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Saturday, December 01, 2007

KEEPING WARM - A U.S. Army soldier from the Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team gives a young girl from Afghanistan's Kapisa Province Orphanage a blanket from during a humanitarian aid mission Nov. 29, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Jordan Carter

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America Supports You: Online Treasure Hunt Does Triple Duty

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2007 – A nonprofit group is using a treasure hunt to get people interested in helping military families.

“We hope treasure hunters, individuals and corporations will generously donate to the scholarship fund for the families of our brave men and women in uniform who protect our freedoms each and every day,” said Gayle Osterberg, a spokeswoman for the group, ThanksUSA. “More than 1,300 scholarships have been awarded to the kids and spouses of active-duty military personnel in all branches of the service, … including those in the Guard and reserves.”

ThanksUSA is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.

Last year, the hunt’s theme focused on the “Pillars of Democracy.” This year it’s “Treasure our Troops,” a truly appropriate theme considering the organization works to provide need-based educational scholarships to military spouses and children.

“(It’s) once again based on state history, but this year we also included the history about two military branches; the Coast Guard and the Navy,” Osterberg said. “The ThanksUSA American history online treasure hunt excites Americans of all ages to learn about America's history, culture and values, which the troops defend each and every day, while also raising donations for scholarships for the families of the troops.

“This is an educational double play which says thank you to the men and women in uniform serving our country,” she added.

The hunt is open to anyone, though players must register at the ThanksUSA Web site. One winner per chapter will be randomly selected from the pool of participants who answered all the chapter questions correctly.

The drawings through May, however, will be for schools and youth groups only. After that, it’s anyone’s game, and the prizes should be incentive to play, Osterberg said.

“(Prizes) include bookstore gift certificates, iPods, and computers,” she said, adding that the grand prize will be on announced Memorial Day. “The grand prize in the previous two years has included a treasure chest abounding with jewels and precious metals, … but you’ll have to wait until Memorial Day to find out what the grand prize will be for Treasure Hunt Three.”

The treasure hunt, which includes more than 300 questions, will conclude on Aug. 15, and is free to play.

Scholarships the group has awarded to date total nearly $4 million for post-secondary educational pursuits. The organization plans another round of awards this year, Osterberg said.

ThanksUSA was created in 2005 when Rachel Okun and her sister, Kelsi, were just 10 and 8, respectively. Looking for a way to thank the troops, they were inspired by a book they’d read on summer vacation, Michael Stadther’s “A Treasure's Trove,” which revealed clues to real “treasure” hidden around the country.

The online treasure hunt is the result of the girls’ combining their interest in treasure hunts with a desire to thank the troops.

“The spirit of ThanksUSA is to thank the troops who defend our freedoms by awarding scholarships to their families,” the girls said. “The gift of education is the best way we know how to say, ‘Thank you.’”

Related Sites:
Thanks USA
America Supports You

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Taking Care of Business: Iraqis Work to Secure Their Country

From Multi-National Force Iraq:

Iraqi Army Col. Msfab Yousif reloads his AK-47 after using it to destroy a vehicle that was used in illegal checkpoint activities by insurgents in Ad Dawr near Tikrit. Yousif is the executive officer of the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigae, 4th Iraqi Army and was leading the raid to find insurgents operating illegal checkpoints. Photo by Spc. Eric Rutherford, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

TIKRIT — Iraqi Army (IA) Soldiers recently led a raid into an area of Ad Dawr with Iraqi police (IP) and a small contingent of U.S. Soldiers to put a stop to insurgent activities there.

The 1st Battalion of the 1st Brigade, 4th IA led the pre-dawn raid into the area to capture insurgents and disrupt illegal traffic checkpoints used by those insurgents to rob and kill local Iraqis. The IP provided security for the team. The U.S. Army Military Transition Team (MiTT) of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division provided guidance and support for the IA, who planned and executed the mission.

Maj. Jackie Kaina of the 1st Brigade, 4th IA MiTT said the operations are driven by intelligence, which is mostly gathered by the IA. The mission was coordinated by the IA when an informant who had been ostracized by the insurgents came forward with information.

The operation, called Hellstorm, was a success in that the IA captured several of the High-Value Individuals on their list, and in the process seized several vehicles used in the illegal operations. They also discovered an emplaced improvised explosive device (IED) hidden under a bridge. The MiTT called in a U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, who detonated the IED in place.

