Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!!

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Pack of Angry Chihuahuas Attack

When I was first told that a pack of five angry chihuahuas had attacked someone, my first thought was "Damn libs. Whiney bastards! Nip, nip, nip, like Chihauhaus at someome's ankles. Who are they after this time? I had in mind these guys:

Then I read the story below:

Pack of Angry Chihuahuas Attack Officer
Dec 30 12:15 PM US/Eastern
FREMONT, California - A pack of angry Chihuahuas attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home following a traffic stop, authorities said. The officer suffered minor injuries including bites to his ankle on Thursday when the five Chihuahuas escaped the 17-year-old boy's home and rushed the officer in the doorway, said Fremont detective Bill Veteran.

The teenager had been detained after the traffic incident, Veteran said.

The officer was treated at a local hospital and returned to work less than two hours later, Veteran said.

It was the third time this month a Fremont officer was bitten by a dog while on duty. Neither of the other officers were seriously injured.

My sincerest apologies to Chihuahua"s everywhere. I couldn't be any more humble than John Kerry, after the last Presidential election.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Baghdad Grows While Insurgency Weakens, U.S. General Says

-good news from Iraq!

By Gerry J. GilmoreAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2005 – Burgeoning reconstruction activity is now evident in and around Baghdad while terrorist attacks in the Iraqi capital city have weakened since the Dec. 15 elections, a senior U.S. military officer in Baghdad told reporters here today.

"When I fly around Baghdad these days, I see the city expanding in large numbers of houses being built on the edges of the city in nearly every direction," Army Maj. Gen. William G. Webster Jr., commander of Multinational Division Baghdad, told Pentagon reporters during a satellite news conference broadcast from Iraq.

This activity, Webster said, indicates Baghdad's residents have faith both in their rejuvenating economy and for the future.

Baghdad's municipal sewer and water services also have improved, Webster said, since his unit took over security duty for the city and surrounding region from the 1st Cavalry Division on Feb. 27. Webster is also the commanding general of the U.S. Army's 3th Infantry Division based out of Fort Stewart, Ga.

The military contingent under Webster's command, known as Task Force Baghdad, consists of around 30,000 troops including soldiers from Estonia, Georgia and Macedonia, as well as about 19,000 troops from the 3rd Infantry Division and other U.S. elements.

"Our mission was to improve the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces, fight the insurgency, to secure Baghdad and the surrounding areas, and support the (Iraqi) government's development," Webster said.

Over the past year, the number of Iraqi soldiers and police in Baghdad has increased 10-fold, Webster said. Today, soldiers of the Iraqi 6th Division and Iraqi special police are providing stability and law and order across 60 percent of Baghdad, the general said. A year ago, he said, there was only one Iraqi army battalion in Baghdad.

"And now there are 22 (Iraqi battalions) in Baghdad," Webster said, "with 12 of them in charge of their own areas of operations." The Iraqi 6th Division in Baghdad boasts six brigades, he said.
Large numbers of Baghdad's citizens felt secure enough to cast their ballots during the Dec. 15 election, Webster said, noting 60 percent or more of the city's registered voters went to the polls.

Iraqi security forces, supported by coalition troops, provided that security prior to and during the elections, Webster said. Task Force Baghdad troops and Iraqi security forces teamed up to conduct almost 2,500 different combat operations since Oct. 1, Webster said, and detained more than 3,600 insurgents over the course of more than 52,000 patrols.

"The pace of our operations, while intense, has disrupted the enemy and reduced car bombs by half," Webster said. U.S., Iraqi and coalition troops in the area are finding half of the terrorist-emplaced roadside bombs, he said, and there's been a 92-percent increase in the discovery of enemy weapons caches.

"This has put a big dent in the ability of the insurgents to continue to conduct operations," Webster said, noting that aggressive operations against the terrorists will go on.

Tremendous gains have been made against terrorists in the Baghdad area, Webster said, noting only about 10 percent of recent terrorist attacks have caused damage, injury or death. Iraqi, U.S. and coalition troops, Webster said, have disrupted the enemy's ability to effectively use car bombs and improvised explosive devices, or roadside bombs.

"We have disrupted that ability so that they're now conducting more drive-by shootings which usually don't hit anybody, or they're shooting indirect fire - mortars and rockets - which also is mostly unsuccessful," Webster said.

