"Most people think that all it takes is two hands and two feet and a stupid mind. Maybe so, for cannon fodder. Possibly that was all the Julius Ceasar required. But a private soldier today is a specialist so highly skilled that he would rate "master" in any other trade."
Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers
I will throw out my usual plea for all to take some time out today for prayer and reflection on how the sacrifices of all veterans, from the Battle of Bunker Hill, to the daily firefights in Helmand and Kandahar really do affect our freedom. I will be thinking about the men and women who make my "today" a free "today" between cocktails and bratwursts and the families that are celebrating without them today.
And I will never be able to thank Earl, Larry, and Bernard enough for their sacrifice, but promise to think of you today, and everyday, when I think about what it takes and what I teach my son about what it takes to be free. The cause of freedom and it's triumph over tyranny will never be in doubt because of men like you.
Concrete Bob shares the news that heaven has three new angels. Amanda Prewett Doss, a friend of his and a long time troop supporter, member of the Patriot Guard, and more is dead along with her two children. To make it worse, they were murdered and their home set on fire to try and cover the crime. According to a report, her parents were injured trying to reach them in the burning house.
Thoughts and prayers for her family and many friends including Concrete Bob are needed. Let's also pray that whomever did this is found quick, and that justice is done.
Phelps Wannabes Try To Mar Michael Murphy DDG-112 Dedication
Posted By Laughing_Wolf
As most of you know, DDG-112, the USS Michael Murphy, was dedicated yesterday. A ship named for a selfless warrior who made the ultimate sacrifice. A time when his friends and family can see him honored and reflect upon their loss, that sacrifice, and a legion of virtues respresented in both acts.
Well, a nice theory at any rate as a group of political three-year-olds having a temper tantrum managed to mar and disrupt this solemn event. AW1 Tim does a good job with his post and photos, and I agree with him on their right to do so. That said, anyone of any maturity with even a glimmer of respect or dedication to civil discourse would not do what they did. Then again, they are not into civil discourse, but the overthrow of such. I never thought I would say anything remotely approaching good about the Phelps clan, but at least they are in it to make money (via lawsuits, their stock-in-trade) while this group is simply about spoilage: spoiling all they can for anyone they can for no good cause or reason. If anyone can point out any significant difference between them and a three-year-old pitching a temper tantrum for attention, I would love to know what it is. They loathe this country, and most of all, they loathe themselves, which leads them to insist that everyone be as miserable as they are. Old fashioned terms boor, bore, poltroon, base-born, and such strongly apply. The deserve approbium and censure by all with any self-respect, much less not-so-common decency, and should be shunned for the societal rejects they are.
I had the opportunity to be with seven Medal of Honor recipients on Friday, and they showcased the words humility, respect, honor, and integrity. They would no more think of acting as did this bunch of socially-arrested immature louts than they would have thought of appearing in pink tutus. Michael Murphy was more than a fit addition to their company, and well worthy of the Medal of Honor awarded him posthumously.
Rather than expound further on the myriad failings of the paragons of subintellectual virtueless operation, I will point you here, here, and here. Also, Zero shares some thoughts at This Ain't Hell.
Previous Blackfive posts about Michael Murphy you should read include:
SANGIN, Afghanistan ” It would be hard to forget that face, even if they hadn't seen it just the day before.
A young Afghan man stood on the side of a narrow dirt lane, watching an open-top truckload of Marines head into a volatile neighborhood in this river valley town coveted by Taliban insurgents and drug lords.
The man smiled at the Marines and waved. Then he yanked a kite string detonation cord attached to a bomb buried in the road.
A platoon from Camp Pendletons 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment would have been decimated in the attack. The battalion already had suffered more casualties than any other in the 10-year war in Afghanistan, long before its seven-month tour ended this month. But the homemade device was a dud. It smoked but failed to explode until the Marines drove safely out of the way.
The next day, the Marines shot their way back into the ravine, wounding an armed fighter who was dragged into a mosque. When they reached the alley where they had been attacked, Cpl. Jason Gaal and Staff Sgt. Nathan Stocking couldn't believe their eyes. Both recognized a guy riding by on a motorcycle.
"Lo and behold, there's our trigger man," Gaal said.
Stocking walked the trembling flex-cuffed detainee back to base, overcompensating for his fury with exaggerated gentleness. "My buddy ... my buddy," he sang, guiding his prisoner lightly by the arm.
Unfortunately, Jimbo and the Tankerbabe let me know that film maker and cameraman extraordinaire, Tim Hetherington, was killed in Libya. Details at this time are thin.
Award-winning war photographer Tim Hetherington and Getty photographer Chris Hondros were killed in Misrata, Libya, today in a mortar attack, colleagues told ABC News.
Hetherington, one of the best known photojournalists, produced powerful pieces for ABC News' "Nightline" from the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, and for the documentary "Restrepo," which won an award at the Sundance film festival last year.
Three other journalists were wounded in the same attack, including Andre Leon and Michael Brown. The identity of the fifth reporter has not yet been confirmed...
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tim's family and friends.
The Men Who Fight and Die and the Fathers that Love them (all)
Posted By Blackfive
Our own Subsunk sent us this one from B5 HQ North (like way North). At first glance, this is a story about a horrific mistake that was made - friendly fire might have killed two of our own. The worst thing about combat is friendly fire (check back here tomorrow for more on that). More than a few authors here and over at This Ain't Hell know that to be true.
But read the story as there was a part that you should definitely read and share...the bold emphasis is mine:
WASHINGTON – The military is investigating what appears to be the first case of American troops killed by a missile fired from a U.S. drone. <...> Officials said this is the first case they know of in which a drone may have been involved in a friendly fire incident in which U.S. troops were killed, and they are trying to determine how it happened.
Marine Staff Sgt. Jeremy Smith of Arlington, Tex., and Seaman Benjamin D. Rast of Niles, Mich., were hit while moving toward other Marines who were under fire in Helmand province.
Military officials in Afghanistan declined to provide any details, saying only that it was a friendly fire incident. "A formal investigation will determine the circumstances that led to the incident," the International Security Assistance Force said in a statement last week. <...> "Whoever that young man or woman was, they didn't send that drone over there to kill my son or Doc Rast," Jerry Smith told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "If it was a royal screw up, it was a royal screw up. Make corrections because I don't want another family to have to go through this."
He said "trying to put a bigger burden on that person who fired the missile is not something I would do."
"I guarantee you if he was standing in front of me, he'd be asking for forgiveness, and I would give it to him," Jerry Smith said...
More than a few times on this blog (hell, even this week), I've wondered how we produce such great warriors...
Well, if the Smith family of Arlington, Texas, is indicative of the American family, we have nothing to worry about.
Godspeed, Staff Sergeant Jeremy Smith and Seaman Benjamin Rast.
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.