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April 2005

More Inter-Service Rivalry (Between Snakes)

Uncle Jimbo's got another great story about Special Forces training Marines and narrowly avoiding death at the hands fangs of a communist snake.  Be sure to check it out.

Jimbo starts out talking about a Chief Warrant Officer.  SF Chiefs are mostly all the same rare breed.

A few were different, though.  Crazy, tactless, and meeeaaann.  I just ran into one of my former Chiefs last year (was SF qualified and moved into the intel section).

Whenever I'm at our place in Florida, I run into someone I know from the service.  Last year, it was Chief Wheeley.

Me, looking for children's suntan lotion in Eckerd's Pharmacy,  "Now where the hell is the Bullfrog?!  They have to have bullfrog."

I hear behind me, "Oh Christ! There goes the @#$%ing neighborhood!"

I turn around, not sure who is talking, and I see Chief W.  He's wearing the loudest, ugliest Hawaiian shirt I've ever seen (is that supposed to be a parrot?), khaki slacks with cuffs, and shower shoes - there's a big difference between what you would call "flip-flops" and what he was wearing (do they issue shower shoes?).  And he's got his $2 sunglasses on - red horn-rimmed and U.G.L.Y.  But they did kind of match his shirt...

An unassuming guy, in his mid forties, he could beat the heck out of anyone I knew.  That was the thing.  To anyone else, he was just some schmuck tourist who forgot to take his meds.

My wife edges towards our son in the stroller (she has had very little experience with the Army).  I sternly look at the Chief.

And smile.

"Hey, nice @#$%ing shirt, Chief!"  And we hug. 

"Like it?  Really?", I shake my head, laughing, "Captain, who the @#$% is cutting your hair? Fabio?"  He didn't know I was out of the Army.

We tell "Where the @#$% have you been?" stories.  After about forty-five minutes of memory-lane, we shake hands and depart.

His last parting shot was at my wife, "You'll never tame that (casts aspersion about my parentage)!"

He's not typical of the chiefs I knew...some are worse...a lot worse.

Remembering Windy Two Five

    "In their short time, they made the world a better place.” - Chaplain (MAJ) Joseph Fleury


On April 6th, a flight of two US Army CH-47 Chinooks took off from Kabul headed to Bagram Air Base.  They carried mail, supplies, and personnel.  There were sand storms that day...nothing really unusual for the 'stan.

Only one bird made it back.

Some early information that I have is that at about 2:45 PM one of the Chinooks, "Windy Two Five", flew through a large storm that created a 13,000 foot funnel of whirling sand and debris.  The aircraft apparently distintegrated in mid air, crashing near the village of Deh Khudaidad about 80 miles south of Kabul.  The incident is being investigated and there is no official conclusion as to what caused the crash, yet.

Below is a picture of the memorial at Bagram sent by Sgt. Hook.


Five of the fallen were the flight crew from Company F-159th Aviation Regiment (12th Aviation Brigade) - "Big Windy" - out of Giebelstadt, Germany.  There's quite a blogger connection to the 159th.  Teresa of Technicalities has a son who is a crew chief in Big Windy.  And CaliValleyGirl's boyfriend is also serving in Big Windy.

The Stars & Stripes published information about them - authors are Kent Harris and Joseph Giordono:

Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Ayala, 24, was born in South Carolina and enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school. He married his wife, Athena, while attending flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., in 2002. Ayala served in Kosovo and Afghanistan, logging 50 hours of combat time in one month. Awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and the Bronze Star, which was awarded posthumously.

Maj. Craig Wilhelm, Ayala’s company commander, praised his “ability to make sure we always kept things in the proper perspective.” Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ed Maynard attended flight school with Ayala and recalled his friend’s love of wine and cooking and desire to find “just the right house” for his wife to live in.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Clint J. Prather, 32, was a native of Cheney, Wash., and enlisted to serve as a combat medic in the Persian Gulf War. He served in South Korea and later in Fort Gordon, Ga., where he met and married his wife, Irene. He flew 240 hours of combat missions in Iraq, flying mainly out of Balad. In Afghanistan, Prather logged nearly 100 hours of combat flight time in one month. Awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, two Air Medals, the Army Commendation Medal and a posthumous Bronze Star.

