Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Toby Keith Entertains ‘American Soldiers’

Thank you, Toby Keith!

BAQUBAH, Iraq, May 30, 2006 - Toby Keith visited soldiers at Forward Operating Base Warhorse May 27 during his annual trip to play for troops around the world.“It’s a labor of love,” said the multi-platinum recording star before taking the stage at his first concert in Iraq this year.
“This is my way to show support (to the troops.)”Keith entertained the packed hangar crowd with new favorites, audience requests and what he calls “bus songs.”
He has performed more than 60 shows on tours sponsored by the United Service Organizations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany.
“We hit the bases wherever the action is,” Keith said.The Oklahoma native, and country music superstar, has made it a point to go to out-of-the-way places. He was quoted as saying, “we were either gonna go up to the remote places or we weren’t gonna go at all,” during a pervious visit to Iraq.
The Rest of the Story

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Mike Stokely Foundation

This letter is a followup to the letter posted below.
In the first hours after news of Mike's death came to us last August 16, our family put in motion, with the help of friends, the formation of the Mike Stokely Foundation. It was our family's desire to encourage those who wanted to do something to show support for our family and remember Mike to think about contributing to the Foundation rather than sending us flowers or other presents. The generosity of our friends, and so many others who have heard of the Foundation allowed Mike to be remembered and honored these past few weeks with the awarding of $2,100 of book scholarships to five students headed to college, including two at his former high school. Plans are underway to provide funding from the Foundation to help purchase books for underprivileged children, and for various libraries that had some connection to Mike. Flowers would have died; other presents would have soon been forgotten, but the money contributed to the Foundation has helped purchase a lifetime of learning, and hopefully bring a better life to those who will receive books purchased with Foundation funds.
Mike's life was about helping others. Mike's life and memory have become a vehicle to help others, even if only a little and few at a time. The Foundation will not change the world, but it will do what Mike did his whole life and that is do what can be done to make a positive difference in as many lives as possible. For the foreseeable future, the positive difference, in Mike's honor and memory, will continue to be made, thanks to the continued support of so many.

Memorial Day is a day of rememberance. Personally, and for the Mike Stokely Foundation, I thank those who remembered Mike in so many ways, and for those who helped make it financially possible to remember him through helping others, and furthering Mike's passion for reading.

On this Memorial Day, I say this - You can't die for a just cause if you didn't live for one. Mike Stokely is an example of a life lived well and to the fullest. He did not flinch when asked to fight in the service of his country. Throughout his service for his country and with fellow soldiers, even in his final moments, he continued to be a beacon of positive spirit whose big friendly eyes and generous smile were his tradmark. While others debated, he served. Mike Stokely died in the same way he lived - devoted to God, Family, Duty, Honor, Country. No less, he died in the same way he lived, looking out for others, as he watched the back of two friends and fellow soldiers. Mike Stokely lived for such just causes and willing sacrificed his life just because of them. How much more just a cause can there be?

I will remember those who serve in the lineage of service that keeps our country free and safe, for they serve while others debate. Their just cause of service is not found in the politics of debate, but in the answer of the call to Duty, Honor, Country - a duty to honor and obey the lawful orders of their Commander-in-Chief and thereby serve the Country they each love dearly enough to be willing to give their very life. I am thankful for those willing to serve, especially those who gave their life. I am ever thankful that so many return alive. God Bless America. Thank you God for those willing to answer the call of their country and the just cause they serve - Duty, Honor, Country.


Robert Stokely
proud dad, SGT Mike Stokely
KIA IED Yusufiyah Iraq 8/16/05

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day

Please, take the time today to remember
the Sons and Daughters of America,
who made the ultimate sacrifice for
Freedom and Liberty!

Forsaken Honor, Forgotten Shame

The story that Russ refers to is posted below. What that lying Jesse MacBeth did was a shameful, criminal thing to do.

Forsaken Honor, Forgotten Shame

“False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”
Macbeth 1.7

The liberals found a new Macbeth
To bait the media with claims of death,
And atrocious acts by his own men,
Opportunely vague ‘bout where and when.
But liberal bloggers shared with glee,
New proof of our troops’ infamy;
Web witches stirred their bitter brew,
Caring not their broth might be untrue.

But liberals heed not lessons learned,
That hollow heroes leave them burned.
So fools rush in, disdaining danger,
And hold on high a phony Ranger,
Exploit a mentally troubled youth,
To extend their version of the truth.
Because our troops they so despise,
They swallowed whole his vicious lies.

So now we witness once again,
The Lefties just can’t seem to win,
When it comes to picking warrior heroes,
Liberal heroes often turn out zeroes,
Who wrap themselves up in the flag,
And unlike heroes, boast and brag;
And trot out rows of Purple Hearts,
For scratches on their body parts.