The IED is one of the reasons that the MiTT accompanies the IA on larger operations. Their mission is to train, advise and mentor the IA. They bring with them capabilities like aeromedical evacuation, air weapons teams and other military assets that the IA doesn’t have yet, said Kaina.

The present-day IA formed in 2005 when it transitioned to an actual Army, Kaina said, who worked with IA Soldiers during his last deployment.

“As an Army they have come a huge way since 04-05,” said Kaina. “They have come a lot further than I thought they would. Two years later, I really didn’t think they would be at this point. Maturity-wise, the officers act like officers, and the NCO corps is starting to grow.”

Since his last deployment with the IA, Kaina said he has seen them grow by leaps and bounds.

“Their improvement is in their command and control,” Kaina said. “Now they are much more objective focused and much more professional. They are very visible—that is one of the biggest improvements. To the Iraqi populace, they know who the IA is.”

Kaina said that he believes that at this point, The IA is mature enough on the ground that they are taking the lead, and the U.S. forces are no longer in the lead by any stretch of the imagination. The MiTT is there to assist if the IA needs it, but it is the IA making the decisions and conducting the missions on their own.

The IA is already conducting daily patrols and company-sized raids on their own, without the help of the MiTT.

“They are very much in the lead and very much taking control,” Kaina said. “Where before they would have come to us and asked what to do next. Their leadership has matured to the level at which they no longer need to ask us those questions, they have done enough, know enough and are successful enough to know where they are going.”

(By Spc. Eric A. Rutherford, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

In Other Recent Developments Here:

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU — As a new unit transitions in, the Hawr Rajab Concerned Local Citizens group continues to provide Coalition forces with a helping hand in providing security for their city.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU — A house-borne improvised explosive device was destroyed near Maderiyah on the afternoon of Nov. 25.

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HONORING A MARINE - Marine Corps Maj. Mike J. Corrado leads a platoon of 32 Marines to the home of Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Daniel Gilyeat, wounded while serving with the 24th Marine Regiment. The Marines' Nov. 10, 2007, salute was part of the final ceremony of an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in which Gillyeat's Leavenworth, Kan., home was remodeled. Marines Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Bryan Eberly

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In Today's News - Saturday, December 1, 2007

Quote of the Day
"The condition upon which
God hath given liberty to a man
is eternal vigilance."

-- J.P. Curran

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraqi Security Forces Take Huge Steps Forward
School’s in Session: Troops Visit Two Southern Baghdad Schools
Tikrit Law School affiliates with Baltimore Law School
Insurgent safe house, house-borne IED blown up (Arab Jabour)
An Nasiriyah SWAT captures high-level IED facilitator, four others
Coalition forces target foreign terrorist facilitators, car-bombers, propaganda cells
Coalition forces find weapons caches with help from local Iraqis; 18 suspects detained
Business Leaders Help Revitalize Iraq
Mosul Passenger Terminal Ready for Flights

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan Security Forces Prove Themselves
Medical Outreach Treats 450 Afghans

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Sri Lankan Homicide Attack Caught on Camera - PHOTOS (Warning: Disturbing Images)
U.S. Withdraws U.N. Mideast Peace Resolution
Colombia videos reveal rebel hostages alive in jungle - Video

Supporting Our Heroes
Hollywood honorary mayor to visit troops
Pilot Program Saves Time, Speeds Veterans' Benefits

Other Military News
Supporters Rally for Army-Navy Game
Sealift of Life-Saving MRAP Vehicles Begins
Bush Visits Pentagon, Speaks On Defense Budget Shortfall -
Photos - Video
Army Funds Crunch Would Affect Installations Worldwide

Religion of Peace??
Thousands in Sudan Call for British Teddy Bear Teacher's Execution - PHOTOS
Teacher hidden as Sudan mob urges death

Worldwide Wackos
Chavez Counters After Student Protests - VIDEO - PHOTOS
Chavez backers rally for charter changes
Chavez threatens to cut U.S. oil supply over vote
Iran says it will safeguard nuclear rights
EU-Iranian talks break up; no compromise (Does this surprise anyone??)