In short, "the insurgency has weakened since the (Dec. 15) elections," Webster said.
Yet, there likely will be continued terrorist violence, he said, until the new Iraqi government is seated and its security forces are fully trained and deployed.

Webster said his command's goal is to transfer full responsibility for security in Baghdad over to Iraqi security forces.

"Conditions are being set to allow the Iraqis to run and secure their own country," Webster said.
Webster said his unit is slated to return to the United States over the next 30 days after having served a one-year tour of duty in Iraq. The 3rd Infantry Division also was deployed to Iraq in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and it played a prominent role in the seizure of Baghdad from Saddam Hussein's forces.

2005 Army Times Soldier of the Year

And, The Soldier of the Year is a woman!

2005 Army Times Soldier of the Year
Assignment: Communications NCO,313th Medical Company,Nebraska National Guard,Lincoln Neb.
Personal: Age 22. Competitive runner, studying psychology at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln; serves as unit morale, welfare and recreation NCO. The traditional mission of the 313th Medical Company, a National Guard ambulance unit from Lincoln, Neb., is to move patients inside bases - from helipads to hospitals, from hospital to hospital. But the unit's mission in Iraq is far more harrowing. Its 24 ambulances and 75 troops are scattered over seven locations around the country, with a main task of accompanying convoys and providing medical care to those wounded in all-too-frequent attacks.

Read more... To read the citation click here!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Holiday Letter

I found this on and thought that it was such a good story, having stood the test of time, that I would post it here for others. Christmas, or life, is what you make it. You have the power to determine how positive life will be. Constant negativity undermines all of us, pulls us all down and makes life miserable and depressing. I have this blog, because I was weary of constantly being criticized for being too positive about my country and it's military. I try to be like the sailor in this letter. Someday, I too, will pass quietly into the night. I hope that when the door closes, that I will leave happiness behind me.

Background information and commentary by Andrew Carroll: THE UGLY AMERICAN, published in 1958 by William Lederer and Eugene Burdick, is a fictionalized account of the two men's experiences working in Southeast Asia. Although the book focuses primarily on the deficiencies of America's foreign aid program at the time, it is memorable for its accounts of Americans acting in a boorish and insensitive manner toward the citizens of their host country. While traveling in France almost fifteen years later, however, Lederer witnessed an incident involving an American sailor that touched him so deeply he sent a letter to the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C, Admiral David L. McDonald. This letter, which I included in an earlier book I edited titled LETTERS OF A NATION, is printed below in its entirety.

Admiral David L. McDonald, USN
Chief of Naval Operations
Washington, D.C.

Dear Admiral McDonald,

Eighteen people asked me to write this letter to you.

Last year at Christmas time, my wife, three boys and I were in France, on our way from Paris to Nice. For five wretched days everything had gone wrong. Our hotels were "tourist traps," our rented car broke down; we were all restless and irritable in the crowded car. On Christmas Eve, when we checked into our hotel in Nice, there was no Christmas spirit in our hearts.

It was raining and cold when we went out to eat. We found a drab little restaurant shoddily decorated for the holiday. Only five tables were occupied. There were two German couples, two French families, and an American sailor, by himself. In the corner a piano player listlessly played Christmas music.

I was too tired and miserable to leave. I noticed that the other customers were eating in stony silence. The only person who seemed happy was the American sailor. While eating, he was writing a letter, and a half-smile lighted his face.

My wife ordered our meal in French. The waiter brought us the wrong thing. I scolded my wife for being stupid. The boys defended her, and I felt even worse.

Then, at the table with the French family on our left, the father slapped one of his children for some minor infraction, and the boy began to cry.

On our right, the German wife began berating her husband.

All of us were interrupted by an unpleasant blast of cold air. Through the front door came an old flower woman. She wore a dripping, tattered overcoat, and shuffled in on wet, rundown shoes. She went from one table to the other.

"Flowers, monsieur? Only one franc."

No one bought any.

Wearily she sat down at a table between the sailor and us. To the waiter she said, "A bowl of soup. I haven't sold a flower all afternoon." To the piano player she said hoarsely, "Can you imagine, Joseph, soup on Christmas Eve?"

He pointed to his empty "tipping plate."

The young sailor finished his meal and got up to leave. Putting on his coat, he walked over to the flower woman's table.

"Happy Christmas," he said, smiling and picking out two corsages. "How much are they?"

"Two francs, monsieur."

Pressing one of the small corsages flat, he put it into the letter he had written, then handed the woman a 20-franc note.