Prather was “a charismatic joker” who “had a way of commanding a room,” Wilhelm said. Chief Warrant Officer 3 John Sims said Prather could have transferred out of the unit after serving a stint in Iraq, but volunteered to stay on, knowing it was headed for Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Charles R. Sanders Jr., 29, a native of Charleston, Mo., enlisted in 1995 as a helicopter mechanic. He logged more than 60 hours of combat flight time in one month in Afghanistan as a flight engineer. Sanders married his wife, Gwendolyn, in 1998 and the couple had two children. Sanders’ awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Senior Aviation Badge and a posthumous Bronze Star.

Sgt. Jesse Wandling said Sanders, a relative newcomer to “Big Windy” in Germany, was the son of a retired Army first sergeant who had two stints of service in Alaska, with a stop in Georgia sandwiched between.

Spc. Michael K. Spivey, 21, was born in Oklahoma and enlisted shortly after graduating from high school. Working his way up to crew chief, Spivey served in Iraq and volunteered to be a door gunner. He flew more than 65 hours of combat time in Afghanistan. Awards include the Meritorious Unit Citation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and a posthumous Bronze Star.

Wilhelm recalled Spivey as “a faithful volunteer who never seemed to tire.” Pfc. Amber Gardner said her friend “always knew the right thing to say at the right time.” She praised his intelligence, responsibility and high moral standards. His stint in Iraq “made him stronger as a person and a soldier.”

Spc. Pendelton L. Sykes II, 25, was a native of Chesapeake, Va., and enlisted in the Army in 2003. Sykes, who was married, volunteered to serve as a door gunner for the Afghanistan deployment, logging dozens of combat flight hours in the unit’s first month in the country. Awards include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a posthumous Bronze Star.

Wilhelm called Sykes “the young man with a contagious smile.” Spc. Alex Rolinski said his friend liked to lift weights and repair cars and helicopters. “But he was best at being a friend. He had an unforgettable laugh.”

The rest of the Americans who lost their lives in the crash were from various other units or were civilians. 

Three of the lost Soldiers were from the Red Devils - 1st of the 508th Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.  The Stars & Stripes' Kent Harris wrote about them.

Sascha Struble, 20, an Army corporal from Philadelphia, N.Y., was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment. Struble was a paralegal who became a paratrooper and looked forward to a career in law after leaving the service. Struble was “a true combat multiplier who took good care of our soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Tim McGuire, the battalion commander.

Romanes L. Woodard, 30, an Army staff sergeant from Hertford, N.C., was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment. Kilbride called Woodard “a dedicated father and quiet professional.” McGuire said he was a key member of his maintenance platoon, adding, “We could not have deployed as a combat ready force” without him.

Daniel J. Freeman, 20, an Army corporal from Cincinnati, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment. Jack Kilbride, commander of the battalion’s headquarters company, said, “No matter how mundane, how menial or how difficult the task, Corporal Freeman accomplished it with a smile.”

There was also a Marine on board.  Sergeant James Lee was the last of his unit to secure ordnance at FOB Orgun-E (Task Force Red Horse).  He had missed an earlier flight and was finally going to be heading home to Indiana:

James S. Lee, 26, a Marine sergeant from Mt. Vernon, Ind., was with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 142, Marine Aircraft Group 42, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. Gunnery Sgt. Mikel Culver said his friend was looking forward to getting closer to his father and wife when he returned to the States. “There were a lot of things he wanted to do when he got back.”

One of the fallen was a former enlisted Coastie, then Ranger Officer, then a JAG Officer (US Army Reserve) who always wanted to make a difference in peoples' lives. 

David S. Connolly, 37, an Army captain from Boston, was an Army reservist with the 1173rd Transportation Terminal Battalion and a prosecutor for Suffolk County, Mass. He had served in Iraq before joining the prosecutor’s office, where he was one of 10 assigned to the Boston Municipal Court.

Boston Globe reporter, Christine McConville, reports about his funeral and those who will never forget him.

...Gregory Connolly, one of Connolly's four brothers, recalled his older sibling as a man ''with a strong sense of values in a society consumed by the individual. David believed in others."

He added: ''Many a summer night, we sat listening to the [Red] Sox, fishing for stripers in the harbor. Leisure was on the agenda, but the conversation often turned to a series of questions: 'Could you do more, could you do better, could you make a difference?' "...