Homegrown Moonbats
"Lions for Lambs" fails to roar for United Artists

Politics / Government
Suspect Arrested inCampaign Hostage Siege
Hillary traveling to thank cops, meet staffers - VIDEO - PHOTO ESSAY
POLL: GOPers 'Crowded at the Top' in New Hampshire - POLL: Clinton Narrowly Leads Democrats - Results (pdf)
Democrats tout their electability in 2008
Clinton, Giuliani give rivals reason to hope
Short voting gap shapes presidential race - Video
Presidential race turns a negative page
Dems fault own party in pitch to leaders
Congress pushes controls over Marianas
Paulson works with industry on loan plan
Emergency responders face deep aid cuts
Dems reach deal on energy bill
Putin's party heads for landslide as campaign ends - Video
Bhutto gears up for Pakistani poll - Video

Illegal Immigration / Border Control
Show seeks to love match migrants and U.S. citizens

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Four Suspects Arrested in Sean Taylor's Murder
'Thrill Kill' Teens in Court - Cops: teen helped in slaying to settle $100 debt
Holloway Suspects to Be Released

Cops Say Body Found During Search Matches Description of Missing Student
Body of Missing Pregnant Woman Found Buried in Wildlife Refuge
Four Detained in Sean Taylor Homicide
Man Charged With Attempted Murder for Slipping Abortion Drug to Girlfriend to Cause Miscarriages
Police Say Body Found is Missing Kansas Porn Star Student
Report: Rodney King Shot in the Face
Ex-Boyfriend Kills Hugging Mom, Daughter as Toddler Watches
Man Charged After Student Dragged 13 Miles
Georgia Mom Charged With Fatally Stabbing Her 2 Toddlers in Store Bathroom
Vick Dogfighting Co-Defendants Sentenced to Prison
U.S. Student to Remain Jailed in U.K. Coed's Death
Stacy Peterson's Family Wants Lie Test for Hubby - VIDEO
U.S. sues ship and pilot for San Francisco spill
Jurors in Canada serial killing case get choices
Lawyer for Astor's son pleads not guilty
Taser probe: Trooper acted reasonably
Autopsy slated for secret porn star
Suspect in trouble before hostage drama

Adventures in Political Correctness
School Omits Christmas from December Calendar

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Porn-Site Virus Forces PC Users to Pay Up
YouTube Restores Account of Egyptian Blogger
Facebook alters notifications after privacy furor
Talk show lineup
Facebook revamps new advertising system
Reporter gets circumcised to fight AIDS
Video: Julia Roberts chases paparazzi

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Waiting Too Long to Have Sex Linked to Sexual Dysfunction Later in Life, Study Says
U.S. Seeks New Eyes From Space
Bush announces Africa trip, presses for AIDS funds
Stem cell innovators find a way to cut out cancer
Mobile phone death a ruse - Video
Space Station lab will boost Europe's status in space

Mother Nature
Strong earthquake hits Indonesia's Aceh
After fires, Calif. rain mudslide threat

Child's ID Bracelet Missing for Decades is Discovered in Gizzard of Minnesota Chicken
Scientists Turn Cockroaches Into Zombie Slaves
Mafia boss arrested while watching Mafia TV show
Officials in tears over comatose croc
Footprints seen around Mt.Everest stoke Yeti mystery

Fox News
Two Trains Collide in Chicago, Five Critically Injured
FOXBusiness: Can Mortgage Plan Save Borrowers?
3 Cheerleaders Die in Alabama Crash, 4 Others Hurt
Report: 'Bisexual' MTV Star Tila Tequila Is Straight

Daredevil Evel Knievel dies after long illness
Witherspoon, Jolie top list of high-paid actresses
Mexican muralist Rivera wins back fame over Kahlo
Dow, S&P 500 gain on housing plan as Nasdaq dips - Video
Dollar rallies on month-end deals as yen stumbles
Dell shares tumble on profitability concerns
Homebuilder shares up on hope for subprime deal
Bonds flat to lower, but November a banner month
Girding for a fight
Emerging markets key for industrials
Treasury near subprime aid deal
Motorola CEO Zander to be replaced by COO Brown
Exit of Cruz leaves few women execs on Wall Street
Citi sees strong growth in Taiwan business in 2008
Alaska gets 5 applications for natural gas
Lennar forms venture with Morgan Stanley Real Estate

AP World News
Blast shakes Ukrainian mine
Stocks mostly higher to cap week
Writer who sued over Da Vinci Code dies

