as oil nears $61
Oil jumps to $61 on drop in inventories
Chip stocks up on Analog Devices
Petrodollar flows into dollar to ebb
Stock bulls rage globally
Australia's Coles up for sale, shares surge
Siemens deal for UGS gets U.S. antitrust approval
H&R Block posts Q3 loss on mortgage woes
Judge refuses harsh sentence for ex-HealthSouth CFO
Chrysler: Sale decision may take months

AP World News
Sabres, Senators touch off wild brawl
Tiger easily advances at Match Play
'Grey's Anatomy' fans could see double
Toll Brothers 1Q profit falls 67 percent
Dow down 52, Nasdaq up 7 on Iran worries
Roger Clemens no closer to decision
Jobless claims fall last week to 332,000
Heat's Dwayne Wade dislocates shoulder
Steroid investigators will go to camps
First Step in GI Bill Reform
DT: Please . . . Like Us, Euro-people
Learn to Use Your GI Bill
Web's Best Military Equipment Guide
World's Largest Veteran Job Board

CENTCOM: Press Releases

USJFCOM partners with ACT to sponsor NATO urban workshop - podcast
USJFCOM partners with ACT to sponsor NATO urban workshop - podcast
JPADS continues to improve the way it delivers aerial drops to the warfighter - podcast

War on Terror
Security Operations Continue - Story
No Serious Injuries in Crash
Officials ID Casualties from Crash
Soldier, Marine Killed in Iraq
Missile Defenses Would Shield Against Iran - Story
Cheney Praises Troop Efforts in Guam - Story
Walter Reed Puts ‘Full-Court Press’ on Repairs - Story
Army Upgrades Its Electronic Warfare Training - Story
Diversity, Equality Programs Strengthen Military - Story

More Headline News
DoD Salutes African-American Servicemembers
Cheney Thanks Japan for Support, Lauds Troops
Chairman Answers Students' Tough Questions
Nation Safer Now Than Before 9/11 Attacks

Military News
Complex Iraq Situation Requires Patience
General Discusses Use of Chlorine Bombs
Behavioral Health Specialists Ease Troops’ Minds
Guard Soldier Earns Distinguished Service Cross

America Supports You
Vets Get Chance to Make Dough - Story
‘Quad-A’ Helps Families
Businesses Aim to Hire Vets
Foundation Helps Wounded

Iraqi Riverine Assault Company Brings New Strategy to River - Story
Training Becomes More Realistic
Propane Plant Fuels Alternatives
New Program Encourages Savings
U.S., Peruvian Air Forces Train

Face of Defense
Father, Son Serve in Afghanistan - Story
Soldier Returns to Defend Title
Volunteer Leads With Passion
Soldier Survives Sniper's Bullet

Security Operations Continue; Baqubah Police Official Detained - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

U.S. Army Instructor Proud of Iraqi Trainees - Story
Troops Employ Concrete Solution in Baghdad - Story
'Black Falcons' Put Boots on the Ground - Story

U.S. Marines, Sailors Help Clean Up Local School

'Ironhorse' Soldiers Learn to Airlift Equipment
Paratroopers Seek to Build Ties with Leaders
New Pump Station Improves Quality of Life

Deployed Servicemembers Become U.S. Citizens

Desert Hawk Takes Command of Aviation Ops
Six Villages in Kandahar Get New Water Wells

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
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
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