Why must they seek to elevate
Themselves with lies that desecrate
The brave and honorable reputation
Of those who serve, protect our nation?
John Kerry, Murtha and Macbeth,
All share a trait, exploiting death.
In their own selfish quest for fame,
They’ve forsaken honor, forgotten shame.

Russ Vaughn

'Ranger' who boasted of murdering Iraqi civilians debunked by Army.

'Ranger' who boasted of murderingIraqi civilians debunked by ArmyMan claiming soldiers 'plow[ed] down entire families'also kicked out of anti-war vet group for being fraud
Posted: May 27, 20065:45 p.m. Eastern
© 2006

The U.S. Army says it has no record of a man who claimed to have "slaughtered" hundreds of civilians while serving with the Army Rangers in Iraq.
Jesse MacBeth, appearing in a 20-minute video produced by Randy Rowland, a 1970s antiwar activist, claimed to have personally killed 200 people, many of them at close range, while on patrols with the Army Rangers during his 16 months in Iraq before being discharged due to wounds he received.
Wearing a green camouflage overshirt, MacBeth said he was telling his story to atone for killing innocent civilians. The tape, titled "Jesse Macbeth: An Iraq Veteran Speaks Out," first aired in April on Seattle public access television on the show "Indymedia Presents" and has since been posted online.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Father's Letter

I received this e-mail from a soldiers father and thought that it would be appropriate to post it this Memorial Day weekend as a reminder of the sacrifice paid by the few for the many. I hope that you don't mind Mr. Stokely.
Dear friends in the MilBlog World:

By now, it would be understandable if you and others were tired or hearing from me and what I say. But, I feel a need to talk about my experiences. It makes me feel better to not hold it in. It also is my hope that others can find something in what I say that makes them feel better, cope, or just think of things said from a perspective I now hold.

This weekend is a very traditional time in modern day American culture - it is Memorial Day Weekend whose premise is on remembering those who fell on the field of battle for the cause of freedom and in the service of our great country. Realistically, it is a three day weekend that signals the start of summer fun for friends and family alike. To be very honest with you, I can't claim to have placed the proper focus on this important weekend in so many years in the past. But, this year I have a new perspective, to say the least.

Sadly, it probably took my son Mike dying in Iraq to make this holiday a time to truly focus on what Memorial Day means. No doubt, I'd rather be remembering "someone else's" fallen soldier. But, I also recognize that the lineage of fallen soldiers is one of privilege for the fallen's family members. No soldier wills to die in battle, nor does a family hope such privilege is accorded them. But, as the dad of a fallen soldier, I can say that I recognize such privilege is given me and our family for who else would it be given if we chose not to accept it? SGT Mike Stokely is an example of a life lived well, boldly committed and bravely given. He believed in God, Family, Duty, Honor, Country. He left nothing in reserve when it came to any of those life character traits. How little it is for me and his family to show our love for him, to honor him, and serve in comfort and safety by simply accepting the privilege of service we have been given by his death in Iraq.

Thank you soldiers generations past and present for your sacrifice and giving us reason to have a Memorial Day.

I never got to tell Mike thank you, so I'll say it now - Thank you son for your life, a life well lived, boldly committed, and bravely given. You made a difference, you died for a just cause, you will be remembered, and you are forever loved. John 15:13 - No greater love...

Thank you God for the privilege of being Mike Stokely's dad.

God Bless America and those whose time of privileged committment is yet to come. The Stokely Family stands ready to serve with you.

Robert Stokely
proud dad
SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 8/16/05 Yusufiyah Iraq
E Troop 108th CAV 48th Brigade GA NATL GUARD US ARMY

Thursday, May 25, 2006

For Your Info

My posting to this page may be a little spotty for a week or so. I am being 'deployed' to another city for 30-60 days. So, I will be making arrangements and packing and so forth. Even, after I arrive at my destination, I will be posting from a hotel room. This should be interesting.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bin Laden on the Move; New Sightings in Pakistan

I wish that he would stay still when he gets to wherever he is headed to. I don't know how much it costs to reprogram a cruise missile. Oh, who cares what it costs.

May 24, 2006 10:40 AM/ Alexis Debat Reports:

Pakistani government sources tell ABC News they have "credible reports" that Osama bin Laden and his entourage have moved down from high mountainous peaks along the Afghan border to a valley area 40 miles inside the Pakistan border.

The officials say the reports put bin Laden around Kohistan's Kumrat Valley.

Officials said the reports were validated by the release of bin Laden's audio tape yesterday, which appears to have been recorded only two weeks earlier.