"I don't have change, Monsieur," she said. "I'll get some from the waiter."

"No, ma'am," said the sailor, leaning over and kissing the ancient cheek. "This is my Christmas present to you."

Then he came to our table, holding the other corsage in front of him. "Sir," he said to me, "may I have permission to present these flowers to your beautiful daughter?"

In one quick motion he gave my wife the corsage, wished us a Merry Christmas and departed.

Everyone had stopped eating. Everyone had been watching the sailor. Everyone was silent.

A few seconds later Christmas exploded throughout the restaurant like a bomb.

The old flower woman jumped up, waving the 20-franc note, shouted to the piano player, "Joseph, my Christmas present! And you shall have half so you can have a feast too."

The piano player began to belt out Good King Wencelaus, beating the keys with magic hands.

My wife waved her corsage in time to the music. She appeared 20 years younger. She began to sing, and our three sons joined her, bellowing with enthusiasm.

"Gut! Gut!" shouted the Germans. They began singing in German.

The waiter embraced the flower woman. Waving their arms, they sang in French.

The Frenchman who had slapped the boy beat rhythm with his fork against a bottle. The lad climbed on his lap, singing in a youthful soprano.

A few hours earlier 18 persons had been spending a miserable evening. It ended up being the happiest, the very best Christmas Eve, they had ever experienced.

This, Admiral McDonald, is what I am writing you about. As the top man in the Navy, you should know about the very special gift that the U.S. Navy gave to my family, to me and to the other people in that French restaurant. Because your young sailor had Christmas spirit in his soul, he released the love and joy that had been smothered within us by anger and disappointment. He gave us Christmas.

Thank you, Sir, very much.
Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Year in Photos 2005

This is a very good slide show, worth the time to view it.

Pvt. Kueth Dolvony from the 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, provides security behind a house while fellow Soldiers enter the front during a weapons cache search near Rawah, Iraq. Photo 106 by Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway. September 29, 2005.

This annual year-end special features the best of's featured photos,
drawn from a variety of Defense Department sources.
These photos capture
the essence of our Soldiers,
living the Warrior Ethos
answering the Call to Duty.

Troops Visit Mosul Orphanage

I thought that this was a great photo.
Spc. Hendrix looked so young himself. Click on
the photo to see more pictures.
Our troops are doing so much more that the
MSM will give them credit for.
U.S. Army Spc. Brent Hendrix, assigned to Alpha Troop,
4th Battalion, 14th Regiment, Mortar Platoon, lets a child
touch his face at the Dar Al Zando Kindergarten and
Orphanage in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 22, 2005. The soldiers
distributed school supplies and toy stuffed animals during
their visit to the kindergarten and orphanage.
U.S. Army photo Spc. Clydell Kinchen



Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Operation Sleigh Ride Brightens Troops’ Day

Two determined U.S. Army officers ensured soldiers serving in Afghanistan
would receive packages from home in time for Christmas.

U.S. Army Cpl. John Chriswell

BAGRAM, Afghanistan, Dec. 27, 2005 — Christmas in Afghanistan will never rival a Christmas at home, but for two U.S. Army officers from the 1st Personnel Command, they have gone above and beyond to bring home to soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Col. Philip J. Smith, 1st Personnel Command commander from U.S. Army Europe and Capt. Peter M. Perzel, commander of the 510th Postal Company, delivered more than 10,000 pounds of mail to forward operating bases at Salerno, Ghazni, Orgun-E and Sharana, during Operation Sleigh Ride on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

"Seeing the smiles on the faces of these soldiers as they receive packages from home makes being here during the holidays worth while," said Smith.

While being here through the holidays is rough on just about everybody, missing family and home are some of the biggest problems most soldiers have to deal with.

"Dressing up as Santa is only one part of this journey today," said Perzel, "Delivering the packages their families have sent them for Christmas, helps the distance between them close, which completes our travels here."

For one soldier in Organ-E, it meant the world to see Santa.

"I thought that I was not going to get mail for awhile, but seeing the helicopters come in brought a light to all of us," said Staff Sgt. John Brooks. "And seeing Santa come off the back put the icing on the cake."


I got this as an e-mail today. It made me wonder how I'm still alive. But, it did remind me of why I'm so self sufficient. I love people. But, my upbringing allowed me to get by on my own, giving me an independence that I highly value.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when werode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and
NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because .