Today in History
- Emperor Diocletian orders general persecution of Christians
1455 - Johannes Gutenberg prints 1st book, the Bible (estimated date)
1574 - France begins 5th Holy War against Huguenots
1660 - Charles XI becomes King of Sweden
1668 - Fire in Wiener Hofburg in Vienna, emperor Leopold I rescued
1689 - Dutch prince William III proclaimed King of England
1778 - Baron von Steuben joins the Continental Army at Valley Forge
1792 - Humane Society of Massachusetts incorporated (erected life-saving stations for distressed mariners)
1813 - 1st US raw cotton-to-cloth mill founded in Waltham MA
1820 - Cato Street conspiracy uncovered
1822 - Boston is incorporated as a city
1836 - Alamo besieged by Santa Anna; entire garrison eventually killed
1846 - Polish revolutionaries march on Cracow, but are defeated
1847 - Battle of Buena Vista, México - Zachary Taylor defeats Mexicans
1852 - H.M.S. Birkenhead sinks off South Africa, killing 420 troops
1854 - Great Britain & Orange Free State sign Convention of Bloemfontein
1861 - By popular referendum, Texas becomes 7th state to secede from US; Dutch Premier Floris A van Hall resigns; President-elect Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, DC to take office
1869 - Louisiana governor signs public accommodations law
1870 - Mississippi is re-admitted to US
1874 - Major Walter Winfield patents game called "sphairistike" (lawn tennis)
1883 - Alabama becomes 1st US state to enact an antitrust law
1886 - Aluminum manufacturing process developed; "London Times" publishes world's 1st classified ad
1887 - Congress grants Seal Rocks to San Francisco; French/Italian Riviera struck by Earthquake; 2,000 die
1895 - William Heard, AME minister & educator, named minister to Liberia
1896 - Tootsie Roll introduced by Leo Hirshfield
1898 - In France, Emile Zola is imprisoned for writing his "J'accuse" letter accusing government of anti-Semitism & wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus
1900 - Steamer Rio de Janeiro sinks in San Francisco Bay; Battle at Hart's Hill, South-Africa (Boers vs British army)
1903 - Cuban state of Guantanamo leased to USA
1904 - Control of Panamá Canal Zone acquired by US for $10 million
1905 - Rotary Club International established by 4 men in Chicago
1909 - Russian tsar Nicolas II dissolves Finnish Diet
1915 - Germany sinks US ships Carib & Evelyn, torpedoes Norwegian ship Regin; Nevada enforces convenient divorce law
1916 - Congress authorizes McKinley Memorial $1 gold coin; French artillery kills entire French 72nd division at Samogneux Verdun
1917 - February revolution begins in Russia
1919 - Benito Mussolini founds the Facist party of Italy
1921 - 1st US transcontinental air mail flight arrives in New York NY from San Francisco CA
1923 - Great Britain lowers import duty on German products from 26% to 5%
1927 - President Coolidge creates Federal Radio Commission (FCC predecessor)
1934 - Coronation of King Leopold III of Belgium
1936 - 1st rocket air mail flight, Greenwood Lake NY
1940 - Russian troops conquer Lasi Island
1943 - General-Major Bradley arrives in Dakar & Marrakesh
1945 - US Marines raise flag on Iwo Jima; 2nd Dutch government of Gerbrandy forms in London; Canadian troops occupy Kalkar; Operation Grenade General Simpson's 9th Army crosses Ruhr
1947 - General Eisenhower opens drive to raise $170 million in aid for European Jews
1954 - Syrian army drives out President Adib el-Shishakli
1955 - Edgar Faure forms French government
1956 - 20th Congress of CPSU closes in Moscow; Russian party leader Khrushchev attacks memory of Stalin
1958 - 5-time world driving champion Juan Fangio kidnapped by Cuban rebels
1958 - Arturo Frondizi elected President of Argentina
1966 - Aldo Moro forms Italian government; Military coup in Syria ends Bitar government
1966 - Premier Obote grabs power in Uganda
1967 - 25th amendment (Presidential succession) declared ratified
1967 - US troops begin largest offensive of Vietnam War
1969 - Nayif Hawatimah forms Democratic People's Front for Liberation of Palestine
1970 - Guyana becomes a republic (National Day)
1971 - Lieutenant Calley confesses & implicates Captain Medina in the My Lai investigation
1979 - Frank Peterson, Jr., named 1st Black General in Marine Corps
1980 - Eric Heiden wins all 5 speed skating golds at Lake Placid Olympics; Oil tanker explosion off Pilos, Greece, causes 37-million-gallon spill; 13th Winter Olympics games close at Lake Placid, NY
1981 - Spanish coup under Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina fails
1985 - US Senate confirms Edwin Meese III as Attorney General
1987 - Supernova 1987A in LMC 1st seen; 1st naked-eye supernova since 1604
1988 - 15th Winter Olympics games opens in Calgary, Alberta
1991 - US insists Iraq publicly announce it is leaving Kuwait by 12 PM EST; Military coup in Thailand, Premier Choonhaven arrested
1992 - 16th Winter Olympics games close in Albertville, France
1995 - Antoine Nduwayo appointed Premier of Burundi
1997 - Ali Abu Kamal opens fire in Empire State Building killing 1; NBC TV shows "Schindler's List", completely uncensored, 65 million watch; Scientists in Scotland announced they succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named "Dolly"
1998 - Supreme Court lets Megan's Law stand; Tornadoes in Florida kill at least 31

