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April 2012

Choosing Honor - Ed Eaton - "I won't leave the Old Man to die alone!"

While the word “hero” may hold a different meaning to many, I think we all can agree that Sergeant Ed Eaton demonstrated immense courage and heroism the night his helicopter got shot down during the Vietnam war. At only nineteen years old, Ed single handedly fought off two separate groups of Viet Cong with nothing more than a broken sniper rifle and the cover of the night – an act that not only saved his own life, but the life of his fellow comrade in arms...


War Memorial Cross will return to Mojave Desert site

Good news:

The battle over a 7-foot-high war memorial cross that wound its way from California to the Supreme Court has ended with its restoration, officials said.

A settlement has been reached to return the cross to its perch atop Sunrise Rock in the Mohave Desert, The (Riverside Calif.) Press Enterprise reported.

Under terms of the settlement, the National Park Service will relinquish 1 acre of land encompassing Sunrise Rock to the local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In return, Henry and Wanda Sandoz will give 5 acres of land they own to the federal government.

Interesting that the Sandoz’s had to make it a 5 to 1 deal with the federal government. 

That said, the Sandoz’s had made a promise to one of the veterans who had erected the cross 78 years ago and has since passed away that they’d follow through.  Wanda Sanoz said, of the settlement:

"We're just anxious to get it back where it belongs, where those veterans put it," she said.

Of course the complaint was brought by groups who objected to a religious symbol being placed on government land. But as those who erected it said, it wasn't really about religion so much as honoring their comrades who had fallen in war.

The settlement now makes the objections moot.  The land upon which the cross will stand is private land.

A salute to the Sanoz’s.  Thanks for what you did, and thanks for enabling some old vets to continue to honor their fallen comrades.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Partners

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U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nickolas Aloi provides security for other soldiers as his military working dog looks on during Operation Eagle Mountain in Didar, Afghanistan, April 14, 2012. Aloi is assigned to Company B, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment. The operation's purpose was to clear the town of improvised explosive devices, and provide security to the town through U.S. and Afghan presence. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Marc Loi

And this one:

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U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Heck and his military working dog, Nina 3, patrol during Operation Marble Lion in Afghanistan's Jani Khel district, April 12, 2012. Heck is a military working dog handler assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment. U.S. Army photo by Jason Epperson


Frank Gaffney Show- The War on Terror is over?

Who won? That is the question I have for the State Department official who said the War on Terror is over. Frank and I discuss that, our submissive strategy in this ex-war and looming across the board budget cuts on Secure Freedom radio.

The full show is here.

You can listen to today's show here and on our Podcast. [ 53:00 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download (7)

 


You Know, I Often Make Fun of Jimbo...

...well, we all do.  But I admit that I take it as a kind of personal duty to give him crap now and then.

And I've been steadfast in ignoring this Michael Yon stuff these last several years.  I ran into Yon being Yon once in Iraq myself, but I've never said boo about it, and I'm not going to do so now.  Combat environments are stressful, and a certain amount of what happens over there is really just better left there.  If you weren't there, you wouldn't get it; and if you were, you shouldn't have to be told.

But I have to admit, after today's showing:  Jim, I think you may be the first man to kill someone with Zen in like five hundred years.  

My hat's off to you.  This one time, mind.


Book Review: No Way Out

When we first covered the story of 9 special forces soldiers and 1 combat cameraman being awarded silver stars for valor (and ten Purple Hearts) during one of the most harrowing fights ever told, I wondered if we would get an opportunity to read about the whole story...what really happened...and would the public really know, despite a mission that should have been aborted and overwhelming odds at surviving, what complete American Bad Asses that were ODA 3336?

Well, No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan has been written by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer. The book covers the battle in the Shok Valley. It was an impossible mission right from the start. A Special Forces team planned to land in an enemy-held valley, scale a steep mountain in Afghanistan to surprise and capture a terrorist leader.

But before they found the target, the target found them...

Continue reading "Book Review: No Way Out" »


S.O.F. Scan

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Coalition special operations forces and Afghan National Army special operations forces conduct a security patrol in the mountains around Latif district, Ghazni province, Afghanistan, April 17. Security Patrols are used to gain atmospherics and assess security and stability in the local villages. Photo by Petty First Class Officer David Frech.


