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

Monday, July 09, 2007

DONATION — U.S. Army Cpl. Christopher LeRoy (right), of the 932nd Blood Support Detachment, monitors the progress of Sgt. Jennifer Skebong, of the 583rd Medlog Company, as she gives blood at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, July 4, 2007. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dilia DeGrego

Labels: , , , , , ,

When War Hits Close to Home...

Brookfield, CT is a not-so-small, not-so-big town near Danbury, in Fairfield county. When I grew up there, Hoffman's chicken farm was the biggest building on my end of Route 7, and it took you about ten minutes to get from the house I grew up in to the only movie theater in town - right next to John's Best Pizza. Hoffman's chicken farm is long gone, replaced with self storage centers and industrial buildings.

The farm where I first took horseback riding lessons is now the site of the town hall. The field we used to walk through in my neighborhood to get to the local fishing and swimming pond now is filled with a new housing development.

When I grew up there, Brookfield was a lot smaller - or seemed it. It was a place where you pretty much knew everyone in your grade in school; where people still left their doors unlocked at night, and no one locked their cars in their driveways. Brookfield is the place where I learned to ride a bike - where I got my first kiss - where I learned to drive a car - where I got my first job.

It was a nice place to grow up. It's still a pretty nice town, even if it now takes you almost a half an hour to make the trip to that movie theater, thanks to a wealth of new strip malls and stop lights.

Jason Dale Lewis grew up there.

Brookfield is still listed as his hometown:

No. 840-07July 07, 2007

DoD Identifies Navy Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three sailors who were
supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died July 6 as a result of enemy action
while conducting combat operations in the vicinity of Baghdad, Iraq. The three
sailors were assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team.

Killed were:
Petty Officer First Class Jason Dale Lewis, 30, of Brookfield, Conn.,

Petty Officer First Class Robert Richard McRill, 42, of Lake Placid, Fla.,

Petty Officer First Class Steven Phillip Daugherty, 28, of Barstow, Calif.

For further information related to this release, contact Naval Special Warfare Group Two Public Affairs at 757-462-2282.

I didn't know him. But I know his hometown well. I know the places where he and his friends probably hung out after school and on the weekends. I know the halls of the schools where he once walked. I know the roads he probably drove down too fast because of the great curves and "whoop-dee-doos" you got if you went just the right speed.

I know the pond he probably went skating on as a kid.

I asked my sister if she knew him. He was her age. She did.

"I wasn't friends with him but you know how in Brookfield you pretty much
know everyone - he was a nice kid. I feel bad for his wife and kids,
I was surprised to read that he had 3, they must be young."

This one hits close to home. Each day as I see the names, it affects me. But somehow this one is particularly strong. I remember my mother talking about when someone she went to school with was lost in Vietnam. Even if you're not close to them, seeing a familiar town on a casualty list reminds you that the people fighting this war are not just Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, or Sailors. They're sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters, friends. They are ours. They are your paperboy, the kid who used to sell lemonade down the street, the little girl who fell off her bike in front of your house. They are your UPS guy, your brother's old girlfriend...or a 'nice kid,' who went to school with your sister.

One of the dangers as a war goes on is that it becomes less real, less personal. No matter what your belief about why we went, a few years into it, less and less people watch the news. Less and less people look up at the TV in the local watering hole when pictures of Soldiers flash across the screen.

Remember the first few names? The way that every single loss seemed incredibly important? And now, you hear the news reports, and it's just "in Iraq today, 4 US Soldiers were killed, bringing the total to..." The four get lost in the total. Just numbers.

But Jason wasn't a number. None of them are. Heroes to me, they're even more than that to those they leave behind. Hell, to them, they'd be heroes if they never went to war. They're Mom, or Dad, or a best friend...or a nice kid from Brookfield, CT.

Jason Dale Lewis died in Iraq on July 6. He leaves behind three kids, a wife, family, and friends. And he reminded me that every single loss hits close to home somewhere.