At the end of his eulogy, Greg Connolly encouraged the congregation to follow his brother's example.

''Through a single act of kindness, persevering in achieving a personal goal, or supporting a cause for which you have conviction, there could be no more powerful testament and legacy to my brother David than for each of us to leave here today and make a difference in the lives of others," he said.

There were two senior NCOs who were members of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division (Light) from Schofield Barracks (Hawaii).   The two NCOs were good friends - often seen having weight-lifting challenges at the gym.  Over 200 Soldiers crammed into the chapel tent for their memorial at FOB Salerno.

Sergeant Major Barbaliena Banks has two bachelor degrees - computer science and  business administration.  She is the mother of two (her youngest, Kent, just graduated from high school) and grandmother of three from Louisana.  She also has a sister in the US Army Reserves.  SFC Class Cassandra Jeanpierre is serving a second tour in Kuwait. 

Barbaralien Banks, 41, an Army sergeant major, from Harvey, La., was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. Maj. Dewey Mosley, Banks’ supervisor, said she had volunteered to fix a problem in the field, putting her on the flight. Sgt. Christian Monk said Banks was a strong female role model: “I hope to take what I have learned from her and pass it on to my soldiers.”

Master Sergeant Edward Matos-Colon volunteered to go with SGM Banks to help some of his constituents in the FOBs in the Paktika Province.  He was noted for his cool demeanor and can-do attitude...as well as ribbing from his troops for his Vin Diesel-esque look.

Edward A. Matos-Colon, 42, an Army master sergeant from Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. Col. Gary Cheek, commander of Task Force Thunder, said if there were a picture next to the definition of a mechanic in the dictionary, Matos would be there. “He was a man of great enthusiasm, one who would take on any mission, any task.”

Major Edward Murphy loved being a Soldier.  He was a Jumpmaster with over 300 jumps and a Ranger.  He was known as a kind man, but also one that never ever quit.  A Signal Corps Officer, he was the Deputy Communications Officer for the Joint Task Force with a bright future.

Edward J. Murphy, 36, an Army major from Charleston, S.C., was assigned to the Southern European Task Force (Airborne) in Vicenza, Italy. Master Sgt. Steve Roberts said Murphy was “just a good guy.” He said Murphy had ventured out to see how things were going on the bases outside of Bagram. Murphy was due to head back to Vicenza in June to become the executive officer of the 509th Signal Battalion.

Russ Rizzo of the Stars & Stripes had written about Major Murphy's missions:

...He was a signal officer for the Southern European Task Force, an office job that was supposed put him in relative safety as he kept up communication for Bagram.

That’s what his wife envisioned him doing.

“He told me he was behind a desk through two security gates,” Barclay Murphy said in an interview Wednesday with Stars and Stripes.

But war can change job descriptions.

Commanders needed a man with Murphy’s training as an Army Ranger and jump master to help with the 173rd’s missions, Army officials told Barclay Murphy.

And Murphy volunteered to fill that need, she said.

For five weeks, he went to forward bases. He sent an e-mail telling his wife’s parents that his job had changed and alluding to new dangers, Barclay Murphy said. But he never let on to his wife or their two children at home, Barclay Murphy said.

“He was protecting us,” she said...

He was protecting ALL of us.

Two Soldiers from the 228th Signal Brigade were lost on the flight.  Sergeant Stephen High traveled extensively throughout Afghanistan instructing Soldiers on the use of their radios.

Stephen C. High, 45, an Army sergeant from Spartanburg, S.C., was in the National Guard, assigned to the 228th Signal Brigade. Capt. Randall Price, who leads the 228th in Afghanistan, said High’s experience in the military — 15 years in the Navy and five in the Guard — made him a valuable asset to his unit. High’s mission of getting others up to speed on new Army radios had him traveling all around the country.

Army Specialist Chrystal Stout was looking forward to her first mission "outside the wire".  She took the place of another Soldier who was on leave.  She was responsible for installing anti-virus programs on military computers.

Chrystal G. Stout, 23, an Army specialist from Travelers Rest, S.C., was in the National Guard and assigned to the 228th Signal Brigade. Sgt. Leoreen Mackey said her friend was opinionated and willing to stand up for her beliefs. “She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.”