Such a quick turn-around suggests, say the officials, that bin Laden is much closer to civilization than he had been previously.

Previous audio and video tapes have taken four to six weeks to become public.

Click here to read more about the Kohistan District.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Coalition Forces save abandoned boy.

From Operation Iraqi Freedom, the official website of the Multi-National Force, comes this story. You may notice that they use the correct term, 'terrorists' rather than the MSM nice word, 'insurgents', By the way, the definition of 'insurgent' is as follows: a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; especially : a rebel not recognized as a belligerent. These men are thugs, killers, who hardly qualify as 'insurgents'. Terrorists is even too nice a term for men that would willingly expose a two year old boy to grave danger, to save their sorry butts.
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces saved a young boy from imminent danger during significant fighting that resulted in the deaths of over 25 terrorists May 14th in Yusifiyah. In one incident during the course of the hours-long operation, several terrorists abandoned a two-year-old boy in an attempt to save themselves.

Upon initiating the attack, the troops immediately killed two terrorists in response to hostile activity emanating from a suspected safe house and an associated vehicle.

Only trying to preserve their own lives, escaping terrorists literally threw a toddler inside a vehicle near a burning van filled with ammunition and anti-aircraft rockets (the safe house and vehicle were previously struck by Coalition forces to neutralize the threat). The troops made the choice to save the child in lieu of pursuing the terrorists, rescuing the boy just before the rockets exploded.

The troops took custody of the two-year-old and provided him security for almost an hour before they could safely return him to his mother. The boy and his mother were residing in a nearby safe house from where the terrorists originally fled and had abandoned other women and children.

Coalition forces previously reported that three females - one child, one teenager, and one adult - were injured in the initial raid; the youngest only required on-site treatment, the two older females were medically evacuated. As troops transported the two injured females and an unharmed maternal escort to the hospital, the terrorists attempted to shoot down the departing medical sortie (there was no red cross, the helicopter was being used as a medical evacuation transport to expedite care).

The pilots averted the small arms fire and safely delivered the two injured females and their escort the 10th CSH where the wounded were provided further treatment. Both females received additional medical care and were released from the hospital May 15th.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Step aside Cindy Sheehan. Here's what a true American Mom did for her son.

I received this in an e-mail and I thought that I would share it. I may have been the last to learn about this Mom. She has a respect for her son that I admire.

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. ( March 2, 2006)
Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some salutes from people when she drove from Benton, Ark., to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in her newly-painted, custom Hummer H3 March 2.

The vehicle is adorned with the likeness of her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who where all killed by the same improvised explosive device blast in Fallujah, Iraq, in December.

For Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on Iraq's urban battlefield. I wanted to let people know (Marines) are doing their jobs honorably, and some of them die, said the 39-year-old from Portland, Ore. I don't want people to forget the sacrifices that my son and the other Marines made.

Leading up to her son's death, Comfort had received several letters from him prior to his return. He had been deployed for five months, and Comfort worried everyday he was gone until she got the letters and found out the date he was coming home, she said. Marines knocked on the front door of her home in Farmington, Mich., at 3 a.m. with the dreadful news. I let my guard down when I found out he was coming home, she said. There are times that I still cannot believe it happened. It's very hard to deal with.Comfort came up with the idea for the rolling memorial when she and her two other sons attended John's funeral in Portland, Ore. I saw a Vietnam (War) memorial on a car, and I said to my son Josh, we should do something like that for John, she recalled. He loved Hummers.

She purchased the vehicle in January and immediately took it to Airbrush Guy & Co. in Benton, Ark., where artist Robert Powell went to work on changing the plain, black vehicle into a decorative, mobile, art piece. I only had the vehicle for two days before we took it in, she joked. Two hundred and fifty man-hours later, Powell had completed the vehicle. The custom job would have cost $25,000. Out of respect for Comfort's loss and the sacrifices the Marines made, Airbrush Guy & Co. did it for free. Comfort only had to purchase the paint, which cost $3,000.

I love it, she said. I'm really impressed with it, and I think John would be happy with the vehicle. He would have a big smile on his face because he loved Hummers. Comfort gave Powell basic instructions on what to include in the paint job. But in addition to the image of her son in Dress Blues and the faces of the nine other Marines, there were several surprises. He put a lot more on than I expected, she said. I think my favorite part is the heaven scene.

On the left side of the vehicle, a detail of Marines are depicted carrying their fallen comrades through the clouds to their final resting place. The American flag drapes across the hood, the words, "Semper Fi" crown the front windshield and the spare tire cover carries the same Eagle Globe and Anchor design that her son had tattooed on his back. All the support I have been getting is wonderful, she said.

