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Thursday, June 05, 2008

EAGER TO LEARN IN SADR CITY - U.S. Army Spc. James Sucher is surrounded by Iraqi children who want to practice English outside a Sadr City school, Baghdad, May 30, 2008. Sucher is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Regular. More than 100 young Iraqi men showed up at the school to apply for an opportunity to join the neighborhood watch program. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Cohen A. Young

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America Supports You: Mouse Click Closes Distance Between Troops, Families

From DefenseLink:

Kursten Byrne, holding a photo of her husband, Marine Capt. Patrick Byrne, and their four children use “Websites for Heroes” as a way to stay in touch. Captain Byrne is deployed in Iraq. Photo courtesy of Websites for Heroes

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2008 – For deployed servicemembers and their loved ones, maintaining close family ties takes more than the occasional phone call or e-mail.

It happens through a free, personalized and password-protected Web site.

“Deployments are hard on families. When you’re away and you’re in harm’s way, … it’s a lonely place,” said Terry Gniffke, who founded “Websites for Heroes” with Mike Sawtell. “You miss home, and the greatest thing is to be connected in some way. ‘Websites for Heroes’ allows that to happen.”

Each site allows for unlimited photo uploads and can support two hours of streaming video so parents can see what the family is doing back home. Among other features, it also provides a message board and kids’ calendar, which helps Mom or Dad stay actively involved in their child’s life.

“They can be proactive in communicating, ‘Hey, how was your English test?’” Gniffke said.

“[That way], their son or daughter feels like Dad’s still connected or Mom’s still connected to their life.

“You’ve got all these elements that make for a great interactive social network for the family to communicate,” he added.

Websites for Heroes keeps military families connected, whether they’re deployed overseas or across the country, and it does so at no cost to the family. Each personalized, password-protected family Web site -- there are currently 1,200 -- is sponsored at a cost of $99 a year. The individual sites Websites for Heroes offers military families are sponsored by individuals and, in some cases, by corporations, including Gateway.

While the sponsorships are one-time donations, Gniffke said, he hopes donors will realize the benefit to the families and make it an ongoing part of their support for the troops.

“This is a mission for me,” he said. “This is near and dear to my heart.”

Gniffke knows from experience just how important something like Websites for Heroes can be. The former Marine served in Vietnam, and he said he remembers waiting up to three weeks for a single letter from home. As tough as that was on him, he said, it was tougher on his family when his base got hit and the letter he wrote to let them know he was all right hadn’t arrived before there was another attack.

“It’s tough on the home front, and it’s tough on the other side,” he said. “What a difference [Websites for Heroes] would have made.”

Gniffke didn’t have that luxury in Vietnam, but he and Mike Sawtell are going to make sure the gap between home and the front lines is much smaller for this generation of servicemembers.

Editor's Note: To find out about more individuals, groups and organizations that are helping support the troops, visit America Supports You directly connects military members to the support of the America people and offers a tool to the general public in their quest to find meaningful ways to support the military community.

Related Sites:
Websites for Heroes

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REMEMBERING A COMRADE - A U.S. soldier pays his respect to a fallen comrade during a memorial service held on Forward Operating Base Iskan, Iraq, May 27, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tiffany Dusterhoft

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So Much for that Coveted "Terrorist" Demographic...

Well, it looks like Barack Obama's going to have to deal with a somewhat bittersweet victory. Sure, he's clinched the nomination, but in his "fiery" speech at the yesterday, he just may have lost the support of some of his most vocal supporters - terrorist thugs:

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian leaders reacted with anger and dismay on Wednesday to Barack Obama's pledge that Jerusalem should be Israel's undivided capital.

President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the U.S. presidential candidate's pledge to American Jewish leaders and he repeated his demand for a Palestinian state with Arab East Jerusalem as its capital.

"This statement is totally rejected," Abbas told reporters in the West Bank administrative centre of Ramallah.

"The whole world knows that East Jerusalem, holy Jerusalem, was occupied in 1967 and we will not accept a Palestinian state without having Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state."
And it's a good thing Obama now says we can't talk to Hamas, because as far as they're concerned:

"He has closed all doors to peace."
Look at it this way, B-HO - Iran still loves you.

You can read the rest of the article here

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A Marine renders honors to the USS Arizona Memorial from the observation deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, May 26, 2008. The Marine is assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Barker

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In Today's News - Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quote of the Day
"Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there
matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state
will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us
or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."

-- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Feb 18, 1998

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraqi lawmakers wary of US security agreement
Iraqi Army trains 1st Sadr City Neighborhood Guard recruits
Iraqi Army Takes Command in Rashid
Iraqi National Police Gain Villagers' Respect
ISOF Capture Suspected AQI Cell Leader

Operation Enduring Freedom
Coalition Forces Attacked During Humanitarian Mission

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Alleged 9/11 Plotters Face Tribunal
Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Embassy Attack
EU gives mixed response to new U.S. travel laws
Abbas aides say Hamas talks depend on ceding Gaza
Al-Qaida's No. 2 urges holy war over Gaza Strip

Troops on Trial
Marine Acquitted in Haditha Killing Cover-Up Case
Marine after not guilty verdict: 'It was surreal'

Fallen Heroes
Soldier's skeletal remains found on Miss. base
DoD Identifies Army Casualty (Tikrit)

Other Military News
Army: US chemical weapons incineration on track

Homegrown Moonbats
Rosie O’Donnell: 'The View' Like a Women's Prison Film

Politics / Government
Hillary Reaches Trail's End
Clinton promises to "strongly support" Obama - Video
Obama toughens Iran stance, backs Israel on Jerusalem - Video (If I could believe a single word he said - and if any of them were actually original - it might have been a good speech)
McCain reaches out to disgruntled Clinton supporters
Blacks savor Obama win, fear disappointment
Obama Faces Lingering Divide in Democratic Party
Analysis: Obama, McCain set up hot campaign issue
McCain challenges Obama on town hall meetings
Climate bill stalls in Senate after dispute
McCain Challenges Obama to Town Hall Debates
Obama Taps Caroline Kennedy to Help Lead VP Search
Video: What does Clinton want?
Billion-dollar presidential campaign
Blog: Obama's search for VP
Voters Casting Ballots From Grave? - VIDEO
Rezko Convicted on 16 Counts in Corruption Trial
French first lady Carla Bruni to release new album

Illegal Immigration / Border Control
Judge Blocks Oklahoma Law Enlisting Businesses in Illegal Immigration Enforcement

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Calif. High Court Refuses to Stay Gay Marriage Ruling
Statue of Jesus Stolen Off Cross in Detroit
Criminal Case Against Polygamist Members Possible
Australia Officials Net 70 Arrests in Child Porn Sting
FEMA Trailer Occupant Killed After 10-Hour Standoff With Police
NFL Lineman Reportedly Worked as Federal Informant After Drug Bust
Calif. county votes to ban marijuana cultivation
Ozzy Osbourne wins damages over "freak show" slur
Dennis Farina hit with weapons charges
'Vigilante' gets revenge on metal shop thieves
Relatives: Alleged R. Kelly victim isn't in video

U.N. News
U.N. Security Council envoys in Darfur
UN Rights Chief 'alarmed' At Erosion of Rights for Terror Suspects (This from an entity whose workers molest children...)

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Yahoo talks to Microsoft, trades barbs with Icahn
Jolie confidants: 'ET' knew twins source fake

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Astronauts Open Up New Lab, Prepare for Spacewalk
Boy, 10, Dies After Swallowing Swimming Pool Water
GM Shelves SUVs, Prepares to Roll Out the Volt
Drug Companies Rush to Harness Red Wine's Anti-Aging Properties
Researchers Secretly Tracked 100,000 Cell Users Outside U.S. for Six Months
France mulls extending fuel-efficiency incentives
Nuclear incident overshadows EU environment talks
Mars lander told to dig up samples for analysis
Headless pyramid attributed to early Egyptian ruler
Darwin still causing waves after 150 years
Retired justice O'Connor unveils video game
"Battlestar" heading to handheld galaxy
AMD launches much-awaited Puma notebook chip line
Video: Softbank rings on iPhone deal
E-Trade makes it easier to trade on the BlackBerry

Mother Nature
Aftershock Hits Quake-Stricken Region in China
China's Wen overflies "critical" quake lake - Video
Cities, firms to push consumer climate fight
Drive less, ditch electric toothbrush: U.N. climate tips
Video: Cutting carbon down on the farm
Schwarzenegger declares drought in California

News from My Neck of the Woods
9 Arrested in N.Y. Colombo Crime Family Takedown
New York Man Paralyzed by Police Bullet Loses Award After 20 Years
As layoffs bite Wall St, New York real estate hit - Video

Mass. Lighthouse Thought Destroyed Is Found - PHOTOS,
Surgeons: Man's 'Tumor' Turned Out to Be 25-Year-Old Towel
Colorado Boy Burned by Invisible Fire in Coal Dust at Park
TV, guns, fridges - prisoner had it all
Curbing bike theft with thievery lessons?
Cars torched in arson spree
Seizing cars from drunk drivers

Other News of Note
Chicago Among 4 Picks as Finalists for 2016 Summer Olympics
Two Die in Amtrak Train's Second Collision in One Day
China says arrests 16 for bombings in Tibet - Video
China's youth hindered by joblessness
Factbox: ABC's of the post-'80s set
Slideshow: Scenes from Tiananmen
Video: China's new nationalism
Finding a voice in stormy times

Fox News
FOXBusiness: United to Reduce Fleet, Cut Jobs
Red Wings Win 4th Stanley Cup in 11 Seasons - PHOTOS
Report: Ethan Hawke, Ex-Nanny Apply for Marriage License