So tonight, please raise a glass, say a prayer, or pause a moment, for a nice kid from a nice town in Connecticut, who died in service to his country.

UPDATE: I am collecting condolence cards for Jason's family. If you would like to send one, please email me at

UPDATE 2: More on Jason can be found at the Danbury News-Times' website:

'An outstanding young man' Acquaintances recall native Brookfield Navy SEAL as funeral services are finalized

Editorial: In memory Jason Dale Lewis, a Navy SEAL


In Today's News - Monday, July 9, 2007

Quote of the Day
“The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinct Palestinian Movement which owes its loyalty to Allah, derives from Islam its way of life and strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine. Only under the shadow of Islam could the members of all regions coexist in safety and security for their lives, properties and rights. In the absence of Islam, conflict arises, oppression reigns, corruption is rampant and struggles and wars prevail.”
-- Hamas Charter 1988, Article 6

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
AP: Report to Say Iraqi Government Gets an 'F' - VIDEO
Al Qaeda Front Group in Iraq Threatens to Go to War With Iran
White House denies Iraq policy rethink - Video
Iraqis warn of civil war if U.S. troops withdraw - Video
White House: Withdrawal not an Option
Iraqi FM: Turkey massing 140,000 troops
Will Turkey invade northern Iraq?
Report: Wars cost US $12 billion a month (And it's a flippin' steal if it kills people like these scumbags)

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Pakistani Troops Storm Mosque After Failed Talks
4 Found Guilty in Plot to Bomb London Transit System
Hamas force returns lion stolen in Gaza
EU Med states call for Mideast peace conference - Video

Troops on Trial
Court-martial opens for Marine in Hamdania case

Other Military News
80-Year-Old Veteran Fights With Mugger at Hospital
Army misses recruiting goal again, raises worry
U.S. cruise missile defense said possible in 14 months
A Wounded Vet's Best Friend

Worldwide Wackos
Cuba assembly vote could clarify Castro future
Iran slowing down uranium enrichment work: ElBaradei

Homegrown Moonbats
Cindy Sheehan May Run Against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2008
Backstage at Live Earth
Live Earth draws lackluster TV ratings

Politics / Government
Leading By Example With Hot Lead (chortle)
Denver 7-Year-Old Also Had Dozens of Cuts, Bruises
Bush Claims Executive Privilege in Attorney Firings Probe
Senate rejects Brownback's concerns about judge
Senator's number on escort service list (Is anybody surprised by this??)
Deal reached to end Pa. budget impasse
Conyers asks Bush to explain Libby move

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Found Body 'Probably' Kelly Nolan
Florida Police Arrest Two Teens in Gang-Rape of Woman, Forcing Son to Participate
New Law Decriminalizes Some Teen Sex in Indiana
Wanted Sex Offender Caught in Denver
Elderly Woman Arrested in Clash Over Dry Lawn Calls Experience 'Nightmare'
Transcript: Astronaut Wanted to Reveal Love Triangle
Police Find Body in Search for Missing Madison, Wis., Student
Judge Bans Naked Billboard on NYC Church Building

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Report: Katie Couric Repeatedly Slapped 'CBS Evening News' Editor
Nielsen scraps Web page view rankings

Science / Medicine / Technology
China Probes 'Chelsea Clinton' Weight Loss Patch
Anti-Smoking Pill May Also Help Kick Drinking
Electronic health records don't lift care: study
Study finds smoking wards off Parkinson's disease
NASA set to send robot to dig on Martian surface - Video
Cows that burp less seen helping in climate fight
Apple plans cheaper, Nano-based phone: JP Morgan
Ford, So Cal Ed to test plug-in hybrids
Now China points finger at "fake" water
China turns back U.S. drink mix shipment: Xinhua
New PlayStation to go on sale in August
Obese survive heart attacks better