1417 - Paul II (Pietro Barbo), Pope (1464-71)
1614 - Jacob Colijn(s) Dutch coat of arms painter
1633 - Samuel Pepys, English navy expert/composer (Diary, Memoirs)
1776 - John Walter II, chief proprietor (The London Times, 1812-47)
1818 - Major General Jeremy F. Gilmer, General/Chief Engineer, Confederate War Department
1824 - Lewis Cass Hunt, Union Brigadier General
1834 - Gustav Hermann Nachtigal, German physician/colonizer/consul in Tunisia
1838 - Gilbert Moxley Sorrel, Confederate Brigadier General
1859 - Theodor Batthyányi, Hungarian statesman/contra revolutionary
1869 - Nadezhda Konstantinova Krupskaya, Russian revolutionary (Social-Democrat)
1874 - Konstantin Päts, Estonian PM (1921-23, 1932-33), dictator (1933-40)
1875 - Jozef E. Stokvis journalist/Dutch MP (SDAP)
1883 - Victor Fleming, director (Wizard of Oz, Gone With Wind)
1886 - Ventura García Calderón Peruvian diplomat/author
1908 - Sir William McMahon, PM of Australia (Liberal) (1971-72)
1911 - G. Mennen Williams, Sup Court Justice/(Governor-MI)
1925 - Louis Stokes (Representative-OH)
1928 - Vasily Grigoryevich Lazarev, cosmonaut (Soyuz 12, 18A)
1942 - Beau Boulter (Representative-TX)
1944 - James Cousins, British MP
1949 - Marc Garneau, PhD/astronaut (STS 13, 77); Maureen Hicks, British MP
1960 - Gloria von Thurm un Taxis Munich, German Federal Republic, Princess

0155 - Polycarp, disciple of Apostle John, arrested & burned at stake
1447 - Eugene IV (Gabriele Condulmer), Italian Pope (1431-47)
1607 - Herman Herbertsz vicar, dies at about 60
1660 - Charles X Gustaaf, King of Sweden (1654-60), dies at 37
1718 - François Fagel, Dutch field marshal/mayor of Nimegen, dies at 63
1766 - Stanislaw Leszcynski, Duke of Lutherans/king of Poland
1848 - John Quincy Adams, 6th US President (1825-1829), dies of a stroke at 80
1915 - Robert Smalls, Reconstruction congressman, dies at 75 in South Carolina
1922 - Henri Landru executed for having 11 wives, in France
1924 - Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th US President (1913-21)
1945 - Aubrey Cousins, Canadian sergeant (Victoria Cross), dies in battle
1969 - Abd al-Aziz Abd al-Rahman al-Faisal al-Saud King Saudia, dies at 67
1990 - Annelien Kappeyne van de Coppello, Dutch MP (Liberal), dies at 53; James Gavin, Commandant US 82nd Airborn Division (Normandy), dies at 82; Jose Napoleon Duarte, President of Salvador (1984-89), dies at 62
1995 - James Herriot Scot author (All Creatures Great & Small), dies at 78; Peter Guy Wykeham Fighter Pilot-Barnes dies at 79
1999 - Carlos Hathcock, legendary Marine

Reported Missing in Action
Donald, Myron L., USAF (NY); F4D shot down (w/Gutterson), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Gutterson, Laird, USAF (CA); F4D shot down (w/Donald), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998
**Missions: Vietnam - 35 in C-130 prior to F-4D, WWII - Flight Officer B-25 qualified, Korea - 60 missions F-51, F-86 qualified**

Hubler, George L., USMC (UT); F8E shot down

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