Comfort decided to move back to her hometown of Portland, and making the cross-country trip from Arkansas was a way for her to share her son's story. It's also her way of coping with the loss. Along the way I got nothing but positive feedback from people, she said.

What got to me was when people would salute the guys (Marines). It's hard to look at his picture. I still cry and try to get used to the idea, but it[s hard to grasp the idea that he's really gone.

Support America and Support the Troops
Let us NOT forget......

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Rebirth of Tall ‘Afar

Positive news doesn't make headlines, I guess.

By Polli Barnes Keller
Gulf Region North
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mosul Iraq - Many people write letters to the President of the United States. But how many get enough attention to be read into the records of Congress? A letter written by the mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Najim Al-Jibouri, did just that.

Najim’s letter was one of thanks and a plea for continued help with the reconstruction of his city. Tall ‘Afar was a main base of operations for insurgents in northern Iraq. In his letter to Bush, the mayor indicated the insurgents had, “held the city hostage.” Thanks to the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment working with Iraqi forces the city was liberated and reconstruction began.

Due to years of neglected infrastructure and war, the process to restore the city will take years. Power lines are in need of repair; debris and rubble make the streets impassable. Sewer lines are broken and raw sewage flows freely into the streets, while water systems remain dormant. However, the process has begun and a normal life for the citizens of Tall ‘Afar does not look so far away.

The Rest of the Story

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Homecoming Photographs

I love these Homecoming Photographs on the Defend America website. They aren't as popular, maybe, as arguing whether we should be in Iraq or not. But, they are nice to see.
USS NASSAU GROUP RETURNS — U.S. Navy Ensign Omari Buckley greets his wife Stephanie and gets his first look at his four-month-old daughter Ramiyah after dock landing ship USS Carter Hall pulled into Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., May 4, 2006. The Carter Hall, an element of the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group, returned to Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek after a six-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Brandon Shelander

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"I drove home slow today...."

I drove home slow today, stopping where I thought there was a view worth noticing and snapped pictures to share what I had seen with others. I hope that you enjoy them. Sometimes, the commute to and from work, isn't so bad.

Click on the image of the church and you will go to my other blog, where I have posted some of the pictures that I took today.

The church is the Flower Mound Prebyterian Church, in Flower Mound, Texas. The church was established in 1854.

Military Spouse Competes on Game Show

Nice stories don't draw alot of visitors to your blog page. But, I like them anyway.

America Supports You: Military Spouse Competes on Game Show
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USAAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2006 – The wife of a Marine from Camp Lejeune, N.C., got more than she bargained for as a contestant on NBC's game show "Deal or No Deal" last night.

Renee Stokes, whose husband, Marine Staff Sgt. Justin Stokes, is currently deployed to Iraq, was the second contestant of the night on the high-pressure show that allows people to try for cash prizes up to $1,000,000 in a game of odds and chance.

Stokes was joined on stage by her best friend, her mother-in-law, and a family friend. The show allows contestants to bring family members and friends on stage to offer advice at crucial decision-making points.

Stokes and the other three women were wearing "America Supports You" lapel pins. America Supports You is the Defense Department's program to recognize citizen support for military men and women and to communicate that support to members of the armed forces at home and abroad.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Another Beautiful Spring Day in North Texas

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 12, 2006

Wounded Marine in Iconic Fallujah Photo Awarded Navy Cross

I deleted the remarks by the Generals for blog space considerations, I swear! My apologies to all officers and gentlemen.


Sgt. Maj. Bradley A. Kasal feels he did what any good Marine would’ve done. That includes taking enemy rifle fire on Nov. 14, 2004, absorbing a grenade blast and refusing medical attention inside Fallujah’s “House of Hell” during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn).

For his extraordinary heroism and leadership in Fallujah, Iraq, as the Weapons Company first sergeant for 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Kasal was awarded the Navy Cross during a ceremony here Monday.

When then-1st Sgt. Kasal assisted one of his platoons with an over watch inside Fallujah that day, intense gunfire broke out in an Iraqi home to his immediate front.Seconds later, Marines were rapidly exiting the building, known as the “House of Hell.”

“That house was a death trap,” said Maj. Gen. Lehnert.“It was set up for one purpose: to kill United States Marines.” Kasal could have easily stayed out of the house.”When he found out that there were Marines still pinned down inside the infamous house, nothing the insurgents could put on the table would stop him from rescuing his Marines.

“Going in for them was the right thing to do,” said Kasal, 39, who hails from Afton, Iowa. “They’re Marines, and I’m a Marine. We look out for each other.” Upon entry of the house, Kasal found himself face-to-face with an insurgent who he neutralized at extreme close range.

