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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gathering of Eagles - Reconvening September 15

From Winter's Soldier Story:

On Tap - Crushing Communists! Gathering of Eagles to Reconvene in DC Sept. 15
Just when the anti-American, pro-terrorist communists and anarchists at ANSWER thought it was safe to crawl out from under the sewer sludge they call home, and again attempt to intimidate our government into giving up the fight against terrorism, the Gathering of Eagles is primed to again offer a counter point of view in Washington, DC, in September.

The GOE, backed by numerous organizations including Move America Forward, is expanding beyond its wildly successful pro-troop vigil in March to once again bring thousands of veterans and our supporters to Washington. The purpose is to again show Congress, the President, and especially our troops, that the vast ocean of Americans who are never contacted by polling organizations support our efforts to win in Iraq and the wider War on Terror.

Just as a reminder, the Gathering of Eagles advocates a non-violent vigil to show support for our troops and our country. As can be found at the GOE website, the GOE credo reads in part:

Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan. While each member has his or her own political beliefs, our common love and respect for America and her heroes is what brings us together.

We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds.

However, we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think...

Get the rest of the details here.

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IRAQIS TRAIN — A U.S. Army soldier from 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, supervises an equipment layout for Iraqi army recruits prior to the start of the day's training at Forward Operating Base Mahmudiyah in Baghdad, July 16, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jacob H. Smith

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Tonal Troop Support - Ricky Lee's American Freedom Concert!

American Freedom Concert
September 1, 2007 from 6:00-9:30 pm
American Legion Park
Holidaysburg, PA

STARRING Nashville's very own RICKY LEE!!

Ricky has requested assistance from Soldiers' Angels at his concert:


if you can assist Ricky
and crew in getting the word out or helping at the event.

Ricky will perform a special musical tribute at "The Wall That Heals".
He will perform songs he has written in honor of our soldiers both past and present.

This performance will include a special rendition of his song entitled

"A Place Where The Angels Call Home",
dedicating the song to all of our fallen heroes.

(click for full-size poster)

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STB Soldiers set new re-enlistment standard

SR# 070713-82
July 19, 2007

Story by Capt. Bridgette Bell
4th Special Troops Battalion

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq—The Special Troops Battalion became the first battalion in the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division to make their re-enlistment mission for Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.

The battalion’s success started early-on in the deployment while the unit was still in Kuwait preparing for their movement into Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Erick Jones, STB re-enlistment noncommissioned officer, said he did not expect to do any re-enlistment contracts in Kuwait.

“We ended up doing a total of nine, including three from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, brigade; one from HHC, STB; two from Alpha Company, and three from Charlie Company,” Jones bragged.

The unique variety of military occupational specialties within the battalion has paid dividends for the Soldiers.

“What is good about our battalion is that I work with Soldiers from so many different MOSs.”

Although this gave Jones a lot of flexibility, some of his challenges were Soldiers whose military job skills could get them high-paying jobs in the civilian sector.
“I would tell all Soldiers, who are considering transitioning out of the military, they should really consider the benefits they would no longer be entitled to.”

He cautions Soldiers to remember that they may lose dedicated medical and dental services and the additional living allowances when they transition from the Army.
“Regardless of what they can offer in the civilian sector, I try to focus on how to help Soldiers get the highest bonus and best assignment that fits their background and ultimately, can further their career in the military.”

All movement options opened up for Soldiers, May 1, 2007. This meant that highly coveted duty stations, such as those in Europe, were now available to a number of Soldiers.

Staff Sgt. Claudia Limon of the 4th BCT Property Book Office, who re-enlisted on the day of her promotion to staff sergeant, was able to get an assignment to Italy.
Limon, who said she is extremely happy with the whole program, explained, “I initially wanted to go to Hawaii but reconsidered when Italy came up as an option. I did it because I like the Army, not necessarily for the money.”

Limon also said she feels that all Soldiers should consider taking advantage of the tax-free bonuses.

“The nice thing about re-enlisting while Soldiers are deployed is that all the bonus money they get for their re-enlistment is tax -free, which puts hundreds, sometimes thousands, of extra dollars in their pockets,” Jones said, “whereas, if the Soldier waits until he or she redeploys back to the U.S., they lose that tax-free incentive.”

Jones also noted that approximately 30-40 percent of the Soldiers he re-enlisted chose the option of up to 12 months of stabilization at Fort Bliss.
One of those was Spc. Kenneth Conklin, Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) operator in A Co., who re-enlisted for the stabilization option July 6, 2007, marking the point where the battalion met its re-enlistment mission and surpassed $1,000,000 in bonus money paid to STB Soldiers.

Common misconceptions about the re-enlistment process can only be cleared up if Soldiers seek guidance from their re-enlistment NCOs.