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day.
And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride downthe hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were nolawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned

If YOU are one of them . . . CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives
for our own good.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Best of Notable Quotes 2005--Media Research Center

How many times do you have to say that morale is good? The Captain's comments at the end of the interview seem to sum it up quite nicely.

Good Morning Morons Award

Matt Lauer in Baghdad:"Talk to me...about morale here. We’ve heard so much about the insurgent attacks, so much about the uncertainty as to when you folks are going to get to go home. How would you describe morale?"
Chief Warrant Officer Randy Kirgiss: "In my unit morale is pretty good. Every day we go out and do our missions and people are ready to execute their missions. They’re excited to be here."
Lauer: "How much does that uncertainty of [not] knowing how long you’re going to be here impact morale?"
Specialist Steven Chitterer: "Morale is always high. Soldiers know they have a mission. They like taking on new objectives and taking on the new challenges...."
Lauer: "Don’t get me wrong here, I think you are probably telling me the truth, but a lot of people at home are wondering how that could be possible with the conditions you’re facing and with the attacks you’re facing. What would you say to those people who are doubtful that morale can be that high?"
Captain Sherman Powell: "Sir, if I got my news from the newspapers also, I’d be pretty depressed as well."
— Exchange on NBC’s Today, August 17. [87 points]

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas in Iraq

From the blog, 'One Marine's View' by Capt B (who may be the best military blogger on the planet), comes this funny, poignant story of a soldier's Christmas. Below, is an excerpt.
"We had a couple of Santa’s that conducted a frontal attack on one
location as their fighting spirit rang through like the holidays as they
kicked in doors and delivered their gifts, what a country!
hey opened up the BIG can of whoop ass on one terrorist
but then of course we gave them a medal, some more ammo
and claymore mines and fired our support by fire positions to
let them continue their attacks."

Merry Christmas

Holiday Messages to the Troops

This is one of the many Holiday Messages
to our Troops at Stars and Stripes.

Sgt. Derrick Sablan -
I Love You, Uncle Derrick! Someday When I Am President, I Will Make There Be No More Wars.
Josiah Ali Sablan Me

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas Osama and Abu al-Zarqawi

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Second Amendments

By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - They may be politicians, but they're also a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll.
An all-congressional band known as the Second Amendments will perform for U.S. troops over the holidays during a trip to the Middle East and Europe.
The bipartisan rock and country band features Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., on guitar and lead vocals; Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., on lead guitar; Dave Weldon, R-Fla., on bass; Jon Porter, R-Nev., on keyboards; and Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., on drums.
"It's always nice to have a double meaning," Peterson said. "We are all in favor of the Second Amendment."

The five-city tour is part of an official congressional fact-finding trip between Christmas and New Year's Eve that will take the band to Iraq , Afghanistan, Kuwait, Pakistan and Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

The group will conduct official business by day and entertain the troops by night, with covers running the gamut from the Beatles and the Eagles to George Strait and Toby Keith.

"We hope we can boost morale a little bit and join the troops over the holidays and remind them that we're a bipartisan group that supports their efforts," Hulshof said.

Peterson has been playing guitar solo and with other bands for years, but never had a true lead guitarist to work with until this year, when someone mentioned McCotter's talents. By April, the new band was in full swing, holding practices and playing some small venues.

Hulshof is a self-taught drummer who's played since he was a kid. He says he learned by listening to eight-track tapes of the Doobie Brothers.

"I make up in lack of talent with enthusiasm," Hulshof joked.

The group has a motto: "No politics, just rock and roll." And political correctness never interferes with good music. Their repertoire includes the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" as well as an old Mickey Gilley song, "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time.""It's all music, it's all good," Hulshof said.

The band's big coming-out party was in August, when they played in front of 40,000 people at a music festival in Detroit Lakes, Minn., Peterson's hometown.

Through Peterson's connection to country music legend Willie Nelson, a longtime friend, the group also played in September at the 20th annual Farm Aid benefit concert outside Chicago.
"People expect that we can't play, so we always exceed expectations," Peterson said.

The USO, the private organization that entertains U.S. troops overseas, approached the band, but Peterson said they decided to tour as a congressional delegation to avoid bureaucracy.

"We've worked pretty hard the last several months as our schedules are met to steal away a little time for rehearsal," Hulshof said. "We're a novelty act for about 10 or 15 minutes, but then we have to show some talent."