Shortly afterwards, AK-47 gunfire was coming from all directions, and Kasal was hit from behind.“While I was in that house, I made three life or death decisions,” Kasal said. “I never thought I would live through any of them, but I did what I did to help the other Marines.”

The first decision Kasal made was to expose himself to enemy fire in order to pull another wounded Marine out of the line of fire. Kasal took more enemy fire doing this.While both Marines were under cover, they assessed their wounds. Both had multiple injuries, but there were only enough bandages for one of them to live.

Kasal made his second decision to forfeit his medical supplies to the other Marine.“It made more sense to use all of the bandages on one of us then to split the supplies and have us both bleed to death,” Kasal said.

The insurgents deployed a hand grenade to get the Marines out of cover, and it landed within a few feet of the two bleeding Marines.Kasal then decided to use his own severely wounded body to protect the Marine from shrapnel.

By the time he was carried out of the house by Lance Cpl. Chris Marquez and Lance Cpl. Dan Shaffer as Lucian M. Reed, an Associated Press photographer snapped the iconic photo displayed at Marine Corps installations all over the globe, Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood from more than 40 shrapnel wounds and seven 7.62 mm AK-47 gunshots.

One day prior to being awarded the Navy Cross Kasal’s father passed away. However, a live video teleconference feed to Kasal’s hometown provided his mother, family members and friends an opportunity to watch him receive the Navy Cross, be promoted to the rank of sergeant major and reenlist for three years.

“It’s been a very emotional week,” Kasal said. “I am blessed to recover from my injuries, which the doctors thought would never happen, and regain my place in the Marine Corps. I would take the pain of surgeries any day over the pain of being away from my Marines.”

Hero Stories Archive

Just a Cool Photo Found at the Centcom Website

These KC-135 Stratotankers parked on the ramp of a forward operating location provide fuel to B-52 Stratofortresses that fly in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer.

Community celebrates renovation of school.

When, I read stories like this one, I have to wonder why I never see them in the mass media.
By Spc. Rodney Foliente
4th Inf. Div. PAO

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Soldiers from the Iraqi army and Multi-National Division – Baghdad surprised between 400-500 children of Al Hudaybiya Elementary School April 23 with free school supplies during a celebration to mark the completion of the school’s renovations in Bakaria, within the Gazaliyah neighborhood, located southwest of Baghdad.

Troops from 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, visited the school they supported throughout the reconstruction project to distribute school supply packages.

Assisting them were soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, in addition to Soldiers from Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., and from Company A, 448th Civil Affairs Battalion, which is attached to 4th Infantry Division.

“We’re doing this to provide for the educational welfare of the people of Gazaliyah and the children of Al Hudaybiyah School,” said Capt. Mark Taum, a Honolulu native and team leader with Co. A, 448th CA.

Education and academics is a key line of operation civil affairs Soldiers focus on, which helps to improve conditions for the Iraqi people, said Taum.

“This application shows the village and surrounding people of Bakaria that despite combat operations, the Coalition and (Iraqi security forces) can also enhance the welfare of the neighborhood,” he said.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A New Poem from Russ Vaughn

"I wrote this last night in San Diego where I was attending a military medical conference. The ACLU's insistence that San Diego tear down this memorial cross is a very hot topic on talk radio out there." Russ Vaughn
Mr. Bush, Tear Down That Cross (a poem)

On a hill in San Diego
Stands a monument to our losses;
A tribute to our wartime dead
Like many other crosses.

Against a tranquil azure sky,
This cross has borne the years,
It’s spreading shadow falling
Upon graves that bear our tears.

For decades no one’s questioned
This pale tribute to our slain,
Until angry Libs at ACLU,
Decided to complain;

And seek a federal order
From robed fools in Sodom town,
That this offensive Christian symbol
Must forthwith be torn down.

To everything’s a season,
A time for birth and dying,
A time, too, for love of country
To fall victim to Liberal lying;

A time for those of any faith,
Those heartfelt, frank believers,
To be ridiculed and rejected
By hollow harsh deceivers;

But there is a time as well
When truth must sure prevail,
When our hearts sense basic truth,
Causing fools like these to fail.

And stand we must against these fools,
Or it will be our gravest loss,
If these fools succeed when they demand,
Mr. Bush, tear down that cross.

The Left’s has ne’er forgotten how Ronald Reagan brought their fall
When with his words he changed the world by tearing down their wall.

Russ Vaughn 5 11 06

Navy to Present Medal of Honor to Family of World War II Vet

An honorable thing to do.