Mother Nature
'Cute Knut' Polar Bear Cub Goes Solo in Zoo Appearances
Unusually Cooperative Dog Adopts, Nurses Stray Kitten
Wildfires Rage Out West - VIDEO - PHOTO ESSAY
National Hurricane Center Changes Up Director
Dozens of wildfires ravage the West

Catholic School in Australia Agrees to Let Boy Named Hell Enroll
Man's smelly feet trigger police raid (my Dad's could do that...)
Missing staple lets murderers appeal

Other News of Note
Boeing Unveils First 787 Dreamliner
Sprint Hangs Up on High-Maintenance Customers (Sprint mobile sucks. Not surprised they chose this option, based on my experience with them. Lord knows they can't actually resolve issues, so I suppose this is their only option)

Fox News
Boy, 6, Drowns While Saving 3-Year-Old Sister
Man Allegedly Runs Over, Kills 12-Year-Old Babysitter
Pop Tarts: Jessica Alba Wants to See Boys in the Buff

Reuters: Top News
Colombian rebel leader found guilty of conspiracy
Chinese lawyers push for slavery crime change: paper
Dial R for Restroom if desperate but fearful
Springfield's across U.S. vie for Simpsons' debut
Lavigne fires back at plagiarism claims
Sprint up after report of SK Telecom's interest
Buybacks, earnings forecasts buoy indexes - Video
LaBranche may consider selling company -- source
Nikkei retreats, Honda, auto stocks down
J&J OKs $10 bln stock buyback plan, shares rise
DealTalk: KKR aims to take role of banks
Investment protectionism
China poised to approve 3 new stock funds
CME buy of CBOT easily approved by shareholders
Alcoa 2nd quarter profit slips; extends Alcan offer
U.S. image sinks, yet American goods keep selling
Lear accepts sweetened Icahn bid, Pzena not swayed
Danone offers $17 bln for food firm Numico
IMF board says nominations for top job open to all

AP World News
Beckham insists she's just a normal girl
Guerrero tops Rios to win Home Run Derby
Bonds not worried about summer agendas
Stevens fears impact of current probe
Haren, Peavy to start in All-Star game
Shareholders OK huge CBOT, Merc merger
Dow closes up 38 ahead of key earnings
Avril Lavigne denies plagiarism claim
Consumer borrowing jumps in May
Intel: New Chinese Submarine
Don't Just Read - Watch
Daily Shock: RPG Buffoonery
DT: Chiding the Chinook
Podcast: Military Insurance Made Easy Career Fair Coming to San Francisco on July 11th

CENTCOM: News Releases

USJFCOM, others to test Coalition Combat Identification capability during Bold Quest 07
More about CCID - podcast
USJFCOM Advanced Concept Development Demonstration named finalist for award - podcast
Exercise puts critical technology on trialCommand helps test new gun shot location system - podcast
Wood addresses joint warfare transformation at Transformation Warfare conference - podcast

Multi-National Force-Iraq
Coalition forces kill, detain terrorists
Soldier trades teaching for infantry life
Sustainment brigade hands off Q-West mission
‘Wolverines’ ready for anything on mission for Iraqi children
Air Cav pilots complete daring rescue
New Coalition Outpost opened in Ameriya
3-1 Cav. Soldiers complete Operation Safe Teach
Newscast – Air Force brings big guns to fight
Radiocast – Air Force provides air power, rescue helicopter
Two-day clearing operation in Mansour nets cache, community support

Gates Cancels Latin America Trip to Focus on Iraq
Admiral Takes Helm of U.S. Special Ops Command - Photos - Video - Transcript
Early Withdrawal Would Leave Iraq More Violent
China Slow to Pursue Ties With U.S. Military
Chairman Crosses Paths with Deploying Airmen

More Headline News
Team Plans to Tame Afghanistan’s ‘Valley of Fire’
'Arrowhead Ripper' Denies Terrorists Resources
Afghan, Coalition Forces Thwart Taliban Ambush

