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September 2010

Navy SEAL Memorial will soon be a reality

Reader Lisa sends this reminder about the upcoming dedication of the UDT SEAL Memorial:

I found an old notice on Black Five asking people to support the UDT SEAL Memorial. Since that posting back in 2008, the Memorial has become a reality. The dedication will happen this Veterans Day Weekend on November 7. In hopes that this may be of interest to your site visitors, I am attaching a press release about an upcoming Muster event honoring US Navy SEALS/UDT members. The event gives people an opportunity to learn about their training, the work they do, and their achievements. The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce Florida will host its annual “Muster”. The event is open to the public and also attracts many current and former Team members. Events include:

* 5K race/walk
* A two-mile parachute drop by the Leapfrogs U.S. Navy Parachute Team
* A demonstration commando raid and helicopter assault
* A chance to meet two SEAL Congressional Medal of Honor recipients

The two day-event over Veterans Day Weekend (November 6 and 7) will culminate with the dedication of the UDT-SEAL Memorial.

I’m volunteering to spread the word. The person to contact for more information is: Rolf Snyder - email at Rolf - DOT - Snyder - AT -gmail - DOT -com

The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is located at:

3300 North A1A
North Hutchinson Island
Fort Pierce, FL 34949
Tel: 772-595-5845

Go here for the Muster Schedule of the dedication of the UDT SEAL Memorial.

More about the Memorial after the Jump.

Continue reading "Navy SEAL Memorial will soon be a reality" »

An Interview with Admiral Stavridis

Over at USNI, a Naval Academy Midshipman has the opportunity to interview the Commander of the U.S. European Command, Admiral Stavridis.  It's a short answer format and some of it is academy based (but not all).  Here's a taste:

...How is EUCOM adapting to China’s rise in military power?

 Working with them in piracy off the horn of Africa and seeking zones of cooperation in other global security challenges, e.g. in Iran and Afghanistan, for example.

As Supreme Allied Commander, NATO, what are the difficulties in aligning the goals and needs of twenty-eight separate militaries?

The challenge is connecting all the different cultures, languages, and national approaches—but the only thing harder than tackling security challenge with allies is trying to solve them alone...

Go check it out.

Evan Pertile Update

Evan 6a00d8341bfadb53ef0115721bdf86970b-320wi

Our own Uncle Jimbo and Evan Pertile playing at St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis, TN.

RE: Evan Pertile - A Future Soldier You Should Know
RE: Spiritual Warfare Needed - Evan Pertile
RE: Some Spiritual and Caring Bridge Warfare Needed
RE: Evan Pertile - SYSK Follow Up
RE: Evan Pertile - Returned to Duty
RE: Evan Pertile - Future Soldier and SYSK Follow Up

We have an update on Evan and the Pertiles that we'll provide after the Jump. He's going back for scheduled testing and could use some good thoughts and prayers.

I'll post this message that Evan got from a paratrooper in Afghanistan:

I just read about you and I would like to say you are truly a soldier I'd like to serve with. You live the Army's soldier creed as you will never quit, you will never accept defeat, and I will never leave you, my hurt comrade. I am in Afghanistan right now, but if I could I would love to call and chat with you one day. You Evan have given me the extra bit of motivation that I will need to get through this deployment. I hope that when you read this it will at least put a smile onyour face. I saw a picture of you in your uniform and I want you to know that you really are a great soldier. When I get home next month I'd love to send you a T-shirt with the airborne on it becuase there are soldiers and there are paratroopers. Paratroopers lead the way, all the way. Next time I jump out of a plane, I'll think of you and your courage. ALL THE WAY, AIRBORNE!!!!

SSG Chris Bridgeman

Continue reading "Evan Pertile Update" »

"This Ain't Hell" Has been Working Hard this weekend

First, one of our friend's sons popped in the media (while under fire in Afghanistan).  Go check it out and put the sergeant on your prayer list.

Second, General Ballduster McSoulPatch is back in the news.

Third, the "Rock of the Marne!" honors a veteran 57 years later

Go check out the B5 Farm Team's work.  There's a lot more.

A homecoming

I arrived at Ft. Stewart’s Cottrell Field a few hours early – it was a long drive from Atlanta and I wanted to make sure I got there with plenty of time to spare. I was the only one in the parking lot as I pulled in, grateful for the opportunity to rest a bit before the ceremony. My son’s unit was coming home from Afghanistan and in a few short hours I’d actually get to see him, put my hands on him and rest assured that he was home and well.