By Lt. Chris Servello, USNSpecial to American Forces Press Service

SPLIT, Croatia, May 11, 2006 – The Croatian family of a U.S. Navy enlisted man will accept a posthumous Medal of Honor here next week for the man's heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Navy Adm. Harry Ulrich, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, will present a posthumously awarded Medal of Honor to the family of Chief Watertender Peter Tomich at a ceremony May 18. Retired Croatian army Lt. Col. Srecko Herceg Tonic will receive the U.S. military's highest award on behalf of the Tomich family.

Tomich, a U.S. citizen of Croatian heritage, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was born in 1893 in Prolog, in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the Croatian border.

After coming to the United States, Tomich enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Slocum, in New Rochelle, N.Y., on June 6, 1917. After service in World War I, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Jan. 23, 1919, rising to the rank of chief watertender, equivalent to today's chief petty officer.

Tomich was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions aboard the battleship USS Utah on Dec. 7, 1941, during the surprise Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

During the attack, USS Utah sustained major damage from a Japanese torpedo and gunfire. Knowing the ship would sink, Tomich returned to his post in the boiler room to evacuate the personnel and keep the boilers from exploding so he could get as many men as possible out alive before the ship sank. Tomich sacrificed his own life to save the lives of his shipmates.

The destroyer USS Tomich was named in his honor in 1943, and the Navy's Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, R.I., is housed in Tomich Hall.

Additional link

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Soldier Honored as Action Figure

American Forces Press Service Sara Wood May 04, 2006

Washington D.C. - When insurgents attacked Army Sgt. Tommy Rieman's reconnaissance squad near the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq Dec. 3, 2003, Rieman acted on his instincts as a leader.

With the convoy under heavy fire from rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices, and small arms, Rieman used his own body as a shield to protect his gunner and returned fire. The Humvees the squad was traveling in did not have doors, so Rieman suffered two bullet wounds and 11 shrapnel wounds, and a soldier in the rear vehicle lost his right leg.

Rieman directed the convoy off the road, out of the kill zone, only to be attacked by another, smaller group of insurgents. Rieman led his men to return fire, and the enemy's weapons were silenced. Rieman then called for a medical evacuation helicopter.

For his actions that day, Rieman was awarded a Silver Star in August 2004 at Fort Bragg, N.C. But now, two years later, Rieman, who is now an administrative assistant for the Army personnel office in the Pentagon, is being honored in another, unique way. He will soon be appearing on video game screens and in toy boxes around the country.

Rieman is among the first participants in the "America's Army: Real Heroes" program, which aims to honor soldiers who have shown heroism in the war on terror. Participants will have their lives and military stories recounted in "America's Army," the Army's video game for personal computers and console systems. The soldiers' likenesses are also being made into plastic action figures.

The Rest of the Story

SFC.Sheaffer and SPC.Venikov win Best Ranger 2006

MILFORD — To say that Army Sgt. 1st Class John Sheaffer is one tough guy is a major understatement.Sgt. Sheaffer is numero uno, the best.
He and his teammate, Spc. Mikhail Venikov, won the Best Ranger 2006 challenge over the last weekend in April at Fort Benning, Ga.
Start sets pace
The event started at 6 a.m. April 28 morning and continued through April 30, including the grueling night competitions.
The challenge opens with an unknown distance run through an obstacle course in body armor. They don’t know they’ve run far enough until they encounter their first task.
The list of tasks for the first day is almost endless: after the run, the competitors drag a 200-pound litter for 200 meters, then run 400 meters before they jump over an 8-foot wall.
Then there are the timed pushups and pullups.

Twenty-six teams entered the Best Ranger 2006 battle; 15 teams finished.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Taking a Moment to Say Thank You

A fellow vet took the time to write a post about me. I am very flattered. I have mostly flown under the radar throughout my life. But, I popped up on Old Sgts' screen. He called me a Patriot. That's a very high compliment and coming from a vet, like Old Sgt., it has even greater value. He urged people to visit my blog. I keep this blog so that even if just one soldier visits, that soldier knows that they have my support. I don't keep a blog for myself. I feel that Old Sgt. feels the same way. He is the Patriot! I urge you to pay his site a visit. Link to Old Sgt's Out "Post" and make a new friend.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth

I received an e-mail from the one of the authors of

He said some very nice things about my humble blog and featured it as his "Blog of the Week." So, I checked The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth out. I will return both his compliments and his link to me.

Probably, the best way to describe The Liberal Lie.. is to use their description of the blog and what they said about mine. I couldn't say anything any better that they did.

In their own words, and echoed by myself:

Comparing modern day Democrats against history to find the similarities with past governments and, revealing the truth in current events to expose the liberal lie.