“A lot of people did not know they could re-enlist outside their window (more than two years until the end of their service time) and take advantage of bonus opportunities,” explained Jones.

Deployed Soldiers also get to take advantage of additional bonus messages that are out that they would not be able to if they were in back in the States.

Currently, there are three different bonus messages. First, the Enhanced Bonus will give Soldiers a flat rate based on their rank, if their MOS is a critical skill. Second, the Inventory Bonus is calculated based strictly on occupational specialties that are short-staffed. Finally, Soldiers are entitled to the Deployed Bonus simply because they are deployed, regardless of whether their MOS is critical. For some Soldiers, these messages, which change regularly, have made the difference of up to $15,000.

Supply specialist (92Y), Spc. Kashema Brooker, C Co., wanted to do something different from what her friends back home were doing.

“I got my first choice for an assignment at Fort Jackson and a re-enlistment bonus. I ultimately want to become a warrant officer, but for now, I enjoy what I do as a 92Y.”

The STB re-enlistment mission was 80 Soldiers—21 initials, 42 mid-career Soldiers, and 17 career troops. An Initial is a Soldier who has never re-enlisted. A Mid is Soldier who has re-enlisted at least once and has less than ten years at date of discharge (the day before the re-enlistment). Careerists have more than ten years at the date of discharge and only have the option of re-enlisting for assignment based on the needs of the Army.

The battalion’s initial goal was to earn $750,000 in re-enlistment bonuses. Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Marvin Hedstrom, said he is pleased that his battalion has managed to get over $1,000,000 for STB Soldiers.

“That is a million dollars back into the pockets of highly-deserving Soldiers and their Families,” he said.

One B Co. trooper, Spc. Michael Warren, chose re-enlist to become an information systems operator—analyst in order to “further my career in the Army and better my military education.”

Warren’s main influence to stay in the Army was his grandfather who served at Fort Bliss in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but gave credit to all of the support he currently gets from his unit, as well.

In May, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, 25th Infantry Division commander, and commander of Multi-national Division-North, told the Vice President of the United States that in six months, the division had achieved a re-enlistment level, that in the past had taken a full year to accomplish.”

Since their deployment, over 100 STB Soldiers have re-enlisted—18 from HHC 4th BCT; 41 from HHC STB; 18 from A Company; 18 from B Company; and 11 from C Company, for a total of almost $1.1 million in bonus money.

Staff Sgt. Erick Jones, retention noncommissioned officer for the Special Troops Battalion, helps Spc. Michael Warren, B Company, fill out his re-enlistment contract and certificate July 14 on Forward Operating Base Marez, Iraq. Since his unit’s deployment in Oct. 2006, Jones has helped over 100 Soldiers get assignment of choice, new military jobs, and thousands of dollars in re-enlistment bonus money. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Bridgette Bell)

Staff Sgt. Claudia Limon prepares to be re-enlisted by Capt. Steve von Deneen at the brigade logistics and supply office on Forward Operating Base Marez, Iraq, July 1. Limon re-enlisted to be stationed in Italy, in addition to receiving a tax-free cash bonus. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Bridgette Bell)

Master Sgt. Titus, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division senior career counselor, helps Sgt. Alonzo Scarborough, a supply sergeant assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, fill out his contract and certificate prior to his re-enlistment July 1 on Forward Operating Base Marez, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Bridgette Bell)

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DA NANG, Vietnam (July 17, 2007) - Steelworker 3rd Class Joseph Fleming and Equipment Operator Constructionman Ryan Cofer prepare footers for a playground kit to be installed on the campus of Hoi Mai Orphanage. This project is one of many Pacific Partnership endeavors throughout Da Nang. Pacific Partnership 2007 is a four-month humanitarian-assistance mission to areas in Southeast Asia and Oceania. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan M. Ilyankoff

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In Today's News - Thursday, July 19, 2007

Quote of the Day
"I think that the military capacity
we have in this country is incredible --
probably the best military capacity
any country has ever had in history --
the best air forces, the best naval forces,
the best land forces,the best special operations forces."

