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September 2004

American Pledges to Vote According to Malaysian Poll

Dzirhan sends this story about an ex-Soldier offering his vote up to a poll of newspaper readers in Malaysia.

He. Seriously. Needs. His. Chops. Busted.

American offers his vote to Malaysiakini readers
Steven Gan

Much has been said that global citizens, and not just Americans, should have the right to decide who should be the next United States president. After all, the person who is going to occupy the White House for the next four years will have a major impact on the rest of the world.

Eric Ossemig, an ex-soldier with the US Army, feels so strongly about this that he is letting readers of malaysiakini determine who he should be voting for in the Nov 2 American presidential election.

This website will carry a four-week poll beginning today to determine who among the three confirmed candidates in the keenly contested election - incumbent George W Bush (Republican), challengers John Kerry (Democrats) and Ralph Nader (Independent) - should be the next US president...

Read the whole thing. I don't care if the vote is for Bush, is there some way to call attention to this so that Assemig's vote is nullified or get him slapped with a fine? The vote is the most sacred of all things American and this guy is going to throw it away to some poll?!

Steve Gan needs his chops busted (several times) for even writing such nonsense as "Much has been said that global citizens, and not just Americans, should have the right to decide who should be the next United States president."

More People Who Need Their Chops Busted here.

Kerry's "Friendly" Fire

One thing that you'll hear a lot of the military men and women say is that, "after eight long years of disrespect and embarrasment, we finally have a Commander In Chief worthy of the military."

Does that mean that we all think that George Bush is the best President of all time?


But it does mean one thing, we know where he stands. We know where we stand with him. It's really that simple.

That's why if you ask us to name a Democrat that we'd vote for, we respond with names like Lieberman, Miller, or even Gephardt. They get it. You'd think a self-proclaimed war hero would get it, too. But no, he doesn't have a clue while he is nuancing his latest position. His words are becoming more and more harmful to the military - whether it's about leaving Iraq (and inspiring terrorists to fight harder) or a poorly trained military (I'm sure all the commanders are saying, "thanks, pal") or the nonsense about a back-door draft (and playing on everyone's fear of another Vietnam).

Here's what I've said that would make me think about voting for someone:

    You want my vote, fellas? How about a huge pay increase so our Sergeants don't have to use food stamps to take care of their families? How about funding a massive increase in troops to support a rotation overseas that will minimize time away from families and reduce dependence on the Guard and Reserve? How about funding better weapons, better armor, and better training? How about ACTUALLY SHOWING UP TO VOTE FOR ONCE!

    How about supporting HR 4323 and getting it through the Senate? That bill would provide money for emergency purchases of body armor and materials to up-armor vehicles. That bill could actually save lives.

    THAT would impress me, Senators.

    Instead, we military mostly think that you feel the same way about us that Bill Clinton did. You loath us. That doesn't mean we will quit if you are elected. That means that we'll drive on. We thrive when the leadership is good and we suffer when it's bad but we still serve.

    But how about the pay increase, hhmmm?

Now, my pal Greyhawk is In-Country and he's one of the best writers out there. If you want a flavor for what it feels like to be there, read it. And be sure to note how he feels about John Kerry and his anti-military posse trying to pretend like they know WTF they are doing...

Command Sergeant Major Phillip Shriver - Someone You Should Know

Chris M. sends this story about a wish come true:

Honorary Command Sgt. Maj. Philip Shriver renders his best salute. The 7-year-old was Soldier on Fort Riley for a day as a result of having his wish granted by Fort Riley and the Make a Wish Foundation of Kansas. Gary Skidmore

Fort Riley grants ill youth wish to be Soldier
By Gary Skidmore

FORT RILEY, Kan. (Army News Service, Sept. 27, 2004) -- Seven-year-old Phillip Shriver has a new guardian angel -- a little bear angel with red, white and blue wings, wearing a helmet.

Shriver who has a life threatening illness, leukemia, received the memento during his visit to Fort Riley Sept. 20, from Command Sgt. Maj. James Savitski, 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery command sergeant major.

Shriver was here living his dream of being a Soldier -- if only for a day. His wish was granted by Fort Riley and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas.

Savitski said he received the bear from his daughter, Michelle, then 12 years old, while he was deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

"I figured my little guardian angel had done its job (kept him safe) and needed to be used somewhere else more appropriate” said Savitski. “Phillip was the right person to give it to. I hope and pray it keeps him safe and protects and comforts him."

Shriver's day on Fort Riley was filled with Soldiering.

Fort Riley’s youngest Solder arrived by helicopter, provided by Company B, 158th Aviation, of the Kansas Army National Guard, of Olathe, Kan.

Shriver's tour of duty as a Soldier began with a visit to Range 18 were members of H Troop, 1st Cavalry Regiment were honing their scouting skills.

"This is cool," said Shriver as he made his way to the hatch on the Humvee and got behind the 50-cal. machine gun mounted on the vehicle.

Shriver's next stop on the tour was the 1st Battalion, 13th Armor motor pool where he climbed aboard and explored an M1-A1 Abrams Tank.

After a quick tour and a brief explanation of the tank's capabilities, the crew fired the tank up and rumbled off with Shriver.

"We just drove him around the motor pool," said Staff Sgt. Thomas Patrick, the gunner on the battalion commander's tank. "Phillip sure seemed to enjoy it."

When the tank returned, Shriver's dad, Chris asked him what he thought about the ride. The young tanker replied without hesitation, "That tank can run over your truck!"

Continue reading "Command Sergeant Major Phillip Shriver - Someone You Should Know" »

Letter from the CO of 1/7 Marines

Amy K. sends this update from the Commander of 1/7 Marines.

