Bruce Willis, military supporter, actor and musician, will be attending the Deuce Four (1-24) Ball this weekend to demonstrate his support for LTC Kurilla's battalion.
Michael Yon will be there, too, and writes about the upcoming event.
Paying Respect To Those Who've Earned It ...Nearly 600 soldiers were killed or wounded from the 1st Brigade
(Stryker), 25th Infantry Division, while fighting in Iraq. I visited
the newly built 1st Brigade Memorial, and as I read the names of the
fallen etched in the granite face of the memorial, I was humbly
reminded of the great price our soldiers continue to pay for my freedom
to write and to speak.
I look forward to spending the next week
with American soldiers at Fort Lewis and attending the Deuce Four Ball
on November 5th. Both Bruce Willis and I are honored to be invited. I
will write a full report after the occasion...
...the vision remains impaired he can only make out shapes and light
and billboard-size letters, he said. At this point, Gaya is considering
a cornea transplant.
The wound has turned his life upside down.
When Gaya returned to Fort Lewis, he joined other injured soldiers
assigned to odd jobs around the base. With his impaired vision, his
days as a sniper were over.
Some days he would help move furniture around; other times he would prepare barracks for the return of the battalion.
The attack had also upturned other parts of his life. The
Argentina-born immigrant, who moved to the United States as a child,
was injured just eight days before he was to be sworn in as a U.S.
citizen in a ceremony in Iraq.
Now, he's in a bureaucratic black hole: Federal immigration
officials wouldn't renew his permanent resident card or tell him when
he could reschedule the swearing-in ceremony. No one at the local U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services office could tell him what to do
next to get his citizenship papers, or even how to renew his
One day, as he was moving furniture at Fort Lewis, he found a copy
of an old newspaper with a photograph of soldiers at the citizenship
ceremony in Iraq that he had missed.
He tossed it aside and kept working.
After several surgeries and countless doctor's visits, the vision in
Gaya's left eye still is blurry and distorted, as if he's opening his
"Now that I have all this scar tissue built up, it's very difficult to see because the light is being refracted," he said.
But his right eye is uninjured, and Gaya believes he can still shoot pictures despite a loss of peripheral vision.
"I don't think it hindered my passion for photography one bit," he
said. "I've always been not much of a quitter kind of guy. Did it wear
on me? It did at first a little bit. But I primarily use my right eye,
so by no means is it going to slow me down at all ever."
Lt. Col. Erik Kurilla, Gaya's commanding officer who also returned
to Fort Lewis after being wounded in Mosul, called Gaya a "quiet
professional. He's the type of soldier that every commander wished he
had a hundred of."...
Sondra K at Knowledge Is Power is all over this. Mike Yon is helping out. And we could use your help in pushing the Powers That Be to help Sergeant Gaya. Especially, if you live in Washington state, we need your help with mobilizing Washington's Congressmen, Senators and Governor.
It's the least we could do for a genuine hero that deserves to be an American.
Received an email about the status of the vehicle commander who tried to rescue his medic in the burning Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
The SFC has 2nd and 3rd degree burns on 65% of his body. He is at Brooke receiving treatment. All reports are that is he is doing well and hanging tough. He's awake. His wife is by his side. And he wants to get back to his men.
Help Soldiers' Angels Give Our Heroes A Happy Holiday
Posted By Blackfive
I received this important message from Don McKay of Soldiers' Angels:
It is that time of year again. Soldiers’ Angels has been
busy for the last couple months organizing and collecting donations of items to
include in our annual Holidays for Heroes stocking drive! It is a special time
of year and we can only imagine how difficult it is for our brave men and women
to spend this time away from their loved ones. Our desire is to reach out and
bring a little piece of home to them so that they know they are not forgotten,
especially at this time of the year.
Unfortunately, Soldiers’ Angels, along with many other
charitable groups, is really feeling the pinch in donations this year. This is
due to many factors including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and now Wilma, along
with high gas prices and uncertainty in our economic well being, not to mention
our safety. Soldiers’ Angels needs help desperately raising funds so that we
can make sure our brave soldiers have the holiday they deserve. Without your
help and that of other generous Americans, we will not be able to reach our
goals. We will have soldiers who do not hear anything from home. Some will be
on the front lines in Iraq or Afghanistan; some will be in a hospital bed in
Germany. We can’t let this happen.