-- Gen. Tommy Franks

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Sunni bloc ends boycott of Iraqi parliament
Iraq protests at Turkish shelling of N.Iraq

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Attacks Kill 33 in Pakistan - PHOTOS
Pakistan's Habib Bank denies Pearl allegations
Palestinians in Gaza appeal for more aid
Lebanese army shells militants cornered in camp
Blair to brief Middle East peace Quartet
Fighting erupts before Somali reconciliation talks

Troops on Trial
Officer Ousted After 2 GIs Charged With Murdering Iraqi
Marine awaits sentencing in murder plot

Other Military News
Injured Vets Shortchanged Again

Worldwide Wackos
North Korea talks to go into third day
Envoys seek NKorea nuclear timetable

Politics / Government
Scandals mar vote for India's first woman president
White House to lobby lawmakers on Iraq
Giuliani: Abortion not a test for judges

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Cops Being Tipped Off to Cold Medicine Purchases
Sex Offenders Told to Hit the Road
Police Say California Mother Drove Son, Fellow Gang Members to Kill 13-Year-Old Boy
Cops: Mom Beat Kids on Flight, Threatening Attendant
Pizza Deliveryman Who Robbed Bank Had Neck Measured for Bomb Collar
U.S. publisher takes action over Harry Potter leak - Video
Death blamed on toilet training anger
Ex-nurse faces life in husband's murder

Adventures in Political Correctness
U.S. food companies promise to limit ads for kids

Science / Medicine / Technology
Texas Stores Pull Tylenol PM as Youths Use It to Create Heroin Mix 'Cheese'
Cancer-fighting gene also delays aging: study
Nokia starts global positioning service
Nintendo Wii Japan sales hit 3 mln units: survey

Mother Nature
U.S. Fire Officials: Help!
Wildfire alert raised to highest level in West - PHOTOS
More than 50 people killed in Sudanese flooding
Japan quake-hit plant may be shut a year or more - Video

News from My Neck of the Woods
Air Tested for Asbestos After NYC Pipe Blast PHOTOS

Teen Finds $90G in PlayStation 2 Bought on eBay

Fox News
Building Collapse in Mumbai Kills at Least 24 - PHOTOS
New 'Combustible' Ink Makes Tattoos Less Than Forever
Speedier Safety Checks Urged After Japan Nuke Accident
L.A. Judge Dismisses 'Extreme Makeover' Lawsuit Case Against ABC Television

Reuters: Top News
New York Philharmonic names new music director
World Chefs: Chef Susur Lee says don't call his food "fusion"
Asia's Potter fans await "P-day"
Global equities rebound but credit worries remain
Logitech quarterly profit falls 15 percent
Whitbread up on talk of Accor bid interest: traders
Oil rises above $77, supply worries intensify
Dollar slips slightly as U.S. subprime woes linger
Fishing in a smaller pond
M&A Today: Read the latest headlines
Yang on the hook with Yahoo investors
Dow Jones director Li may face charges in U.S. probe
Citigroup, Lehman receive I.R.S. requests: WSJ
UnitedHealth posts higher quarterly profit
Barclays says may add cash to sweeten ABN offer
Continental Air earnings rise on higher fares
Ford to receive bids for Jaguar, Rover: reports

AP World News
Reports: New leak at Japan nuke plant
Tiger goes for 3-peat at British Open
Obituaries in the news
Depositions: Pilots erred before crash
`Heroes,' `Ugly Betty' eye Emmy nods
Producer defends children's reality show
Dole: Notify Marines of Toxic Exposure
DT: Warheads on Foreheads
Find a Military-Friendly School
Discount: Refurbished PDAs
Warfighter's Forum

CENTCOM: News Releases

Capability Portfolio Manager aids better decision-making process - podcast
Strategic Initiatives Forum - July 2007 - photos
Empire Challenge 07 exercise focuses on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance - podcast
USJFCOM leaders, others to speak at 2007 industry symposiumCommand seeks input from industry and academia to develop a force provider collaborative workflow staffing capability
Download the requirements (Adobe Acrobat reader required)

Multi-National Force-Iraq
Cyber Islamic State of Iraq foreign-led ruse
Falahat returning to normal as childrens' laughter fills air
Medical Clinic to Benefit Iraqis for Years to Come
Iraqi Army Troops Lead Joint Medical Effort in Hor Al Bosh
Iraqi National Police officers graduate from NCO Course
Central Baghdad car bomb blast kills four, wounds four
Three Suspected Special Groups Terrorists Detained by Coalition Forces
MND-B patrol struck by improvised explosive device
Five militia suspects detained in Karkh
ISF, CF continue clearing ‘Old Baqouba’
Militia rounds fall in Baghdad civilian communities

Gates Asks Congress to Transfer Funds to MRAP - Video
Transcript from Pentagon Briefing on MRAP
War on Terror Will Require Decades of Effort - Video
Al Qaeda in Iraq Duped Into Following Foreigners - Video
Slides from Bergner Briefing
Transcript from Bergner Briefing
Civilian Casualty Reports Often Exaggerated
ISAF Chief Calls for NATO to Deliver on Promises
New Prosthesis Could Help Keep Troops Fighting

More Headline News
NORTHCOM, NORAD Work to Foil Terrorists
Pace Walks Ramadi’s Streets, Notes Progress
New Press Secretary Prepares to Take Podium