Three civilian contractors from KBR were returning from a mission supporting the military.  Kent Harris of Stars & Stripes wrote the following:

....Jimmy Baugh, who supervises work at 50 sites in Afghanistan, said the three were headed back from working at Orgun-E.

“They were coming in as a team and after two or three days, they were going to go back out again to another location,” Baugh said.

Rick Reuter, KBR’s regional project manager for Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, said the three men were skilled and dedicated.

“They just liked flying around, solving problems for soldiers.”

The three KBR employees were:

Lance Bret Taylor, 36, a civilian KBR employee from Spring Valley, Calif., was a pest control technician. Rick Reuter, KBR’s regional project manager in Afghanistan, said Taylor and the other two KBR employees killed in the crash were part of “a pretty elite group of guys. They’re out there in the middle of nowhere and they really have to know their trades.”

Ronald “Ronn” Wade, 46, a civilian KBR team leader from Emory, Texas, was a mechanic specializing in air conditioning and heating, but filled other roles as well. “He was also a great electrician,” Baugh said.

Sy Jason Lucio, 28, a civilian employee of Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc., from Clyde, Ohio. Jimmy Baugh, who supervises 50 remote sites for KBR, called Lucio “an up-and-coming electrician.” He said it was Lucio’s second stint at Orgun-E. “He had done a great job for us out there before.”

Throughout researching this post, time and again, the troops talked about remembering their comrades' sacrifices but also remembering to focus on the mission and the job of Soldiering.

Part of Big Windy's soldiers who remained in Germany are on the rifle range in Kitzingen this week (the very range I used to run).  Getting back to normal won't happen for the families and friends around Giebelstadt, Germany, and Bagram, Afghanistan.

And, with the Spring thaw in the Afghan mountains, those Soldiers and Marines have a fight on their hands.

Keep every one of 'em in your thoughts and prayers.

That's what everyone of the eighteen Americans aboard Windy Two Five would want.

Enough of the Inter-Service Rivalry

I'm a fan of Ralph Peters.  I've studied some of his products back when I was a Intel Officer.  I've read his books.  Almost always, he's deadly accurate with his analysis.

He recently published a opinion piece about the Marines and Air Force that has caused my In-box to become full of an ongoing debate amongst the services.  The emails started as pro-ground forces but quickly became a Marine vesus Army debate.  Here's Peters' editorial about the Air Force and Marines:



Last month, I sat in the of fice of Col. Jon "Dog" Davis, a veteran Marine aviator. While at war, the Corps' pilots had seen a rise in their accident rate. Davis was determined to do something about it.

I wanted to be sympathetic, so I said, "Well, you're flying some very old aircraft." Davis, a taut, no-nonsense Marine, looked me in the eye and said, "They may be old, but they're good. That's no excuse."

As commander of the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 out in Yuma, Ariz., Davis could have nodded and gone along, blaming the jets and helicopters. But he's a Marine. And Marines don't make excuses. They do their best with what the taxpayers give them. And their best is pretty damn good.

Contrast that with a recent conversation I had with two Air Force generals. I had written columns critical of the platinum-plated F/A-22, the most expensive fighter in history and an aircraft without a mission. So the Air Force decided to lobby me.

Those two generals spun the numbers until the stone-cold truth was buried under a mantra of "air dominance," imaginary combat roles and financial slight-of-hand. Still, I wanted to be fair. I took them seriously and investigated their claims.

Not one thing they said held up under scrutiny...

LTC (ret) Peters' piece also caused the In-Box of a Marine friend of mine to become full with Marines versus Army, Marines versus AF, Marines versus Navy emails.  However, a retired Army Colonel put a stop to all of the Army vs. Marine BS with the letter below:

From August 1967 to September 1968, I served as an Infanrty advisor with Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV) Advisory Team 63, Ba Xuyen Province, the Mekong Delta (Province Capital -Soc Trang). Our Province Senior Advisor was a State Department Foreign Service Officer,  Nicholas G. W. Thorne (Colonel, US Marine Corps, Retired). If you read the USMC Official History of the Inchon Landing (The Blue Book Series), you'll see Captain Nick Thorne's name mentioned in "dispatches" as he heroically led his weapons company in that key battle.