As I sat there thinking about the upcoming event, my eyes wandered to two rows of small trees lining Cottrell Field at either end and what appeared to be markers at their base. Curious, and needing to stretch after the long ride, I walked toward them. It was a beautiful hot August Georgia day with a slight breeze, enough to keep the heat from being oppressive and the gnats at bay.Homecoming1

Walking toward the trees I noticed a walkway with two brick pillars. On the pillars were brass plaques, one announcing this was “Warrior’s Walk” and the other explaining it was a memorial to the soldiers lost in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. My heart caught in my throat as I looked down the long double row of trees and I thought, “there but by the grace of God …”.

Understanding the joy I would soon experience with my son’s homecoming, I felt an obligation to at least share some of the pain the families of the fallen must have endured when they found out that their loved one would never walk across Cottrell Field and back into their lives. I walked “Warrior’s Walk”.

If anyone can manage to do so with a dry eye, they’re a better person than I am. Each tree has a marble marker with the soldier’s name and rank. Each includes a metal flag representing the unit with which he served. But the most poignant items were those which families and fellow soldiers had placed under each tree. Lovingly left and carefully preserved, these mementoes tear at your heart and remind you of the lost love they represent. Many families had put wind chimes in the trees. Walking alone along the walk with the breeze gently stirring these chimes gave the walk an eerie almost otherworldly effect, strangely welcoming and embracing a visitor.

I finished my walk, sobered by the sacrifice of so many young lives. It was almost time for the ceremony and my son’s wife and my 4 grandsons, who had traveled earlier that morning to attend some classes at Ft. Stewart, had arrived. We all moved into the stands and waited for my son’s unit to arrive. The excitement was palpable. It continued to build as the time neared and more and more families arrived.Homecoming3

We were given updates – “they’ve just landed; they’re loading the busses; they’re enroute; they’re 10 minutes out” – and each update drove the anticipation up another notch.

Finally the busses were spotted and the gathered crowd went wild in a frenzy of cheering and clapping. Looking around it was a sea of smiles.

The unit unloaded behind a screen of trees at the far end of the field, shielding them from our view and then, dramatically, emerged from the tree line and marched in formation toward the stands. The gathered families cheered as they approached, some with tears streaming down their cheeks. Young children waved flags and signs they had lovingly made, all the while looking for their daddy. Homecoming5

The Colonel assigned the unenviable task of officially welcoming them home knew his duty and limited his remarks to about 2 minutes. At the conclusion, the PA announcer barely got, “and this concludes the formal portion of our ceremony”, out of his mouth before the crowd in the stands broke toward the formation. If the scene was pure pandemonium, it was the happiest example I’ve ever witnessed.

As our family pushed into the throng, we searched for my son. Finally, the crowd parted and there he was. He looked hale, hearty and happy. He looked good. We all tried to get to him at once, but everyone enjoyed a great big hug before it was over. My youngest grandson, age 6, had tears streaming down his cheeks and dripping off his chin as he wrapped his dad up in an embrace that he seemed not to want let go. More hugs, more smiles, more looking him up and down to ensure he was okay – that he was really here.

Finally, we began to walk off the field, and as I walked behind him and his son’s I smiled at the picture they made - the soldier holding the hands of two of his sons as we headed toward the cars. It was then that I heard that ghostly sound on the wind, the faint sound of wind chimes. A chill went down my back as I glanced back toward the double row of trees. It was as if those along Warrior’s Walk were welcoming him home too.

Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunity Redux

Since I am now no longer a full-time employee at Purdue, I don't have to be quite so circumspect as I was in this post Mr. Chris let me know it had been too brief, and too circumspect, and suggested that I fix both.  So, here goes. 

I have the chance to go do three or more months of embed in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Not only is there a chance to do that, but Cooking with the Troops has the opportunity to do some events as part of this.  There are discussions already underway, and what I can say is that some interesting stories can come from it.  There is also some precursor work that will develop some stories as well, and you could be seeing them towards the end of the month. 

This is a dream for me, a chance to go see how some of the places I've been before have changed, get out into new places, and -- most of all -- let some of our troops tell their stories and the stories of what they are doing.  It's a chance to peel back the curtains and let you see and hear their stories, and the truth on the ground, unfiltered.  It's a chance to give you more data on strategy, tactics, and events so that you can better understand and have an informed opinion.  It's a chance to do some good along the way. 

To do it, we need advertisers/sponsors, for it is not cheap to do.  Armor has a limited life, and mine needs to be replaced.  Transportation to get to where I can pick up mil-air is what I will term interesting.  We've also identified some gear that would help, from some specialized vision and video to means of getting the stories out. 

We have advertising/sponsorship packages, and we can also work the money through Cooking with the Troops, so that organization benefits even as the sponsors get double the impact for their support.  If you are interested, drop me a line at the wolf1 addy at laughingwolf dot net and I can give you a complete package including some basic marketing data. The stories will appear here; they are likely to appear at another major site; the video will be posted to YouTube; and, we are also looking at distributing video and stories to a network of sites.  Remember, our goal is world (media) domination, and we want to use this as a chance to move that forward. 