****"We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free."**** Ronald Reagan 1984----
Two Reagan conservatives who believe that the left has it wrong and just doesn't get it!
Great insight and revealing commentary that exposes the truth that the media and the left are trying to hide. Well worth reading and adding as a link.

Friday, May 05, 2006

More Military Humor

During training exercises, the lieutenant who was driving down a muddy back road encountered another car stuck in the mud with a red-faced colonel at the wheel. "Your jeep stuck, sir?" asked the lieutenant as he pulled alongside. "Nope," replied the colonel, coming over and handing him the keys, "Yours is."
Having just moved into his new office, a pompous new colonel was sitting at his desk when an airman knocked on the door. Conscious of his new position, the colonel quickly picked up the phone, told the airman to enter, then said into the phone, "Yes, General, I'll be seeing him this afternoon and I'll pass along your message. In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir." Feeling as though he had sufficiently impressed the young enlisted man, he asked, "What do you want?" "Nothing important, sir," the airman replied, "I'm just here to hook up your telephone."
Officer: "Soldier, do you have change for a dollar?" Soldier: "Sure, buddy." Officer: "That's no way to address an officer! Now let's try it again! Do you have change for a dollar?" Soldier: "No, SIR!"
Q: How do you know if there is a fighter pilot at your party?: He'll tell you.
Q: What's the difference between God and fighter pilots?
A: God doesn't think he's a fighter pilot.
Q: What's the difference between a fighter pilot and a jet engine?
A: jet engine stops whining when the plane shuts down.
An Air Force chief master sergeant and a general were sitting in the barbershop.. They were both just getting finished with their shaves, when the barbers reached for some after-shave to slap on their faces. The general shouted, "Hey, don't put that stuff on me! My wife will think I've been in a cathouse!" The chief turned to his barber and said, "Go ahead and put it on me. My wife doesn't know what the inside of a cathouse smells like."
"Well," snarled the tough old Navy chief to the bewildered seaman, "I suppose after you get discharged from the Navy, you'll just be waiting for me to die so you can come and piss on my grave." "Not me, Chief!" the seaman replied. "Once I get out of the Navy, I'm never going to stand in line again!"

Video Shows Al-Zarqawi Fumbling With Rifle


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is shown wearing American tennis shoes and unable to operate his automatic rifle in video released Thursday by the U.S. military as part of a propaganda war aimed at undercutting the image of the terror leader.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, spokesman for the U.S. command, mocked al- Zarqawi as the previously unseen footage showed a smiling al-Qaida leader first firing single shots from a U.S.-made M-249 light machine gun. A frown creeps across al-Zarqawi's face as the weapon appears to jam. He looks at the rifle, confused, then summons another fighter.


"It's supposed to be automatic fire. He's shooting single shots," Lynch said. "Something is wrong with his machine gun. He looks down, can't figure out, calls his friend to come unblock the stoppage and get the weapon firing again."

By contrast, the edited version which the militants posted on the Web showed what happened only after the fighter fixed the weapon _ a fierce-looking al-Zarqawi confidently blasting away with bursts of automatic gunfire.

His fellow fighters and associates appear similarly inept in the newly released footage. One reaches out to grab a just-fired weapon by the barrel, apparently unaware that it would burn his hand. The camera quickly pans to the ground and then away.

"His close associates around him ... do things like grab the hot barrel of the machine gun and burn themselves," Lynch said. "Makes you wonder" about their military skills.

Another clip showed the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi _ who has derided everything Western _ dressed in a black uniform but wearing New Balance tennis shoes as he walked to a white pickup.

The Rest of the Sad Story of Ineptitude

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Military and Other Wisdom

"A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit." - Army's magazine of preventive maintenance.
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher
"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend. - U.S. Marine Corps
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- "
Cluster bombing from B-52s are very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground." - USAF Ammo Troop
"If the enemy is in range, so are you." - Infantry Journal
"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed." - U.S. Air Force Manual
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - General Macarthur
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- "
Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo." - Infantry Journal --------------------------------------------------------------------------
"You, you, and you ... Panic. The rest of you, come with me." - U.S. Marine Corp Gunnery Sgt.
"Tracers work both ways." - U.S. Army Ordnance
"Five second fuses only last three seconds." - Infantry Journal
"Don't ever be the first, don't ever be the last, and don't ever volunteer to do anything." - U.S. Navy Swabbie
"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid." - David Hackworth
"If your attack is going too well, your walking into an ambush." - Infantry Journal
"No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection." - Joe Gay
"Any ship can be a minesweeper ... once." - Anonymous
"Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you." - Your Buddies
"If you see a bomb technician running, follow him." - USAF Ammo Troop
"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."
"Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky." - From an old carrier sailor
"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter -- and therefore, unsafe."
"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash."
----------------------------------------------------- ---------------------
"Without ammunition, the USAF would be just another expensive flying club."
"What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, .... the pilot dies."
"Never trade luck for skill."
The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are: "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh S...!"
"Progress in airline flying: now a flight attendant can get a pilot pregnant."
"Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!"
"Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries."
"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
"When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten."
"The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you." - Attributed to Max Stanley (Northrop test pilot)
Basic Flying Rules: "Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there."
--------------------------------- -----------------------------------------
"You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal."
As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives, the rescuer sees a bloodied pilot and asks "What happened?". The pilot's reply: "I don't know, I just got here myself!" - Attributed to Ray Crandell (Lockheed test pilot

