...I have some very unfortunate news. Levels above me have ordered, yes ORDERED, me to shut down this website. They cite that the information contained in these pages violates several Army Regulations. I certainly disagree with this. However, I have made a decision to turn off the site pending further investigation as to whether or not I have violated these Army Regulations...
While I'm no JAG, I didn't see any OPSEC violations or anything that would "embarrass" the Army. Probably, somewhere out there, some Colonel is worried that the 67th weblog will prevent him from being promoted to General. Really. I'm serious.
Sometimes, popularity is a bad thing for a MilBlog...
BTW, I'm looking for *ahem* trends in the MilBlogs that are ordered to close up shop. If you know of any other recent closings, please email me.
I first received this photo and was asked not to post it until it went through "Official Channels" (which is completely understandable). As many of you know, going through "Official Channels" usually means it will take forever or never happen. In this case however, it only took a few months...Click on the image to see larger version.
Tech. Sgt. Matthew Wells, 48th Rescue Squadron, holds a baby as it is medically evacuated from Afghanistan on an HH-60. Senior Airman Sean McBride, 48th RQS, and Sergeant Wells check the baby's vitals on the monitor at their feet.
Here is the link (PDF file - page 5) to the Air Force newsletter describing Sergeant Wells as the Air Force's representative in the Special Operations Medical Association's Medic of the Year Competition.
[Blackfive note: Air Force Pararescuemen (or PJs as they are more commonly known) are some of the best operators in the Special Operations community - if not THE best.]
Wendy is a Marine Mom who's son is Iraq right now. Below is an email to her friends about the care packages they have been sending to Iraq:
To top off my son’s email he was able to call yesterday!!! I've just been in absolutely the BEST mood. Not only did he call, but we were able to talk for a long time and it was so wonderful. He shared so many stories and had my laughing so hard. He wanted me to thank all his "Moms" and to let ya'll know that he and his fire team received their care packages and they were a wonderful morale booster. He said all of them had the Channel 11 footballs in their care package and they were out in the open area throwing the footballs around and other Marines were asking, "Hey where did ya'll get the footballs?" My son said at first they would all respond, "The Houston Marine Moms!". He said after awhile they were all laughing and they would just say "Our Moms".
He said they call the footballs their WMD's. I asked why and he said that when the lights go out at night they all throw them really hard at each other and just have the best time. He was laughing so hard sharing these stories with me. He had me rolling.
The rest (about Marines ingenuity in using female care packages) is in the Extended Section...
There's been a lot of developments with Sergeant Joseph Bozik. Below is an update from Joey's mother, Gail.
Here's a picture of Joey on Monday, December 27th:
1. Last Monday, 27th, Joey's cast was removed on his left stump and two final pins removed from his left hand (total of 9). It was exactly 2 months to the day since the blast, Oct. 27th.
2. He has come a long ways in two months but he has a long road of therapy and more surgery on his left hand to remove the metal plate that is stabalizing his wrist which was crushed.
3. Today (December 30th), a nasty sore and reddness appeared on his left stump. Gail asked for Dr. Hampton to take and look but he was in surgery and didn't get time. Gail hopes and prays that it is not the Iraq bacteria returning. If so, that will mean more surgery. So please pray, pray!
And the big news...
4. Joey and Jayme will be getting married tomorrow! Gail will send wedding pictures so I'll be sure to post those when I get them. Here's a picture of the adorable couple from Christmas Day:
And Gail passes this message to all of you who have helped: "Keep praying and keep the candle lit. God Bless all you good people."
Please go here for more information on how you can continue to support Joey, Gail, and Jayme while Joey recovers.
No need to worry. I've gotten a few emails from some of you expressing concern that the Mudville Gazette was down. It was down, but not out.
According to Mrs. Greyhawk, Mudville is just experiencing some server/hosting issues while moving the blog from one place to another. The site is up at the new host and it will take a little time to get comments, links, etc., working.
For you military types, their old host changed the SP time on them and didn't give them the PIR needed to complete the mission.
Via Seamus, this email from Major Brian Bresnahan in Iraq has a message for all of you Vietnam Veterans:
A guy gets time to think over here and I was thinking about all the support we get from home. Sometimes it's overwhelming. We get care packages at times faster than we can use them. There are boxes and boxes of toiletries and snacks lining the center of every tent; the generosity has been amazing. So, I was pondering the question: "Why do we have so much support?"
In my opinion, it came down to one thing: . I think we learned a lesson, as a nation, that no matter what, you have to support the troops who are on the line, who are risking everything. We treated them so poorly back then. When they returned was even worse. The stories are nightmarish of what our returning warriors were subjected to. It is a national scar, a blemish on our country, an embarrassment to all of us.
After , it had time to sink in. The guilt in our collective consciousness grew. It shamed us.
However, we learned from our mistake. Somewhere during the late 1970's and into the 80's, we realized that we can't treat our warriors that way. So, starting during the Gulf War, when the first real opportunity arose to stand up and support the troops, we did. We did it to support our friends and family going off to war. But we also did it to right the wrongs from the era. We treated our troops like the heroes they were, acknowledged and celebrated their sacrifice, and rejoiced at their homecoming instead of spitting on them.
And that support continues today for those of us in . Our country knows that it must support us and it does.
The lesson was learned in and we are better because of it.
Everyone who has gone before is a hero. They are celebrated in my heart. I think admirably of all those who have gone before me. From those who fought to establish this country in the late 1770's to those I serve with here in . They have all sacrificed to ensure our freedom.
But when I get back, I'm going to make it a personal mission to specifically thank every Vietnam Vet I encounter for their sacrifice. Because if nothing else good came from that terrible war, one thing did. It was the lesson learned on how we treat our warriors. We as a country learned from our mistake and now treat our warriors as heroes, as we should. I am the beneficiary of their sacrifice. Not only for the freedom they, like veterans from other wars, ensured, but for how well our country now treats my fellow Marines and I. We are the beneficiaries of their sacrifice.
Late one night in St. Louis, I was feeding my four month old daughter and watching Country Music Television...something I don't have in Chicago...and Montgomery Gentry and Lynyrd Skynyrd were on CMT's Crossroads where the bands combine to play each other's songs. They wrapped up with "Red, White, and Blue" (lyrics). I rocked my baby girl to sleep to it.
They absolutely rocked...Hopefully, they'll have Crossroads available on DVD sometime soon.
Switching to Black Crowe's "Wiser Time" (Window Media Player)...
WASHINGTON(12/27/2004) — Army National Guard officer Ladda “Tammy” Duckworth did not give a room full of men, including a couple of generals and a legislator from her state of Illinois, any time to feel sorry for her when she was promoted to major on Dec. 21 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The lady in the wheelchair was too busy swapping stories about flying helicopters, asking about her outfit’s 300 or so Soldiers still serving in Iraq, and making her point that she plans to continue serving this country. There was no chance for anyone to lament the fact that most of her two legs are missing and that her severely damaged right arm was encased in a hinged splint.
“I hope this is the worst thing that happens to anyone in the 106th during this deployment,” the UH-60 Blackhawk pilot smiled warmly on the first day of winter. “This is not so bad. There is always somebody worse off than you are. I’m just glad it was me and not one of my guys out there.”
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.