Our advisory team was composed of Army personnel of just about every MOS; an Air Force forward air controller element; a Navy Military Hospital Advisory Detachment, headed by a medical doctor Commander with a full complement of doctors and corpsmen; a Navy Construction Battalion Detachment(Seabees) of 30 engineers commanded by a LT(j.g) and an "old salt"CPO; our MACCORDS element, spell that "Charlie India Alpha", which had some of the toughest special operators from across every one of our four Services, plus two Aussie sergeants major ("Mutt" and "Jeff").

When we'd go on operations with our RVN counterparts, the USAF forward air controller (FAC) flying his flimsy L-19 (I think we in the Army called it the O-1 "Bird Dog") would be up there with a Naval Intelligence Liaison Officer (NILO) serving as "back seat". When our rear ends would get in a crack on the ground, we could rely on both the FAC and the NILO to get us fire support. Whether it was USAF or Marine F-4s, Navy fighter/bombers, or naval gunfire (we were right on the South China Sea) we really didn't give a rat's rump. When the LST-based Navy "Sea Wolves" gunships (Huey B-models) came over the horizon like John Wayne and the Seventh Cavalry, and gave us covering and suppressing fire, we made damn well sure that they got steaks and beers when they'd rearm and refuel at Soc Trang Army Airfield. When the B-52s delivered "Arc Light" support and the Air Force C-123s and C-130s delivered supplies and ammo, or the C-130 and C-47 "Spookies" or "Puff the Magic Dragons" unloaded their 105 howitzer and mini-gun ordnance, we were happy as pigs in....well you know.

When Tet of '68 came along, we lost many in our Advisory Team...among them a number of Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen. Our Seabees became infantry and kicked butt "six ways to Sunday." Our Air Force FAC was wounded in his cockpit but kept that "kite" he was flying airborne bringing in close air support until he needed fuel (the cockpit was soaked with his blood when he landed.). We were led by our Marine Colonel/Foreign Service Officer who did things during the entire shebang that motivated us in more ways than I can explain here.

OK sports fans, do you get the message? We were a combined arms team back then in 'Nam, in the truest tradition of our great country's Armed Forces (along with our two comabt savvy Australian comrades-in-arms).

All of this "tit-for-a-tat" BS that I've read in this exchange of E-mail broadsides is just that....bull s__t!!! My greatest fear is that the civilian population (especially the Congress, with very few exceptions) doesn't have a clue regarding what military service entails. Many of them are too damned naive to understand that the bad guys will always be out there in some strange shape or form. Why should they worry? They have us. Do you notice that every time their derriere's get in a sling, who they call?.......And it ain't "Ghostbusters".

Soooooo folks, let's take 'er easy as we try to play "my dog's better than yours", and remember what we've accomplished in the past, what we're doing now, and what we'll have to do in the future. My daughter's husband is in Afghanistan as I type this. He's an airborne MP who has led MPs (who are traditionally mounted out as infantry) for a good number of years now. He's a "Great American", as are all of you guys and gals on active duty.  His senior HQ over in that AOR has all Services represented. That's the way it work's - and should work.  Thus endeth the lesson.

Thanks for your time.

May God Bless!

Joel Leson, Colonel, US Army, Retired

I wrote COL (ret) Leson to tell him that, when I enlisted in the Army in the early 80's, that the guys in MAC-V were our heroes...the guys we wanted to emulate. 

There are problems with all of the services, and we do need to address some of the issues brough forth by LTC (ret) Peters.  But we also need to remember that we are ALL at war and we will only win if we fight as one combined arms force (Coasties, that goes for you, too!).

Christian Science Monitor on MilBlogs

Colin G. sends the link to a CS Monitor article about Military Blogging.  It features one of my favorites - Sergeant Chris Missick.

| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

The sergeant stationed just west of Baghdad was once again recounting the dangers of being on the front line - sometimes with dark humor. He referred to how the "muj" (mujahideen or insurgents) were the gang that couldn't shoot straight, but still represented a considerable threat.

"They're horrible shots," he wrote in an e-mail to his family, "but every once in awhile they get lucky. We lost another Marine the other day."...

Update:  Greyhawk just has one teeny tiny issue with the article.

Ranger, Country Music Star, and Caring for the Defenders

Sid from Ann Arbor is the latest reader who sent me some information about Keni Thomas. 

