God Bless America
Land that I love ......dedicated to our troops and military families who fight to protect freedom and liberty throughout the world.
Land that I love ......dedicated to our troops and military families who fight to protect freedom and liberty throughout the world.
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:
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.
And, The Soldier of the Year is a woman!
I found this on Military.com 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
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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?"
|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
LEAVE, WE JUST GOT HERE!
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!
'Tis the Season to be Jolly.....
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.
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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.
Courtesy of America Supports You.
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.
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