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Meet Osama's niece

December 23, 2005 - 11:01AM

She's not the model niece Osama bin Laden's looking for - but she is modelling.

This is how Wafah Dufour, the al Qaeda leader's niece, will appear in the January 2006 issue of GQ magazine.

Dufour, who took her mother's maiden name after the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, is an aspiring musician struggling to make a name for herself.

She says she has never met Osama bin Laden.

"Everyone relates me to that man, and I have nothing to do with him," she said in the article.

"There are 400 other people related to him, but they are all in Saudi Arabia, so nobody's going to get tarred with it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Listen up, Maggots!!!

You tell'em Captain. From the blog of Capt B, One Marine's View, comes this:

Pull the troops out? We were loosing? We cant win?? Did these people eat a bowel of frosted dumbass for breakfast? I just got back from seeing Marines, Soldiers and Sailors in bases like Korean Village and Al Asad in western Iraq. These warriors are going strong, fighting hard and full of motivation eager to fight and kill terrorists, taking the fight to the enemy. Why would we even mention pulling out of here until the job is done? It would be like forfeiting a baseball game in the ninth inning and quitting with a two run lead. We are winning this war and for anyone who says different, get your facts together (yea right) and come play ball, I'm waiting. For all you “I didn’t get enough attention from daddy when I was young, left wingnuts” out there, we are AT WAR and we defiantly are winning!

On the Tenth Day of Christmas

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Santa's Mailbag" Program


Air Force volunteers are once again hosting Santa's Mailbag, a free holiday program that lets children from around the world request and receive a letter from Santa Claus postmarked from North Pole, Alaska. The flight must receive letters to Santa by mid-December to ensure a reply before Christmas. Children whose letters arrive too late will get a special "after Christmas" letter from Santa. Letters from Santa are still available. Write to Santa at: Santa's Mailbag, 354th OSS/OSW, 2827 Flightline Ave. Suite 100B, Eielson AFB AK 99702-1520. There is no cost for letters, but self-addressed stamped envelopes or donations made out to "Santa's Mailbag" help to defray the cost of postage and supplies.

The Glenn Beck Christmas Tour Salute to the Troops

See the Glenn Beck Christmas Tour Salute to the Troops

Free Video - Requires Windows Media Player

Thank you Glenn Beck for this very nice Tribute to the Troops.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

I, Tribute to the Fallen

From Tony Diana, comes this moving tribute to the fallen.
Click on image to view video.


Why You Should Always File a Flight Plan

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hometowns to Heroes

The following videos are from the website of U.S. Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. They are all touching, but, I was especially moved by Pack 331's Salute to the Troops. Thank you Senator, for taking the time to remember the troops this Holiday Season. Merry Christmas to you and your staff.

"Although there's no substitute for sitting around the dinner table together, I hope this site brings our heroes overseas a little closer to their hometowns in Nebraska this holiday season. Below are videos from Nebraska's classrooms, civic organizations, and individuals offering season's greetings to our troops stationed overseas." Senator Ben Nelson

Arlington Public School (Windows Media Player)
Centura Elementary School (Quicktime)
Chris of Lincoln (Windows Media Player)
Bonnie Frazier of Lincoln (Windows Media Player)
Army National Guard Major Drey Ihm (Windows Media Player)
KETV's Rob & Julie (Windows Media Player)
KETV's Bill Randby (Windows Media Player)
Lincoln Southeast High School (Windows Media Player)
Lincoln's 104.1 FM The Blaze (Windows Media Player)
Norris Middle School (Windows Media Player)
Omaha's KFAB Radio's Gary Sadlemyer (Windows Media Player)
Omaha's Boy Scouts Pack 331 Salute to Troops (Windows Media Player)
Scott and Cathy Richardson of Lincoln (Windows Media Player)
WOWT's Dave Webber (Windows Media Player)
WOWT's John Knicely (Windows Media Player)
Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson's Washington Staff (RealPlayer)
Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson's "Hometowns to Heroes" E-Greeting (RealPlayer)

White Trash Christmas

I hope that no one is offended by this little video.
My family is scattered throughout
South Carolina, Georgia and Florida
and I live in Texas.
I guess that this video appealed
to my 'white trash' roots, y'all.