Can you help? What do we need? Cash! We need monetary
donations, and we need them today!!! Please make checks payable to Soldiers’
Angels and send them to:
Soldiers’ Angels Holiday for Heroes 1792 East Washington Blvd Pasadena, CA 91104
Or if you prefer, you can send your donation through PayPal.
Simply go to www.paypal.com and send
your donation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to enter HOLIDAY FOR HEROES in the comments section so that you
donation can be applied appropriately.
Anything will help. $1, $5, $10, $100… Please give of your
hearts so that our brave men and women in uniform – our heroes – hear from us
loud and clear this holiday season that we support them and care about them.
I find this rash of posts suggesting that anti-war activists
"celebrate" the deaths of American soldiers to be both tragic and
Tragic, because it represents a descent into depraved, gutter-level
slander as a form of argumentation, and it is a profoundly un-American
approach to a most American of activities: dissent. Telling, because it
means these bloggers have nothing left to justify the deaths of
Americans in Iraq but desperate and transparent attacks on those who
want our troops home...
Typical of the far left. According to them, I don't get to have an opinion, either. Note to Peter: I'm dissenting, too. Dissenting against the bull@#$% of the anti-war movement.
Using the deaths of my friends as an excuse to spout socialistic and anarchistic drivel is not acceptable to me.
And you don't believe that the left isn't celebrating the deaths of my friends? Don't believe it's a celebration? Zombie has the proof. It's disgusting and reprehensible. Did you know that they're planning a large protest at Walter Reed where wounded vets are recovering? Is that acceptable to Peter?
We're in Iraq now - will be there for years. And the only way to win is to keep improving while completing the mission. It'll take years. It'll be tough going. And more lives will be lost or irrecovably changed.
...Regular readers know this issue is personal for me. I did what many of
these war-supporting bloggers (MilBloggers excluded) have never done
but are eager to encourage others to do: I fought the "terrorists" in
Lebanon as a young man. I defended my family against the Syrian
military and helped lay the groundwork for the "Cedar Revolution." I
was in Beirut when we lost hundreds of brave Marines. I experienced the
horrors of war in the Middle East, the rivers of blood in the streets.
And because I knew the hell we were sending our young men and women
into, I marched in opposition to the Iraq invasion.
I did it for one basic reason: I believed that our government was lying
about the rationale for war. If we send courageous Americans to die in
a foreign land, the moral underpinning MUST be rock solid. Unassailable
ethical justification for war is essential if we want to maintain our
moral standing, our dignity, our humanity. In a word: America isn't
America if we lie our way into war. There's no better way to undermine
the sacrifice of our military men and women than to deprive them of the
purity of purpose that undergirds their mission...
Aside from the I'm-better-qualified-than-anyone-to-have-an-opinion-about-war drivel, Pete says he was anti-war because he knows the horrors of war. But, then, he says the one reason he was against the war - marched against the invasion - was because, according to Pete, it was based on lies.
The "lies"? That's Peter politicizing the war.
"Bush lied"? Hell, even Saddam thought he had WMD. Get over it.
Peter Daou was against the invasion but worked on the Kerry campaign. Let me remind you all of a few quotes from John Forbes Kerry:
"[WE]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with
the U.S Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if
appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond
effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of
mass destruction programs." - Letter to President Clinton, signed by
Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the
authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein
because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction
in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - Sen. John
F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal,
murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a
particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to
miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to
his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass
destruction...So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass
destruction is real..." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003
So was Peter either working for someone that he believed in or whoever was paying him to be a spinmeister?
Peter quotes another blogger then wraps up by paraphrasing from the blogger:
...Bottom line: If Malkin, LGF, and Blackfive think opponents of the
Iraq war are "celebrating" the deaths of American troops, let them
answer the basic paradox of their position, namely, how is it that wanting our troops NOT to die is worse than wanting them to remain in the line of fire?
Well, in order to answer this one-sided question, I can't speak for anyone but myself.
Of course, I don't want our troops to die. I've lost three very good friends in this war. I talk to my friend's widow every week. I've had several friends wounded. And I've visited wounded heroes. I've met Iraqis, too.
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.