Kit who is one half of the very entertaining Euphoric Reality along with Heidi sends this reminding us about some folks whose lives have been turned completely upside down.
I've sent this out to my friends, family, and every military blogger I can think of. I'm hoping you guys can help.
If you've been following the Pendleton/Innocent 8 case, then you're aware of the incredible mental, emotional, and financial stress these men are under.
Behind the news articles and interviews and drama are the families. The financial burden of these hearings and upcoming courts-martial have drained them completely. None of them were financially well off; they refinanced homes, took second, third, and even fourth jobs, and pulled other children from college to pay for the defense. Three of these men have very small children who need things like formula and diapers. But the question is inevitable: If every penny goes to defending their sons/husbands from being wrongfully convicted and having their lives ruined, what is left over for groceries? How do their everyday bills get paid? And why are they even in the position of having to choose between a defense and a package of diapers?
That's where we come in.
The Innocent Pendleton 8 Family Fund is not for legal fees. It is not for defense experts or trial costs. It is for phone bills so their sons can call home from the brig. It is for diapers for their babies, groceries for their cupboards, gas for their cars so they can get to work. It is to help them survive financially while these horrifying circumstances are going on.
A total accounting for all monies will be made public to all who ask, and the money will go directly from me personally to the families, in order of immediate need.
In front of Camp Pendleton, where these 8 men have been held in special confinement for over 130 days, there are rallies and media and national TV coverage. But back in little towns in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Washington State, and other locations, their parents and wives don't have enough money to feed their children. This story breaks my heart, and I hope that you can find it in yours to give even a few dollars to help these families.
If you have a blog, please consider linking to the fund on your site and/or posting the button, or even just putting up a post to tell your readers. These men and their families have sacrificed everything they have in our defense and the ensuing court battle. I would really like to be able to help them back. Maybe if they don't need to worry about whether their babies are getting enough to eat they can concentrate on the battle ahead.
"...Because of the military discounts, Bonaventure Discount Golf in
Augusta and Gordon Lakes Golf Course on Fort Gordon no longer receive
Ping products...Karsten Manufacturing Corp. of Phoenix, Ariz., which
has a registered trademark on the Ping brand, discontinued its
Bonaventure and Gordon Lakes accounts in August.
I love the smell of coercive interrogations and tribunals in the morning, smells like……Victory.
The Wisconsin State Journal made a conscious decision to move to the left with their editorial voice. I don’t know why, although perhaps being the largest paper in a very liberal town may have something to do with it. They once were considered a few steps right of center, which when translated by the progressives here made them arch-conservative, but they have never strayed very far right. Now they seem determined to prove their “moderate” stance by taking gratuitous shots at easy Republican/conservative targets like Sensenbrenner and of course W. Their recent torture editorial is a case in point. I took them partially to task here and did their editorial board the courtesy of copying them and explaining why their piece was chock full of falsehoods. I requested space on the opinion page to refute the unsupported allegations they made that the President requested authority to conduct torture. I received a response from Scott Milfred, editorial page editor, who ignored my arguments completely and reiterated his previous position that “Torture is bad mmmmkay, W asked to torture so, W is bad mmmmkay” He summed his position up thusly:
“It is a fact that the Geneva Conventions established standards of behavior in military conflicts that prohibit the use of all forms of torture. President Bush sought to escape the torture provision that bans outrages against personal dignity”
I answered him with the following and also a number of other fact-based points to rebut the moral preening of their editorial:
That is simply incorrect. The prohibition banning outrages against personal dignity is a separate provision within Common Article 3 not a “torture” provision.
I'm in the final week of taking orders for Girl Scout cookies to send overseas to 2 Marine units. This is my second year doing this. Last year we shipped over 100 boxes to Army units in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our goal this year is 200. We've already gotten orders for 60 boxes in just over a week. Would you mention this on your site for anyone that would like to help send GS cookies? I would greatly appreciate it. Here is the link to all the information: http://www.soldiersperspective.us/?p=1262
I personally recommend Thin Mints, but they tend to melt in the heat so you might consider that.
I liked this bit from the bottom of CJ's email:
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't use swear words!!
Then right below that is:
"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8
It’s nice to have a peace of, Heh I wrote peace instead of piece, it can stay, about something that was just all good.
When I met my wife her youngest brother was 18 years old and a world class punk ass. I liked him because he was a smart, engaging kid, but I also made no bones about what a mutt I thought he was acting like. He was a tremendous athlete, but had managed to drift away from sports and just spend his time going to parties and sleeping on the nearest couch. His dad was an army medic in Vietnam and then retired from the Air Force 5 or 6 years ago, and my wife had been in the Air National Guard,as had his other sister. When Nate started talking to me about the Army it didn’t surprise me much when he enlisted, he had a pretty good idea what it offered and apparently what he needed.
I wondered if he would make it, but hey I wondered if I would make it too. He did and became a member of the Old Guard, which is the ceremonial unit that handles Arlington Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier but also is responsible for defending the Pentagon from attack. Several times when discussing 9/11 with Truther nuts who deny it happened and claim there was no aircraft wreckage in sight, I have mentioned that I heard first hand that yes there was. Nate’s unit was training minutes away and he helped with the rescue efforts of what was obviously the crash of a plane.
He came home on leave to visit a number of times and he would have made a perfect recruiting commercial, because he was no longer a punk kid, he was a man. He has since gotten out and is going to school at Savannah State University at the age of 26, where he made their football team as a walk on. I have really enjoyed watching the transformation and have nothing but respect for him. The local TV station did a piece on him and I think it shows him just like he is. Bravo Nate!
The article is just a transcript of the video interview at the top right.
I got an email from a former Navy guy, who reminded me about a big bo-at built up in Marinette. In my previous role in executive search, I hired one of the lead program managers for this program and the ship they built is very cool. The Littoral Combat Ship is designed to leave the blue water where most of the Navy operates and get up close to the shore, drop off some troops and support them with resupply and Fire support. Go check it out.
You may not have noticed, but up in Marinette over the weekend a new Navy ship, the future USS Freedom was launched. The ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Birgit Smith, is the widow of SFC Paul Ray Smith.
MSNBC has produced a series of a few "Faces of Courage" 60 second Vignettes. First to be released last evening is SFC Paul Smith - the man that gave his life to save his soldiers during the Invasion of Iraq, yet not many people know who he is. He was awarded the Medal of Honor.
MSNBC is to be commended for spending the resources on this project - particularly at a time when the war is not popular with the media. The good folks at ThreatsWatch.Org have the right idea - we need to send emails to MSNBC :
Spent a few days last week down at Oceana Naval Air Station as we started the last LAST farewell for the F-14.
The Tomcat Sunset ceremonies included a veritable cornucopia of events and parties, highlighted by a ceremonial Final Flight (rather underwhelming was the general consensus) on Friday and a big formal dinner on Saturday.
The last few jets will be flown out to their final resting places over the next week or so, the Boneyard or to some air museum somewhere.
I blogged a bit on the festivities and a bit on the legacy of the Tomcat over on the Instapinch ,so if you are thus inclined , go have a gander and a read.
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.