ABC pulls 'Commander in Chief'

I can only hope that Hillary's Presidential campaign will be as short as this blatant ad for her was.
ABC pulls 'Commander in Chief'
ABC TV has put an abrupt term limit on its freshman drama, "Commander in Chief."

The network Tuesday announced it was pulling the Geena Davis series for the rest of May sweeps and running the newsmagazine "Primetime" in its 10 p.m. Thursday slot for the final three weeks of the season, reported.

The series started as one of the most-watched in the fall and Davis won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the first female U.S. president.

However, two extended breaks and behind-the-scenes changes as well as a schedule move from Tuesday to Thursday all contributed to a deep slide in ratings.

"Commander's" three Thursday night shows have averaged about 7.5 million viewers, which means half the viewers who tuned in during the fall are now focused elsewhere, said.
ABC said it would probably air the final three episodes sometime during the summer.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rolling Thunder to Hold Baseball Fundraiser

America Supports You: Rolling Thunder to Hold Baseball Fundraiser
By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2006 – This summer, one chapter of the famous "Rolling Thunder" protest movement will take their message out to the ballgame.

Paul Schneeberger, the event's coordinator, and other volunteers with Rolling Thunder's New York Chapter 3, will hold a military appreciation night at Dutchess Stadium, in Hudson Valley, N.Y., July 1.

"The whole idea of this thing is to get it out into the general public for those people who put those nice little magnets on their cars and say they support the troops to actually put some money in the pot to give to a vet," Schneeberger said.

Rolling Thunder began in 1987 with 2,600 demonstrators in Washington, D.C., in an effort to keep the government mindful of its troops who are still missing in action (MIA). The demonstration has grown into a grassroots movement involving hundreds of thousands of volunteers running outreach programs in chapters across the country.

The Rest of the Story

Pictures of North Texas

I have posted pictures that I have taken, of landscapes and birds of North Texas, all within five miles of home, on my other blog. If you want to see them, click on the two coronas to link.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Down Mexico Way

Down Mexico Way

Try crossing our southern border; try going the other way,
To enter Mexico illegally for an extended, unlawful stay.
Ignore immigration quotas, all their visas and their fees,
And quietly slip their border, anytime you damn well please.
Just sneak in past the policía, ignoring Mexican laws;
You’ve a desperate need to improve your lot; you have a righteous cause.
With Evil Bush in power now, destroying your liberal order,
You’ve a right to seek asylum, to trespass their northern border.

Once there, speak English only and demand it in their schools;
Forget assimilation; make Mexicanos change their rules.
What right do these Latinos have to make you learn their lingo?
Tell those churlish campesinos¹ you’ve the right to remain a gringo.
Move right on in, live your own way, ignore their cultural norms,
And demand the use of English on all their official forms.
Free healthcare is, of course, your right; let poor peones² pay,
For bilingual health providers throughout your border-bending stay.

Be sure to have a baby just as quickly as you can;
A citizen in the family helps legitimize your clan.
Then have another three or four, or maybe six or eight;
Don’t worry how you’ll feed them, just demand help from the state.
Paisanos³ paying taxes may resent your reckless breeding,
And protest loudly to their states about your gringo kids they’re feeding;
“But it’s just our way,” is your excuse, “Brought from our Yanquí land.”
How dare they question gringo ways they’ll never understand?

So defend your Anglo ethos; yield not your Yanquí essence;
And demand a driver’s license to legitimize your presence.
Just so you know what you’ve done wrong in case of policía stops,
Insist the Federales must teach English to all cops.
Make Mexicans accept your ways, make them your pliant fools; Demand a Yanquí culture course be taught in all their schools.
So what you paid no taxes; when you’re an old gringo who will care?
File for your Seguridad Social, after all, you’re due your share.

If all this sounds preposterous, an irrational expectation,
Dems are demanding it for Illegals now in our multicultural nation.

Russ Vaughn
¹Rube, hick, unsophisticated person
²Laborer, worker


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