CENTCOM: News Releases

Capability development leadership to change
More about Capability Development
USJFCOM readies for Joint Task Force Senior Medical Leadership Seminar - podcast
USJFCOM garners cutting edge technology award - podcast
New USJFCOM super computer will enhance command efforts - podcast
Command continues preparations for multinational effort
More about Multinational Experiment 5

Multi-National Force-Iraq
Rural Community All Smiles About New Healthcare Center
Iraqi Army seizes counterfeit money (eastern Baghdad)

Soldiers’ Trust Contributes to Success

Pentagon’s Homeland Defense Office Matures
Military Must Understand, Master Change

Bangladeshis Thank U.S. Sailors, Marines
Experience Lends Lessons to Bangladesh Relief

Chef Happiest at Sea

Holiday Gifts for Troops

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
- Northern Italian towns form the Lombardi League.
1626 - Pasha Muhammad ibn Farukh, tyrannical Governor of Jerusalem, is driven out.
1640 - Portugal regains independence after 60 years of Spanish rule.
1641 - Massachusetts becomes the first colony to give statutory recognition to slavery.
1742 - Empress Elisabeth orders the expulsion of all Jews from Russia.
1783 - Charles and M.N. Roberts ascend 2,000' in a hydrogen balloon.
1804 - Emperor Napoleon marries Joséphine of Martinique.
1821 - Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) proclaims its independence from Spain.
1824 - The House of Representatives begins to end the election deadlock between John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William Harris Crawford and Henry Clay - Adams is eventually declared President.
1831 - The Erie Canal closes for an entire month due to cold weather.
1835 - Hans Christian Andersen publishes his first book of fairy tales.
1843 - The first chartered mutual life insurance company opens
1864 - Raid at Stoneman: Knoxville, TN to Saltville, VA; Skirmish at Millen Brutal, GA.
1868 - John D. Rockefeller begins his anti-oil war.
1878 - The first White House telephone is installed.
1887 - The Sino-Portuguese treaty recognizes Portugal's control of Macao.
1891 - James Naismith creates the game of basketball.
1896 - In New York, the first certified public accountants receive their certificates.
1903 - "The Great Train Robbery", the first Western film, is released.
1906 - In Paris, Cinema Omnia Pathe, the world's first cinema, opens.
1909 - The Carlisle Trust Company in PA is the site of the first Christmas Club payment.
1913 - In Pittsburgh, the first drive-up gasoline station opens; Ford introduces the continuous moving assembly line (it produces a car every 2 hrs 38 minutes)
1918 - The Danish parliament passes an act granting independence to Iceland; in Belgrade, the Serbian-Croatian-Slovic kingdom is proclaimed.
1919 - Lady Nancy Astor is sworn in as the first female member of the British Parliament.
1921 - The first U.S. helium-filled dirigible makes its maiden flight.
1925 - The Treaty of Locarno is signed.
1929 - Edwin S. Lowe invents the game of BINGO.
1933 - Rudolf Hess and Earnest Röhm become ministers in Hitler's government.
1936 - Bell Labs tests a coaxial cable for TV use.
1939 - SS-Führer Himmler begins the deportation of Polish Jews.
1941 - The U.S. Civil Air Patrol (CAP) organizes; the British cruiser Devonshire sinks the German sub Python; Japanese emperor Hirohito signs a declaration of war.
1942 - Gasoline is rationed in the U.S.
1943 - FDR, Churchill and Stalin agree to Operation Overlord (D-Day).
1948 - The Arabic Congress names Abdullah of Trans Jordan, King of Palestine.
1951 - The Golden Gate Bridge closes due to high winds.
1954 - Nationalist China and the U.S. sign a dike agreement.
1955 - Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus she is riding on.
1958 - In Chicago, Our Lady of Angels School burns, killing 92 students and 3 nuns.
1959 - 12 nations sign a treaty for the scientific peaceful use of Antarctica; the first color photograph of Earth is received from outer space.
1964 - Martin Luther King speaks to J. Edgar Hoover about his slander campaign.
1965 - The airlift of refugees from Cuba to the U.S.begins.
1967 - Queen Elizabeth inaugurates the 98-inch (249-cm) Isaac Newton telescope.
1969 - The U.S. government holds its first draft lottery since WWII.
1971 - The People's Republic of South Yemen renames itself the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.
1974 - A Boeing 727 crashes in Upperville VA, killing 92.
1975 - U.S. President Gerald Ford visits the People's Republic of China.
1976 - Angola is admitted to the U.N.
1978 - President Carter more than doubles the size of the national park system.
1980 - The U.S. Justice Department sues Yonkers, citing racial discrimination.
1983 - Rita Lavelle, former head of the EPA, is convicted of perjury.
1987 - Digging begins to link England and France under the English Channel (the Chunnel).
1988 - 596 are dead after ca yclone hits Bangladesh; half a million are left homeless; Benazir Bhutto is named the female PM of a Muslim country (Pakistan).
1989 - East Germany drops the communist monopoly from its constitution; U.S.S.R. President Mikhail S. Gorbachev meets Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
1990 - British and French workers meet in the English Channel's tunnel; Iraq accepts G.H.W. Bush's offer for talks; Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia hold their first joint session.
1991 - The Ukranian people vote for independence; the U.S.' 75th manned space mission (STS-44 - Atlantis 10) lands.
1992 - Two C-141B Starlifters collide in Montana and crash, killing 13; Amy Fisher is sentenced to 5-15 years for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco.
1994 - PTL leader Jim Bakker is released from jail.
1997 - Westinghouse formally changes its name to CBS.