On the Eight Day of Christmas

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Monday, December 19, 2005

One the Seventh Day of Christmas

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

USO Marine of the Year

I love a good story and it's even better when it comes
from a worthy organization, like Helmets to Hardhats.
Helmets to Hardhats Success Story Title Bar
 Helmets to Hardhats Success Story Banner
USO Marine of the Year Award

The USO Marine of the Year Award is the highest honor that can be
bestowed upon a regular member of the Marine Corps League. The
candidates for this award are nominated by the people who know
them best; the Marines of their own Battalion. Once these Marines
make a recommendation, they send it to the Commandant of the
Marine Corps. He then chooses who should be given this special

This year, Staff Sergeant Matthew Anderson, husband of Helmets to
Hardhats employee Connie Anderson, won this prestigious award.
Connie is a Marketing Coordinator at Helmets to Hardhats, and has
worked with the company since February 2004. The Marine of the
Year award was introduced and honored at the Hilton Hotel in
Washington DC on September 14th.

According to his platoon, Staff Sergeant Anderson continually puts
himself in a position of danger in order to be the most effective during
combat operations. He is able to quickly anticipate the point of friction
and eliminate any problems that may arise. He is consistently exceeding
what is expected of him.

During one ambush on his platoon he led an assault on a suspected
enemy position, which lead to the discovery of an illegal weapons and
ammunition cache. On another occasion he maneuvered his vehicle
through a cloud of smoke and debris, ensuring that the rest of his convoy
did not become trapped in a kill zone.

Staff Sergeant Anderson participated in a USO program - Operation Care
Package - that makes up care packages and mails them to soldiers serving

We congratulate Matthew on this great award and give thanks to all of you
who serve or have served our country!
A Hat tip to Helmets to Hardhats.

Media Bias is Real

Why, am I not surprised?
Date: December 14, 2005Contact: Meg Sullivan ( )Phone: 310-825-1046
While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.

These are just a few of the surprising findings from a UCLA-led study, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly.

"I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are."

"Overall, the major media outlets are quite moderate compared to members of Congress, but even so, there is a quantifiable and significant bias in that nearly all of them lean to the left," said co‑author Jeffrey Milyo, University of Missouri economist and public policy scholar.

The results appear in the latest issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, which will become available in mid-December.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sheehan Leads War Protest in Spain

Don't they sell makeup in Spain?

Dec 17 10:19 AM US/Eastern
MADRID, Spain - Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan led a small protest Saturday outside the U.S. Embassy to denounce the war in Iraq.
About 100 protesters carried banners criticizing President Bush.
Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, called Bush a war criminal and said, "Iraq is worse than Vietnam."
The protest also was called in memory of Jose Couso, a Spanish television cameraman killed on April 8, 2003, in Baghdad when a U.S. tank fired at a hotel where many foreign correspondents were staying. Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian, also was killed in that incident.

Holiday Kits for Soldiers in Iraq Include Spotlights

I never would have guessed that spotlights would be a valued item for soldiers at Christmas. I noticed that the support kits are referred to as 'Holiday' kits. That seems less personal to me than calling them Christmas Kits.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Two hundred “Platoon Support Kits” were recently shipped to Soldiers of Task Force Baghdad in time for the holidays.
The kits, donated by Bank of America, were put together so that each one contained enough snacks, toiletries and comfort items for about 25-30 Soldiers, a bank spokesman said. The kits also contained notes of encouragement from bank associates, families and customers from across the nation.
In addition, the kits contained spotlights. A 3rd Infantry Division Soldier reportedly told his father that spotlights were in high demand in Iraq and were used on night missions, such as conducting vehicle searches.
The Platoon Support Kits were shipped to Baghdad via military airlift from Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, Ga. Upon their arrival in Iraq, the kits were distributed among various units of the 3rd Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the 10th Mountain Division, along with a number of reserve-component units.
“It is great to know that people back home still remember us over here and care enough about us to send a package full of goodies,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jack Ellis of D Co., 1-184th Infantry.
“Everything in the kits was appreciated,” said Sgt. 1st Class Steve K. Cooper of D Co., 2-22 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division. “The spotlights came in very handy and at just the right time. Several of the ones we had been using to conduct vehicle searches at night had been giving us some trouble lately.
“To those on the tip of the spear of our nation’s defense, it means so much to hear a thank you,” said Spc. Thaddeus G. Moore of HHC, 1-184th Infantry.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Parking Lot

'Tis the Season to be Jolly.....

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"A Picture of You"

I hope that you enjoy this thoughtful song and well done video.

