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November 2004

Local Ways to Help

Of course, anyone can help these folks, but as a reader pointed out, maybe some of you in the area would feel more connected by donating to a local cause/Soldier or Marine. 

Here are just a few ways to help people in your area.  If you have more stories with ways to help, please place them in the comments section.  URL's become links automatically in the Comments so there is no need to use HTML to make a link active.

Omaha - Rachelle sends this article about a Marine who was killed just hours before his son was born.  You can donate to a trust fund for his son at any Wells Fargo branch.

Minnesota - Kelly, the Patriette, has details on how you can help a Marine who was grievously injured while saving another Marine.  She has information on how you can help.

Florence, SC - Pam sends this story about a Marine who is in critical condition in Germany.  His church has set up a fund to help the family stay with him in Germany until he can make the trip home.

Godspeed Sergeant Peralta - Marine Deserves Medal of Honor

John R. sends this story from the Seattle Times (written by an Army Times staffer).  I'll post the whole article in case it disappears into the archives. 

This is the story of a Marine, Sergeant Rafael Peralta, who sacrificed himself so his Marines would live...

Marine sacrifices his life for others in grenade blast

By Gordon Trowbridge
The Army Times

FALLUJAH, Iraq — Sgt. Rafael Peralta built a reputation as a man who always put his Marines' interests ahead of his own.

He showed that again, when he made the ultimate sacrifice of his life Tuesday, by shielding his fellow Marines from a grenade blast. "It's stuff you hear about in boot camp, about World War II and Tarawa Marines who won the Medal of Honor," said Lance Cpl. Rob Rogers, 22, of Tallahassee, Fla., one of Peralta's platoon mates in 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

Peralta, 25, as platoon scout, wasn't even assigned to the assault team that entered the insurgent safe house in northern Fallujah, Marines said. Despite an assignment that would have allowed him to avoid such dangerous duty, he regularly asked squad leaders if he could join their assault teams, they said.

One of the first Marines to enter the house, Peralta was wounded in the face by rifle fire from a room near the entry door, said Lance Cpl. Adam Morrison, 20, of Tacoma, who was in the house when Peralta was first wounded.

Moments later, an insurgent rolled a fragmentation grenade into the area where a wounded Peralta and the other Marines were seeking cover.

As Morrison and another Marine scrambled to escape the blast, pounding against a locked door, Peralta grabbed the grenade and cradled it into his body, Morrison said. While one Marine was badly wounded by shrapnel from the blast, the Marines said they believe more lives would have been lost if not for Peralta's selfless act.

"He saved half my fire team," said Cpl. Brannon Dyer, 27, of Blairsville, Ga. The Marines said such a sacrifice would be perfectly in character for Peralta, a Mexico native who lived in San Diego and gained U.S. citizenship after joining the Marines.

Continue reading "Godspeed Sergeant Peralta - Marine Deserves Medal of Honor" »

If I Could Talk To The President Tomorrow...

...I'd tell him that Fallujah's reconstruction needs to be perfect - THE example - and that we need to get it right.

We've got an opportunity to hire a ton of Iraqis and spend the $90,000,000 set aside for reconstruction on job creation as well (and not just construction jobs, either).  This needs to be the focus - not spending it on contractors to rebuild a city that we'll have to destroy all over again because the populace is angry about the "occupation".

Mosque Shooting - More Comments

Here's a few important points made by LtCol (ret.) Ollie North:

War Crimes?

...For American broadcasts, the actual shot is "blacked out." But when the tape airs on Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Lebanon TV and other Arab media outlets, nothing is left to the imagination. Unfortunately, neither version is accurate -- though both are very troubling. Like so much of what's on television today, only the goriest, most sensational portion of the tape has aired. As a consequence, "the rest of the story" -- as my friend Paul Harvey puts it -- has been lost in the clamor created by 15 seconds of videotape.

Only a few have seen the footage shot the day before -- providing irrefutable evidence that the mosque was a well-defended arms depot. And fewer still have viewed the very next sequence after "the shooting," which shows two Marines pointing their weapons at another combatant lying motionless. Suddenly, one of the Marines jumps back as the terrorist stretches out his hand, motioning that he is alive. Neither Marine opens fire.

According to the Marines, a Navy medical corpsman was then summoned to treat the two wounded prisoners. In his original written report, Sites, the correspondent who videotaped the shooting, doesn't mention the medical treatment provided to the injured enemy combatants, but he does note that four of the combatants were some of those who had been left behind from the firefight on Friday. If the NBC reporter knew that from being there the day before, why didn't he tell this new group of Marines before they rushed into the room?

None of that is included in the tape, which is now being used to raise Islamic ire at the "American invader." Why? And why did it take more than a day to learn that the Marine seen shooting on the videotape had been wounded in the face the day before if the correspondent knew that when he filed the videotape? Why didn't the original story include the fact that a Marine in the same unit had been killed 24 hours earlier while searching the booby-trapped dead body of a terrorist?

As I wrote before, Sites had a choice to make, and he chose headlines over our Marines.