1671 - Francesco Stradivari, Italian violin maker
1726 - Oliver Wolcott, judge / signer of the Declaration of Independence
1826 - William Mahone, Confederate Major General
1832 - Archibald Gracie, Jr., Confederate Brigadier-General
1835 - Micah Jenkins, Confederate Brigadier-General (Led Hoods Division at Chickamauga)
1844 - Alexandra, Danish princess/Queen of Great Britain & Ireland
1873 - Charles JM Ruys de Beerenbrouck premier of Netherlands (1918-25, 29-33)
1878 - Arthur B. Spingarn, NAACP chairman (1940-65)
1899 - Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society
1912 - Minoru Yamasaki, architect (World Trade Center, New York)
1919 - Anne Cox Chambers , U.S. ambassador to Belgium (1977-81)
1923 - Stansfield Turner, CIA director
1932 - Robert T. Herres, USAF / astronaut
1935 - Woody Allen, a.k.a.Allen Stuart Konigsberg, actor (Annie Hall)
1940 - Richard Pryor, comedian/actor (Lady Sings the Blues, Stir Crazy)
1942 - Peter Kalikow Queens NY, real estate developer/publisher (New York Post)
1945 - Bette Midler, singer (Wind Beneath My Wings) / actress (Beaches, First Wives Club)
1951 - Alexander Panayotov Aleksandrov, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-5)

- Eligius/Eloy, French bishop of Tournay-Noyon/saint
1135 - King Henry I of England (first king that could read)
1374 - Magnus Eriksson, kKing of Norway/Sweden
1417 - Walraven I. van Brederode, viceroy of Holland
1515 - Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (el Gran Capitán), Spanish general
1521 - Leo X (Giovanni de' Medici), Pope (1513-21)
1530 - Margaretha of Austria, governess of the Netherlands
1633 - Isabella of Austria, infante of Spain/governess in Holland
1797 - Oliver Wolcott, U.S. judge / signer of the Declaration of Independence
1825 - Aleksandr I. P. Romanov, czar of Russia (1801-25)
1842 - Philip Spencer, first U.S. naval officer condemned for mutiny, hanged
1887 - Albertus J. Duymaer van Twist, Governor-General of the Dutch-Indies
1934 - Sergei M. Kirov, Josef Stalin's collaborator, assassinated in Leningrad
1939 - Max Fiedler, composer
1947 - Aleister Edward S. Crowley, British occultist
1971 - Arthur B. Springarn, NAACP chairman (1940-65)
1972 - Antonio Segni, Italian PM/President (1955-57, 59-60, 62-64)
1973 - David Ben-Gurion, founding father of Israel
1974 - Stephen Gill Spottswood, U.S. bishop / NAACP chairman
1987 - Donn Fulton Eisele, Colonel USAF/astronaut
1991 - George Joseph Stigler, U.S. economist (Nobel 1982)
1996 - Barbak Karmal, politician

Reported Missing in Action
McCormick, John V., USN (MI); A4C shot down, remains returned April, 1988

Reitman, Thomas Edward, USAF (MN); F105D crashed

Nicotera, Carl, US Army ; PRG says DIC December, 1966 (discrepancies in record)

Rogers, Billie Lee, USN (IN); CVA-61, drowned

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