A Walk With The Wolves


Yesterday turned into a great day for a walk, and there were two packs taking part from our community.  There was, of course, Pack Laughing Wolf filled out by  LL (Loopy Libertarian/LL from the comments) and her children.  Then, we were delighted to have Pack Down-Is-Up.com join in (often seen here in comments as Mr. Chris), with Chris, his lovely wife, and highly competitive daughter (who, skipping, left us all in the dust in pursuit of the most laps).  It was also a delight to introduce them to a dear friend at the park, a fellow-traveller of sorts who lurks here every now and then.


Continue reading "A Walk With The Wolves" »

Time For A FRIEND-LY Update

Twenty-Four Years.

That's how long it has been since we've last communicated.

Twenty-Four Years.

For some people, that's a lifetime.  It's the lenght of some careers.  Certainly the timespan of many military careers. 

But, this is how long it has been since I'd last heard from Elizabeth.  And thanks to a few of you readers who contacted me after my last post, we are now back in touch.  I was kinda doubting it could happen, as I've tried, on and off, to find out about her over the years.  But I was never able to gain much info, at least not enough to find out how she was doing or even where she was located.

A little background:  Back in January 1986, I was a 'noobie' 2d LT joining the US Army Signal Corps.  Reporting in to Ft Gordon, GA for the second time in my life (first was basic training and AIT there- yeah, that old.)  Sitting in the small auditorium were a bunch of other newly-minted officers, all fresh out of either ROTC or OCS (no Acadamy grads- they wouldn't show up for a few more months).  Here we were, ready to conquer the Army and the world. 

'Beth' and I became friends in this class- best of friends at the time.  Inseperable.  She, a former NCO and Drill Instructor at Ft Jackson, was fresh out of OCS and all the worse for wear.  (Apparently, it was a tough OCS class as one person that helped me locate her also said so.)  Beth was one of the 'seniors' in the group- a bit older than the early twenty-somethings of the rest of us (except Mr Doty) and she had more military experience than most of the cadre we had.  Being a former DI, she knew regs frontwards, backwards, sideways and every other ways.  Carried herself that way too- a consumate soldier.  But she was nervous about the academics involved, and needed some help.  That is where I came in.

We started study groups, meetings, and anything else to get thru the two toughest parts of becoming a Signal Corps officer - math and electronics.  Even now, raising these two subjects runs a chill up my spine.  The EE/ME's in the group laughed it off- differential equations?  Bah, to them.  For those liberal arts majors?  FUGGHEDABOUDIT.  YOUGOTTABEKIDDINGRIGHT?  But, together, we slogged through it.

She, on the other hand, kicked my ass.  Handily.  She asked if I wanted to go running with her on the 2d day of class.  Me, fresh out of college and the PT scores to prove it, thought she was joking.  See, Beth was a machine.  Tough, strong (but extremely good looking and attractive) she was one of the top Army female runners- OVERALL.  Boston Marathon participant.  Could set a pace and keep it for weeks.  Sprinter?  Not a chance.  Do a Forrest Gump across the US?  Let's start now.  But, she promised to 'hold back' and help me train up.  That, she sure as hell did. 

By the end of the course, nearly 6 months later, I went from chump to champ as far as PT goes- my final run time was a 9:45 for the two miles- 100% of it due to her inspiration and friendship.  And she made it thru all of the tests and coursework- and graduated with the class on time.  It was tough for both of us, but damn, if we didnt' have the best time in the world. 

To this day, I've never forgotten anyone in that course.  My time with Beth was especially unforgettable.  Everyone should have a time in their lives like we had- it can end up defining you.  It certainly did me.

Today, she and her husband live in the Ft. Hood area.  Many of you probably have passed her there.  She's spent time in Iraq, as a civvie, and continues to support troops to this day.  She still runs (even did a marathon in Kirkuk, of all places!) which shames me no end.  I ran my last marathon in 1987 and I'm not about to re-try that at this point.  I'm happy she took my call when her number was passed to me.  And with ONE word, she knew who it was even after all those years.  Good friends never, ever forget...  and I know I won't.

To Jan, Matt, and Jeff- thanks for your help!  Could not have done it without each of you.  You've helped re-connect with an old friend.  For that, you have my most heartfelt thanks.  Thank you!

And to 'Beth'- who I hope is reading this today- here's to never losing touch for 24 years- ever again.  And thank you for YOUR support of the troops. 

Bless you all!


p.s. - still working on locating the other two (Craig and Jeff).  Seems the phones are not the way to do it; and the emails listed are either not monitored, or getting thru.  So I'm still trying...