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September 2006

Help the families of the Pendleton 8

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.

To All,

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.

My post is here.


Thank you for helping these men and their families.


Kit Jarrell
Euphoric Reality

Ping Golf Doesn't Get It

Foreign Object Damage links to this article from the Augusta Chronicle:

"...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.

Check out the rest at FOD.  A new link to an editorial cartoon about bad PR.

WSJ's moral preening on torture

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.

The rest of my education of the WSJ's editorial board and the opinion piece they feared to run

Everybody loves Girl Scout cookies

CJ from a Soldier's Perspective sends this:

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

Things that make you go Hmmmmm

Words Fail Me.... One Tough Hombre

Sorry, but I can't really say it better than the facts in this story. One Tough Young Man and the Family that waits for him. I just thought you'd all like to know.

"John McClellan was shot in the head Tuesday while manning his post in Haditha, Iraq. Although he was wearing a helmet, the bullet entered over his left ear and exited through the back of his neck."

"McClellan survived the attack and is being cared for in a hospital in Germany."

I hope the helmet helped anyway. Thanks to Iraq Coalition Casualties.


Sweetness & Light from Uncle J

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!

Nate_heed Nate Carr, Living His Dream

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.

Uncle Jimbo,

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.

Posted a picture or two at
Eaglespeak had a post on it last week, too.  Lots more information available, if
you’re interested. http://eaglespeak.blogspot.com/2006/09/new-littoral-combat-ship-freedom-to-be.html

Ken Adams

MSNBC Goes "Someone You Should Know"

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.

John Noonan of Op-For uploaded the video to YouTube.  Here it is:

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 :

Help us to encourage MSNBC to produce and release more of these by emailing MSNBC at heroes (at) msnbc (dot) com.

Post the YouTube clip on your blog, send an email to MSNBC, get the word out. 

Tomcat Sunset

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.