Military News
Program Helps Disabled Veterans Get Contracts
Marine Missing From Vietnam War Is Identified
Search Under Way for WWII Japanese MIAs in Alaska
Kadena Recovers From Typhoon Man-Yi

War on Terror
Coalition Forces Take Down Enemy 'Cell by Cell' in Iraq
Militia Leader Identified
Leaders Condemn Kirkuk Bombings
Citizens Foil Car Bomb Attack
‘Operation Ithaca’ Surprises, Pummels, al Qaeda Forces

Cyber Command Online for Future
Symposium Keys on Future
Officials Realign Installations

Face of Defense
Sailor Re-enlists on Sunken Ship
Father, Daughter Serve
Peer Amputee Helps Veterans

America Supports You
Group Provides Link to Home
Golfers Tee Up for Troops
WNBA Salutes Troops, Families
‘Spirit of America Tour’ Honored
Jeep Puts Group in Driver’s Seat

Coalition Forces Taking Down Enemy - Story
Bloggers' Roundtable Web Site

Militia Leader Identified - Story

Lifeblood Pumped into Iraqi Farming Community - Story
Marines Train Djiboutian Police on Firearms - Story
Offensive Moves into Iraq's Eastern Baqouba - Story
Sheiks Meet in Reconciliation Effort at Camp Taji - Story

Clinic Provides ‘More Than Standard’ Care
Navy Assisting Marines in Counterinsurgency
Hawaiian Soldiers Strengthen Ties with Project
Role-model Town Produces Positive Results

Air Force Chaplain Visits Djibouti Orphanages
Volunteers Build Bookshelves for Youth Center
Civil Affairs Donates Supplies to African Hospital

Personnel Services Support Deployed Troops
Individuals Assist in Search for Criminals
Coalition, Afghan Workers Complete Projects

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
War on Terror Reconstruction Report
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

Today in History
1510 - Jews are burned at the stake in Berlin, Prussia.
1553 - Lady Jane Grey (who is 15 at the time) is deposed as England's Queen after 9 days
1816 - After more than two weeks, survivors of the French frigate Medusa are rescued off Senegal.
1848 - The first women's rights convention opens in NY.
1860 - The first railroad reaches Kansas
1862 - Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest conducts his first raid.
1870 - The Franco-Prussian war begins.
1918 - German armies retreat across the Marne River in France.
1927 - Ty Cobb gets his 4,000th hit.
1941 - The first US Army flying school for black cadets is dedicted in Tuskegee, AL ; British PM Winston Churchill launches his "V for Victory" campaign; President Roosevelt appoints the FEP Committee.
1943 - Allied air forces raid Rome.
1949 - Laos becomes and associated state within the French Union.
1957 - The first rocket with a nuclear warhead is fired (Yucca Flat, NV).
1963 - NASA civilian test pilot Joe Walker takes the X-15 to an altitude of 105 km.
1967 - The U.S. launches Explorer 35 for a lunar orbit.
1969 - Apollo 11 goes into a Moon orbit.
1980 - The 22nd modern Olympic games open in Moscow; the U.S. and 59 others do not attend, boycotting in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
1989 - United flight 232 crashes in Iowa.

- Samuel Colt, inventor (Colt revolver)
1817 - Mary Ann Ball Bickerdyke, Union Army nurse
1860 - Lizzie Borden, alleged murderer
1922 - George McGovern (Sen-SD), presidential candidate (1972)
1943 - Roy D. Bridges, Jr. , Colonel USAF/astronaut (STS 51F, STS 61F)
1952 - Howard Donald Saunders, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List)

1940 - Samuel H. Chang American newspaper magnate, murdered in Shanghai.
1969 - Mary Jo Kopechne, at 28, in Ted Kennedy's car after it plunges off Dike Bridge in Chappaquiddick, MA.

Reported Missing in Action
Diamond, Stephen Whitman USAF (NY); F105 shot down; SRV returned remains March, 1977

Dennison, Terry A., USN (WA); F8E shot down, remains returned March, 1974

Winters, Darryl G., USAF (CA); photograhper aboard F100F shot down

Frye, Donald P., USN (CA); SH3A shot down during rescue mission, KIA, remains returned October, 1982

Jackson, William B., USN (TX); SH3A shot down during rescue mission, KIA, remains returned October, 1982

McGrane, Donald P., USN (IA); SH3A shot down during rescue mission, KIA, remains returned October, 1982

Peterson, Dennis W., USN (CA); SH3A shot down during rescue mission, KIA, body not recovered

Martin, Aubrey Grady, USN (TX); OV10A shot down, remains recovered July, 1974

Sikkink, Roy Dean, USN (OK); OV10A shot down, remains recovered July, 1969

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