Picture of You
Welcome and thanks for visiting the official Tony Diana website. The currently released single Picture of You© is dedicated to our troops and military families who fight to protect freedom and liberty throughout the world.

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Every Day Heroes

From the Outstanding Milblog, the Mudville Gazette:

Every Day Heroes


The President:

The work ahead will also require continued sacrifice. Yet we can be confident, because history has shown the power of freedom to overcome tyranny. And we can be confident because we have on our side the greatest force for freedom in human history: the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. (Applause.)

One of these men was a Marine lieutenant named Ryan McGlothlin, from Lebanon, Virginia. Ryan was a bright young man who had everything going for him and he always wanted to serve our nation. He was a valedictorian of his high school class. He graduated from William & Mary with near-perfect grade averages, and he was on a full scholarship at Stanford, where he was working toward a doctorate in chemistry.

Two years after the attacks of September the 11th, the young man who had the world at his feet came home from Stanford for a visit. He told his dad, "I just don't feel like I'm doing something that matters. I want to serve my country. I want to protect our lands from terrorists, so I joined the Marines." When his father asked him if there was some other way to serve, Ryan replied that he felt a special obligation to step up because he had been given so much. Ryan didn't support me in the last election, but he supported our mission in Iraq. And he supported his fellow Marines.

Ryan was killed last month fighting the terrorists near the -- Iraq's Syrian border. In his pocket was a poem that Ryan had read at his high school graduation, and it represented the spirit of this fine Marine. The poem was called "Don't Quit."

The Rest of the Story.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me Four calling birds,
Three French hens, Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Birth of a Democracy

Thank you, to the men and women of the United States of America's military for giving the people of Iraq the chance at democracy. This is an exciting thing for the Iraqis and to those who helped make it happen. As an American, I can only imagine what it must have been like when our own country took it's first steps.

Turnout Strong for Iraq Parliamentary Vote

By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 23 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqis voted Thursday in one of the largest and freest elections in the Arab world, with strong turnout reported in Sunni areas and even a shortage of ballots in some precincts. Several explosions rocked Baghdad throughout the day, but the level of violence was low.

The heavy participation in the parliamentary voting by the Sunnis, who had shunned balloting last January, bolstered U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops next year.

The rest of the story.

Helping Americans Thank Our Troops!

Welcome to!

Specializing in greeting cards for American troops and veterans, their military families and patriotic supporters!

By offering these cards, we hope to help Americans thank and support our active and retired military servicemembers, and their families.

To help further support our troops and veterans, we donate at least ten percent of our profits to military-related organizations.

So, not only do you get a wonderful card to give to a soldier or veteran, or a member of their family, but your purchase keeps on giving through the charitable donations we make.

Featured Cards and New Additions are always 25% off. Get an extra 10% off already discounted cards, plus 10% off the rest of your order, by entering coupon code “GBA511” at checkout. It’s our way of helping you thank our troops!

Toll free phone/fax: 877-640-8206
Email for information:
Email for orders:

If you support America's troops, I will support you. If anyone wants me to post anything in my blog that accomplishes that worthy goal, then please let me know.

On the third day of Christmas

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

On The Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

"Christmas Without You"

Courtesy of America Supports You.

Musician Inspired to Support Troops
By Samantha L. Quigley / American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2005 - Inspired by lonely childhood holidays, the daughter of a former airman has written a song that deployed troops will hear this holiday season, thanks to a grassroots partner in the Defense Department's "America Supports You" program.

Gina Stewart of the Charlotte, N.C., band Volatile Baby, describes her song - "Christmas Without You" -- as a traditional, harmonized country arrangement. "The message is basically 'I really miss you, I know that you're gone for a good reason, and it's not that I don't understand, but it's a real pain to be standing under the mistletoe alone,'" she said.
Stewart said she spent many "fatherless" Christmases while her father served overseas during his 25-year Air Force career. Her intent in getting the song to troops overseas is to keep the servicemembers from feeling that same sense of longing she felt as a child. "I know from growing up in that environment what a lonely time (the holidays) can be," she said.
The singer-songwriter had hoped to get a copy of the song to all servicemembers away from home this holiday season, she said. Her friend, Julie Boles, also from a military family, understood Stewart's dream. But the window to accomplish their goal was too short to accomplish this year, Stewart said.
Boles did, however, find several companies that, on short notice, were able to co-sponsor the production of 500 CDs. "At this point, we still had no idea how we would get the CD to the troops," Boles said. When she contacted Defense Department agencies looking for help shipping the CDs, she was directed to the America Supports You Web site at There, she connected with Carolyn Blashek, founder of a troop-support organization called Operation Gratitude. Blashek's group has included the 500 CDs in care packages it assembled and sent to deployed forces.
"This, in particular, is a very difficult time of year to be away from loved ones or even just away from home," Blashek said. "Receiving these expressions of appreciation that are clearly filled with a lot of love and respect, I think, just provide that feeling of home."
Stewart and Boles are planning to join forces with Operation Gratitude and another support organization, 4 The Troops, to send 47,000 CDs of "Christmas Without You" to troops overseas for the 2006 holiday season, Stewart said.