U.S. raps Taiwan over immigrant sex workers
Food summit haggles over hunger declaration - Video
Dollar extends post-Bernanke gains
Kelsey Grammer back home after heart attack
Sandler returns to ridiculous with "Zohan"
Video: Talk of the Town: John and Jen
Nuclear renaissance?
Europe power trade to grow: RWE
Global Finance: When bubbles pop
Vodafone says Verizon in talks to buy Alltel
Bear Stearns Merchant Banking to be spun off: report
EU extends review of News Corp bid for Premiere
Chinese steel firms seek overseas deals to survive
TeliaSonera rejects France Telecom's $41 bln offer
BHP says no need to sell assets to win Rio
EU extends review of News Corp bid for Premiere
Mega-buyout revival seen taking time
Lazard: Wall St leverage fueled woes
Banks target mining M&A amid crunch
Two-year credit recession feared
Just a Minute With: Gene Hackman on his retirement
Crafting a novel with a thousand authors
Clearing the air: guides decipher Japan's teen talk
Video: Life on planet Petronius
Garko guides Indians to win over Rangers
Title showdown pits Lakers offense against Celtics defense
Tiger Woods takes early U.S. Open peek at Torrey Pines
Braves' Smoltz to have season-ending surgery

Associated Press
Reyes lifts Mets in rubber game against Giants
Hispanic teens try drugs, suicide at higher rates
George Takei and partner plan to wed in September
Tiger Woods plays 1st round of golf since Masters

News Blaze
IA, MND-B Soldiers Find Multiple Weapons Caches
Citizen Tip Leads NPs, Soldiers to Human Remains
Soldiers' Angels and Patriot Guard
Iraq NewsOperations in Iraq
FOB Warhorse Memorial Photos

Navy docs extend treatment to local village
Hawr Rajab business leaders meet with soldiers
Progress stems from key Afghan meeting
Troops provide medical care to Iraqis

USJFCOM teams with ACT to help develop NATO Training Federation
More about U.S. Joint Forces and Allied Command Transformation - podcast
Exercise ensures readiness, displays coordination of the USJFCOM joint enabling capabilities
USJFCOM, Microsoft Corp. extend agreement for one year - podcast
Task Force Ramadi helps free enterprise take hold in Iraq
Command unveils new command and control vision - podcast

Multi-National Force - Iraq
Coalition forces round up Special Groups criminals around Iraq
Construction has started on the Iraqi Army’s new Shaiba Location Command in Basrah.
IA Soldiers find IEDs, IED-making materials, weapons caches in Sadr City
MND-B Soldiers find weapons caches in Baghdad
Women’s conference held in Irbil

Mullen, Pakistani Officials Discuss Strategy
Military ‘Borrows’ Mental Health Workers
General Links Lull in Violence to Tips


Army Success Leads to Citizen Safety
‘String of Miracles’ Benefits Iraqi Children

New Road Brings Prosperity to Afghan Province


Assets Still Available for Burma Aid Distribution

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
1661 - Isaac Newton is admitted as a student to Trinity College in Cambridge.
1794 - Congress prohibits U.S. citizens from serving in foreign armed forces.
1863 - The raider CSS Alabama captures the clipper Talisman in the Mid Atlantic.
1912 - U.S. Marines invade Cuba.
1940 - The Battle of France begins.
1944 - The first B-29 bombing raid occurs; one plane is lost due to engine failure.
1945 - The U.S., Great Britain, France, and the U.S.S.R. declare supreme authority over Germany.
1950 - The U.S. undermines the legal foundations of segregation.
1956 - A federal court rules racial segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional.
1968 - Sirhan Sirhan shoots Senator Bobby Kennedy, who dies the next day.
1977 - The Apple II, the first personal computer, goes on sale.
1980 - The Soyuz T-2 is launched, transporting two cosmonauts to the Salyut 6 space station.
1991 - The Space Shuttle STS 40 (Columbia 12) is launched.

1825 - Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, educator (Rep-AL)
1878 - Francisco (Pancho) Villa, Mexican revolutionary / guerrilla leader

1864 - Confederate Brigadier General William E. "Grumble" Jones, in battle at Piedmont, WV
1916 - Horatio H. Kitchener, British General
1988 - Clarence M. Pendleton chairman of the Commission on Civil Rights

Reported Missing in Action
Haines, Collins H., USN (NJ); RF8G shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired from as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

Ibanez, Di Reyes, USMC (CA); KIA, body not recovered

McManus, Truman Joseph, USMC (CT); KIA, body not recovered

Cavaiani, Jon R., US Army SF (CA); (w/Jones), released by PRG March, 1973, retired as a Sergeant Major - alive as of 1998

Jones, John R., US Army SF (TX), KIA, body not recovered (w/Cavaiani)

Kraner, Davis Stanley, USN (CA); KIA, body not recovered

Payne, Kylis Therod, USN (MD); KIA, body not recovered

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