Update 17 Sept 04

The First Team has been on the ground in our area of operations in western Al Anbar province for 3 weeks now. On 11 Sept we formally took control of the mission here and said goodbye to 3d Bn 7th Marines as they begin their trip home. We are grateful for their help in taking over the mission, and we wish them all a safe journey home and a happy reunion with their families.

While I cannot pass on specifics, the general locations of the battalion have not changed since my last update. Baker Company and their attachments are still at Camp Gannon in Husaybah, and the rest of the battalion task force is at Al Qaim working and operating in the towns of Karabilah, Sadah, and Ubaydi. While it is a fact that the areas we operate in are hostile and very hazardous, the Marines and sailors of the battalion are already highly proficient in identifying the dangers, protecting themselves and innocent Iraqis, and eliminating the threats. The courage, discipline, and skill of these young men reduces the risks and never ceases to impress me every day.

By now I'm sure you have all learned of the battalion's losses. On 3 Sept Capt Rowe, Lt Winchester, and LCpl Wilt were killed in action, and GySgt Trujillo and LCpl Laymanleary were wounded. On 15 Sept, LCpl Drew Uhles was also killed in action by an IED in Husaybah. In that same incident, LCpl Graham Walker was wounded, but thankfully he has already returned to the battalion and is expected to recover quickly. Our thoughts are always with our fallen heroes and our prayers go out to their families to grant them peace in their time of suffering. The loss of these men is painful for us all, but know that we will always carry on because that is what our comrades would want us to do. It is to honor them that we continue our mission.

Please understand that when events like this occur your Marine or sailor may not be able to contact you by phone or e-mail. We must restrict communications until after the next of kin have been properly notified. I know that nothing is more comforting for you as hearing your loved one's voice, so rest assured that I will not cut off communications unless it is absolutely necessary.

As always, you are all in our thoughts and your prayers sustain us. Every one of us looks forward to the day we return and are reunited with our families. Until then, thank you for your continuing support.

God bless you and
Semper Fidelis
LtCol Chris Woodbridge

Staff Sgt. Daniel Metzdorf - Someone You Should Know

Bobby Sr. sends this one from the Fayetteville Observer about a paratrooper who doesn't know the meaning of the word "quit":

Capt. Matthew Madison, left, watches Staff Sgt. Daniel Metzdorf walk down a curb on his way to greet soldiers.

Amputee refuses to give up Army career
By Justin Willett
Staff writer

The 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper had his right leg amputated above the knee in January after being injured in a homemade bomb blast near Baghdad.

Metzdorf, 27, underwent rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center this spring and looked forward to returning to his unit, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

This summer, however, the Army deemed him unfit for duty.

Metzdorf appealed twice and on Friday learned that he would be allowed to stay in the Army and with his unit.

"I hope guys can learn from my situation, and I feel very grateful that I can stay with this organization," Metzdorf said.

"I'm pretty pumped up about it."

Lt. Col. Theopia A. Deas, chief of the operations division for the U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency, signed Metzdorf's request for continuance on active duty, which allows him to remain in the Army until he completes 20 years service.

Continue reading "Staff Sgt. Daniel Metzdorf - Someone You Should Know" »

If You Are Relatively New To Blackfive...

...then you might want to read these posts:

1. Taking Chance Home

2. Mathew Schram's Memorial Day

3. Alzheimer's

4. The Warrior Caste

5. Someone You Should Know (series)

6. Bonds That Shall Not Be Broken (series)

7. Saving Specialist Gray

8. The Sixtieth Anniversary of D-Day (dozens of bloggers participate in the anniversary with information about D-Day that you may not have read about before)

Finally, I usually post letters from friends in Iraq or the 'stan in the Military Stuff Category. I'm thinking of creating a Letters from the Battlefield category to separate them out from all of the other stuff. You have scroll through lots of military-related posts to find them. There's a few per week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Update: Bill reminds me of this post - All Things French - Blackfive's Encounter With a French General - that, aside from a Search and Rescue mission, is what I am best known for in the Army.

Sergeant First Class (ret.) Tim Frisby - Someone You Should Know

This is pretty interesting. Tanker Schreiber sends this inspirational story about a retired paratrooper chasing his dream of playing collegiate football.

Now Playing: The Old Man and the Football Team

The strip of tape bearing his new nickname appeared over Tim Frisby's locker one afternoon during summer drills. Frisby left it there and allowed himself to be the object of ribbing during two-a-day football practices.

The nickname is Pops.

Frisby is a 39-year-old father of six, and he is back playing a young man's game. The N.C.A.A. announced this week that Frisby, a 20-year Army veteran who had served with the 82nd Airborne Division, was eligible to play football for South Carolina. He will be part of the Gamecocks' 105-man squad dressing for tonight's home game against Troy.

"It's a dream come true," Frisby said in a telephone interview. "I've wanted to do this for so long."

Continue reading "Sergeant First Class (ret.) Tim Frisby - Someone You Should Know" »

I Need Your Help

Greyhawk has discovered that Websense, an HTML filtering company, is blocking Blackfive, Sgt Hook, Chief Wiggles (of ALL the people to block!) and other MilBloggers. Normally, I wouldn't be too worried about it, but the USAF uses Websense to block *ahem* adult sites and others that might be harmful (like hate groups, violence, etc.).

So, military men and women (even in the morale areas) cannot view many blogs (like Instapundit or Roger Simon?!).

Greyhawk suggests that you go here and ask Websense to unblock Blackfive.net and other weblogs.