The Truth On the Ground

I found this article in the Washington Post, of all places. Titled 'The Truth on the Ground', it is written by Marine Major Ben Connable. Men like, Major Connable and Capt B 'get it'. They understand the mission. They see the possiblities for Iraq. And they have the stones to get the job done. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Sixty-four percent of us know that we have a good shot at preventing this outcome if we are allowed to continue our mission. We quietly hope that common sense will return to the dialogue on Iraq. Although we hate leaving our families behind, many of us would rather go back to Iraq a hundred times than abandon the Iraqi people.
A fellow Marine and close friend epitomizes this sentiment. Sean has served two tours in Iraq as a reserve officer. During his last tour, he was informed of the birth of his baby girl by e-mail, learned his father was dying of cancer, and was wounded in the same blast of an improvised explosive that killed his first sergeant on a dirt road in the middle of the western desert. Sean loves his family and his job, but he has made it clear that he would rather go back to Iraq than see us withdraw.

The rest of the story:

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

On The First Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

Rangers Given Award for Valor

Outfit honored with Valorous Unit Award for performance in 2003 Battle of Hadithah Dam

From staff reports

Mention the 2003 Battle of Hadithah Dam to any Ranger and watch him swell with pride.

With good reason.

The Army thinks so highly of the performance by the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment that it recently honored the outfit with the Valorous Unit Award, second in unit awards only to the Presidential Unit Citation.

According to the award citation, the Fort Benning-based Rangers, then part of a joint task force engaged in an intense battle during the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, displayed extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy from March 30 through April 9, 2003.

Their mission: Seize the enemy-occupied Hadithah Dam in Iraq to obtain a communication line across the Euphrates River and to prevent the enemy from destroying the dam.

"It was very dangerous, against a numerically superior enemy, deep into the heart of the country behind enemy lines, with expectations of heavy enemy resistance and the dam itself thought to be rigged to blow," said battalion commander Lt. Col. John G. Castles.

The Hadithah Dam was, and still is, a vital line of communication from Western Iraq leading into Baghdad, he said. "The importance of this site was that, if destroyed, the waters would flood the Euphrates River basin all the way into Baghdad and either destroy or limit the maneuverability of coalition forces moving up into this critical area."

Originally tasked to be there for 24 hours, the force was required to remain at the critical position for several days. "Despite continued contact with the enemy, the force held firm, continuing to take the fight to and destroy the enemy, resulting in coalition forces continued movement north into Iraq," Castles said.

Maj. David S. Doyle, who commanded the Rangers during the mission, recalled the operation from beginning to end. "We infiltrated into the western desert with one plan, and then the circumstances changed during our movement. We received the Hadithah Dam mission and had less than 12 hours to plan and get moving. We planned on the hood of a vehicle in the desert and went through our troop leading procedures just like we were at Ranger School."

The battle damage assessment included 230 enemies killed, and the destruction of 29 tanks, nine S-60 anti-aircraft artillery, 14 anti-aircraft artillery pieces, 28 155mm artillery, 22 82mm mortars, six 60mm mortars, eight ammunition caches, 18 buildings, three heavy cargo trucks, two motorcycles, 10 boats and one kayak.

Previously, four Rangers received the Silver Star, 11 received the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, five received the Purple Heart, 20 received Army Commendation Medals for Valor, 15 received the Bronze Star Medal and 71 received the Army Commendation Medal for this mission.

The Valorous Unit Award is awarded to units of the Armed Forces for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force. The unit must have performed with marked distinction under difficult and hazardous conditions to accomplish the mission, separating it from other units involved in the conflict.

The 3rd Battalion last received the Valorous Unit Award for actions while deployed to Somalia in 1993

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