Military News
Army Medics' Quick Actions Save Airman
USNS Comfort Continues Mission in Panama
Video: Engineers Warn Residents About Flood
U.S., Thai Servicemembers Conduct Joint Training

War on Terror
Forces Detain Insurgents
Troops Detain 15 Insurgents
National Police Station Opens
Coalition Forces Detain Terrorists

Defense Officials Offer Million-Dollar Prize for Power Innovations
‘Sentinels of the Sea’ Debuts
Guard Unit Flies First Predator

Face of Defense
Mother, Daughter in Tandem
Evil Eyes Stand Out
Veteran Overcomes Obstacles
Family Serves in Afghanistan

America Supports You
Foundation Lends Helping Hand
San Diego Padres Salute Military
Canines Offer Healing Therapy
Army Reservists Present Flag During NASCAR's Pepsi 400

Forces Detain Insurgents - Story

Bank Agreement Strengthens Afghan Economy - Story
Afghan Leaders Provide Aid to Flood Victims - Story
Cooperative Efforts Returning Falahat to Normal - Story

Ironhorse Brigade, City of Austin Team up in Iraq
'Wolverines' Ready for Anything on Mission
Sustainment Brigade Hands off Q-West Mission
Broadcast Detachment Bids Farewell to Iraq
Coalition Forces Bring Security to Arab Jabour

Marines Train Djiboutian Navy in Security Tactics
Medical Task Force Educates to Save Lives

National Guard Soldiers Patrol Qarabagh
Korean Hospital Marks Health Care Milestone

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

Today in History
1540 - English King Henry VIII's marriage to Anne of Cleves is annulled after six months.
1755 - British General E. Braddock is mortally wounded during the French and Indian War.
1776 - The Declaration of Independence is read aloud to General George Washington's troops in New York.
1846 - Captain Montgomery claims Yerba Buena (San Francisco) for the U.S.
1853 - Admiral Perry and the U.S. Navy visit Japan.
1862 - Confederate General John Hunt Morgan captures Tompkinsville, KY.
1863 - Union troops enter Port Hudson.
1868 - Francis L. Cardozo becomes the first African-American cabinet member in SC (Secretary of State)
1910 - Walter Brookins becomes the first pilot to take an airplane to an altitude of one mile.
1915 - Germany surrenders South West Africa to Union of South Africa.
1916 - The first cargo submarine to cross the Atlantic arrives in the U.S. from Germany.
1917 - The British warship "Vanguard" explodes at Scapa Flow, killing 800.
1918 - 101 are killed and 171 are injured in the worst U.S. train wreck, in Nashville, TN; the U.S. Army's Distinguished Service Cross is authorized.
1951 - President Truman asks Congress to formally end the state of war with Germany.
1953 - New York City becomes the site of the first helicopter passenger service.
1955 - E. Frederick Morrow becomes the first African-American named as an executive on the White House staff.
1976 - Uganda asks UN to condemn Israeli hostage rescue raid on Entebbe
1979 - Voyager-2 flies past Jupiter.

- Thomas Davenport, inventor of the first commercial electric motor
1819 - Elias Howe Spencer, inventor of the sewing machine
1916 - Edward Heath, British PM
1932 - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
1943 - John H. Casper, Colonel USAF/astronaut (STS-36, sk:STS-50)

1755 - British Gen. E. Braddock, mortally wounded in battle during the French and Indian War
1850 - Zachary Taylor, 12th U.S. President, after 16 months in office

Reported Missing in Action
Lee, Charles Richard, USN (CA); A4C shot down, remains returned June, 1983

Martin, Edward H., USN (GA); A4C shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Vice Admiral in 1989 - alive as of 1998

Lilly, Carroll Baxter, USAF(WV); A1H shot down, presumed KIA

Ketchie, Scott D., USMC (AL); A6A shot down; ejected, no further information known

Labels: ,