Former congressional candidate slams troops

Did you know that members of the military are individuals of lesser "resources, breeding, or ambition"? Mande Wilkes, a former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives thinks so, publishing this at FITSNEWS.COM on Sunday:

It used to be that everybody who was anybody enlisted in the military. Nowadays, everybody who’s nobody serves – a natural consequence of incentivizing service with signing bonuses, comped education, and plush pensions. Not to mention that for those in the U.S. illegally, the incentives are that much more attractive – a respectable way to root into jobs that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.

So, what used to be a military made up of statesmen has devolved into a force comprised of men who have few alternatives but to enlist. Rather than the symbol of nobility it once was, military service has become almost a scarlet letter of sorts – signifying an individual of lesser resources, breeding, or ambition.

Wilkes' platform: " Individual liberty. Personal responsibility. Independence." And labeling our troops a inferior mongrel breed of humans. I know the Islamists say we are descendants of apes and pigs, but it doesn't have that same folksy charm coming from a Republican.

And plush pensions? Let's break out the soldier effigies!

What Ms. Wilkes - and so many others who continue to dishonor our troops - miss is how rarely our troops commit atrocities. Well over 1 million Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan (many serving multiple tours) over the last 10-plus years, and how many actual events have there been? The fact that we have to define atrocity down to "things done in poor taste" - like posing with dead insurgents - shows how honorable the men and women of our Armed Forces actually are.

Take two 18-year-old high school graduates: One joins the military and becomes a crew chief for a tens-of-millions-of-dollars helicopter after a few weeks of "basic" training. The other goes to college for the better part of a decade, staying on mom's health insurance until the age 26, before collecting unemployment because the $100,000 white-collar non-profit jobs are all spoken for. The only "occupying" he is likely to do involves drum circles and smearing feces on cop cars.

All military officers have college degrees. And most enlisted personnel obtain a degree while they are serving. Many more get a degree after leaving the service. Who has more "resources" or "ambition"?

Plus, the Department of Justice's own crime statistics show that a veteran is 82% less likely to commit a crime than a civilian.

Wilkes' message of calling those who have sacrificed so much in this war a bunch of mongrel nobodies would be better suited for a cave complex in Waziristan. Or in Chicago's Hyde Park, if Bill Ayers was hosting. But it is downright disturbing when a self-proclaimed "conservative" from South Carolina is bashing our troops.

If anyone deserves the "scarlet letter," it's the politicians - not the troops.

Update: This post originally stated that Wilkes was currently running for office. Wilkes is no longer running, and the post has been corrected.


Miracle - Evan Pertile: SYSK Follow Up AND Some Great news to share!

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
RE: Evan Pertile - Update
RE: SYSK Follow Up

EvanUJUncle Jimbo playing with Evan back in 2009 at St. Jude's in Memphis

Dear Evan's Army,

Wow. A Miracle. That's is all I could say today when Alex told me the news. His MRI (thank you God!) is clear. The crazy, unbelievable, out of the world, science fiction is that EVAN HAS GROWN THREE INCHES IN 6 MONTHS!!! And, if possibly even more unbelievable, his spine has grown. You may recall from previous journal entries that children's spines do not like radiation. They cease to grow. His growth is unexplainable The pediatric endocrinologist is stunned. His 6 hour test scheduled for later today (ok - it's 2:00 am but I am too excited to sleep) has been canceled. Why? Because he is growing!!!! Hallelujah. Alex told me his growth rate is off the charts and his bone age (xray of his hand which compares chronological age with rate of growth) is normal.

Evan once again is stunning the medical community. We truly thought he would be getting the daily growth hormone shots starting back in 2010. As a physician, I can't begin to explain it. As a mom, I relish and embrace it. I picture Evan, wearing an orange shirt with red and blue plaid shorts, standing defiantly and yelling "Bring it!" (okay, so he's not a GQ Man at heart).

Of course, I secretly hope that he will never need to get the growth hormone shots. Alex has tried to tell me all the risks and side effects of growth hormone but I won't let him. I can do pretty well with future hypothetical worrying all on my own, so I don't need any ammunition!

We are so thankful for the positive news today. A big hug goes out to all of Evan's prayer warriors.

Now, as it is 2:17 am and I have 4 children who will expect their mother to be coherent in about four hours from now, I am going to go to bed. I'm pretty sure that Alex and Evan are sound asleep in Memphis!

Love,

Rachel

Thanks to all of you for your prayers, positive thoughts, and support of Evan and all the kids at St. Jude's!

[We're not the only ones excited for the Pertiles.]