Keni Thomas was part of Task Force Ranger in Mogidishu - TF Ranger is better known as the Rangers in the movie and book by Mark Bowden, Blackhawk Down.  His nickname amongst the Rangers was "Keni Cornbread".  He left the Army as a Staff Sergeant (E-6).

Keni has pursued a career in Country Music and is a rising star (he also had a part in We Were Soldiers and his band was featured in Sweet Home Alabama).  But he hasn't forgotten his country, his brothers and sisters in arms, or their children.

Keni's band Cornbread (based out of Columbus, Georgia) released their latest album in January, Flags of Our Fathers, and is dontating part of their proceeds to the Hero Fund, which, in turn, supports the Special Operations Warrior Fund


SOWF, among other things, helps provide funds for College tuition for the children of fallen Special Operations Soldiers.  The SOWF has been featured on Blackfive many times, and I have donated proceeds from my BlogAds to them as well.

Here is what Keni wrote about the Hero Fund:

...As a member of Task Force Ranger I was part of the unit sent into downtown Mogadishu in search of a criminal warlord. You may know the battle from the book and movie Black Hawk Down. We lost 18 Americans in that fight, another 76 were wounded. For those of us who make it out of something like that, you spend the rest of your life thanking the men to your left and to your right. Because they are the reason I am still here today.

This country is at war. Special operations units are at the forefront of the fight. They will go into battle. And men will die. Families will be left shattered.

I wish I could be there to help. To ensure they all come home alive just as my buddies did for me. But as a musician all I have now to offer is the gift of song. I wrote "Hero" years ago as a tribute to a friend of mine. Perhaps the song will move you, inspire you, or motivate you to reach out and embrace a cause, any cause, that supports our troops and their families. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is an excellent start.


  Keni Thomas

You can sample the songs from Flags of Our Fathers here, and you can purchase the album here.

Group Needed to Adopt Medic and His Patients in Iraq

Soldiers' Angels needs help supporting a medic in Iraq.  This might be a great opportunity for a school or church group to help this medic take care of our soldiers and Iraqis who need his help.  His story is an interesting one.

We'll call him Sergeant Scott. Soldiers' Angel, MaryAnn, met him at Kleber Barraks in Germany while he was undergoing Physical Therapy.  He needed physical therapy because, a couple of months ago, his Humvee had crashed while avoiding a suspected IED in Iraq. Although he had neck pain afterward, he didn't think much of it.

SGT Scott's comment on why he waited for treatment, "I'd been treating guys who’d had their legs blown off and stuff, so it didn't seem important."

After months of discomfort, he finally had it looked at. Turns out he has 3 compressed disks. He just finished his first round of Physical Therapy and has just returned to Iraq.  He's putting off surgery until his tour in Iraq is over.  Below is from an email he sent recently (you can click on the thumbnail to see a larger version of the picture):

I'm attaching a pic of an Iraqi child that I had been caring for for a couple of weeks. She sustained severe burns to her hands and chin. She used to cry every time she saw us because she knew that the treatment and debreeding her wound was painful. She is doing much better and being able to see her smile and laugh like a regular kid is worth being over there.


Nothing can be taken for granted and not a moment wasted.

In another email after returning to Iraq, SGT Scott has some ideas of how to help his patients - both American military and Iraqi civilians.  Here are some activities that his unit provides for it's patients:

We want to set up an activities room where all the models, leather projects and wood carving projects are.  I'd like to get something started if you get over loaded there and need another place to send stuff.  They have a chaplain's tent here where we put extra toiletries, craft ideas, extra clothing, etc.

We even give out candies, school supplies, stuffed animals, toys and etc at school drops for the Iraqi locals and to patients we treat.

I'm attaching a few pics so you can have an idea of what we do here.


So, if you have an idea or are a member of a church, school, or some other group that would like to help Sergeant Scott, please send me an email.  Sergeant Scott also wants to point out that it's a team effort and that everyone in his unit is making a difference.  His partner Specialist Vicky is a big part of the effort (and responsible for the great photos). 


Extreme Home Makeover Helps Another Military Family

Aside from The Amazing Race, I usually catch Extreme Home Makeover on ABC.  They are about the only "reality tv" shows that I might watch.  They've helped a Soldier before, but now they're going to help the children of Lori Piestewa who was killed in Iraq during the invasion in 2003.

Lin sends this article about ABC's Extreme Home Makeover's efforts.  The episode will air May 22nd.