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CRUMP! Silent, dark ……..a bit


CRUMP!
Silent, dark ……..a bit chilly, then the most annoying sound you can imagine blaring in my ear. The alarm clock! Strategically, I smack it down but its china made plastic makes it durable as only for it to roll under my rack and continue to blare its annoying noise. I get moving stand up………..Crump! A single mortar round impacts close enough to rattle my hooch, with the glass rattling. Silence………maybe it was a single round as they like to shoot and scoot and Im counting seconds to my self to measure flight time, one thousand one one thousand two. Perhaps it was a single…….. Crump, Crump two more impacts hit. Freaking great we are being bracketed. Sound of friendly fast movers gets louder as counter artillery responds and wakes everyone up that may still be asleep. Crump, crump, crump, more impacts, GRAND! they are firing for affect but not hitting a damn thing because they hear the jets and aren’t firing accurately because they are trying to run away (typical). Small arms fire erupts off in the distance. Possibly eyes on the mortarmen. Distinct AK and RPK Russian machine gun is heard. Thumping American 50 caliber is answering back. Now two 50 Cals begin their supportive firing suppression. A distant explosion of an IED is heard as US troops are obviously in pursuit of the insurgents and they try to kill us with left behind IEDs. Jets still swarming up above. 50 cal is sporadic now, no more foreign machine gun fire is heard. Most likely eliminated. I go out side to evaluate the nearby gunfight and see a great sunrise, its amazing how this place can be so attractive yet so dangerous.

Not far from us, U.S. Soldiers from the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment call to let us know the discovered three car bombs and detained nine possible insurgents west of Rawah today after their patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber.
At approximately 1 p.m., two cars approached the mounted patrol. As the patrol neared, one vehicle sped off while the other stopped and waited for the Soldiers to get closer. The driver of the stationary vehicle detonated explosives hidden in his car resulting in his death. There were no casualties or damages reported as a result of the attack to any Soldiers. Soldiers then pursued the second car into a wadi where they found the car abandoned. In a search of the area, three other car bombs were discovered and nine suspected insurgents were detained.

Iraqi Army soldiers and U.S. Marines, Sailors and Soldiers began operations near Hit in the Hai Al Becker region.
The aim of the operation is to clear the region of al-Qaeda in Iraq-led insurgents and establish a secure environment for the upcoming National Elections, Dec. 15. Approximately 500 Iraqi Army soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division and 1,500 Marines and Sailors from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit along with 500 Soldiers from 2nd Battalion-114th Field Artillery Regiment are conducting Operation Matraqa Hadidia (Iron Hammer) east of Hit, approximately 170 km from Baghdad.

The Hai Al Becker region is suspected to be an al-Qaeda in Iraq safe area and base of operations for the manufacture of vehicle car bombs, roadside bombs. It is also believed to be a stopping point for insurgents, as they transit the ‘rat lines’ down the Euphrates River from Syria into the interior of Iraq.
In early July, Iraqi and U.S. Forces established long-term security presence in the city of Hit during Operation Saif (Sword). During Saif, few insurgents were located; however, a score of weapons caches have been discovered in the region.
Operation Iron Hammer will clear the area on the eastern side of the Euphrates River, an area not typically patrolled by Iraqi and U.S. Forces.
Routine updates concerning Operation Iron Hammer will be provided as additional information becomes available.

The picture attached is from a weapons cache recently found near us.

Kicking butt and taking names!
Keep Attacking,
Capt B

SEE WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAS PLANNEDFOR IRAQ


THE LITTLE ONES Its 1000


THE LITTLE ONES
Its 1000 am and nice out for a winter day. I watch the cigar smoke rise as I sit under the camie netting and see the sun poking through. It’s quiet, peaceful and scary how quickly it can turn ugly. That thought is gone now and we are flying out the gate on yet another convoy. Chest tight and ready for anything. “Where are you, you little SOBs, I know your out here.” I think to myself. There is an approaching convoy on our road and we will need to move over to make room for the 7-ton trucks approaching. I don’t have to wait long for an answer to my thoughts as the traffic coordination is interrupted by a 155 artillery shell detonating under a 7-ton truck of the oncoming convoy about 200yrds ahead. The explosion was a very bad sounding noise as you feel the pressure hit your chest. The kind you really don’t like to hear regardless of the distance it is from you. The truck disappears in a cloud of smoke. The radio erupts with chatter. A few small arms bursts are heard but no big gun fight as of now. As we approach the area there are Marines everywhere on the deck injured, some reacting to the threat even though they are injured, some down and hurt bad. We continue to push up to help secure the area but now have to hang a left to push up because the exploded truck is blocking the road. As we turn the enemy ambush expands as a smaller 81mm mortar detonates on the front of my truck. Another ambush on us as Haji will commonly ambush reaction forces. Everything goes into slow motion, chaos is everywhere. My first reaction is ohh F#$@! and I begin communicating on the radio to the other units with casualty reports and to maneuver elements. Past training and experience goes into motion and takes over like Im on auto pilot. Everything is consumed in a black cloud and it sounds like a front loader tractor is dumping a bucket of dirt onto us as the windshield spider webs with cracks, and the vehicle lifts partially off the ground and dirt settles on the hummer. Shrapnel is in the glass windows and chucks of hummer are on the ground. The gunner is slammed to the deck of the truck screaming he’s been hit and doing a kinda flopping chicken dance on his back. One of the passengers in back pats him down and tells him he’s ok as his Kevlar shoulder pads saved yet another Marine from shrapnel wound. “Now get your butt up there and return fire damn it” he is told. The inside is filled with dirt and smell of explosives. Another truck begins engaging the identified trigger man as he tries to run and hide. We expect a third IED as we continue to maneuver. Some were wounded slightly by shrapnel to the face and body others, well others weren’t so lucky.

There are many Marines and Soldiers that won’t come home with us from Iraq. They knew that could happen when they came to Iraq or deployed anywhere else and they accepted the fact. It’s the family’s that need the comforting. The little ones who don’t understand what happened to daddy and why someone did this to him, why him?. Frustration, sadness, anger, fear is just some of the feelings our family members go through back home. A little warrior who tells you so eagerly that “my daddy was killed in Iraq” with a smirk and innocent stare, not really knowing what they are saying or what it really means because their daddy isn’t there for the holidays or doesn’t come around any more and you can feel the child’s words pierce your soul..... They are the tough one’s, the heroes.

We take the fight to the scumbags and stomp major mud holes in their ass! That’s why they rarely fight us head on, they know they cant win. But it’s the family’s back home who take a blunt shot even if their Marine doesn’t get injured with the usual media reports it doesn’t help one bit pushing everything negative and pointless. We have countless hours of professional training and have the best equipment in the world. Back home their foundations are built on faith, spirit and guts. Never wavering and true to support the cause, they defend their spouse like cornered tigers and that’s on a good day. But the worse for them is the “not knowing”. Routinely many details are withheld from us to them for their best interest and ours. Its just better that way sometimes.

We as a grateful nation are indebted for past and present warriors. We also need to remember the mother that lost multiple children in past wars and the widowed wife and children of today’s conflicts, now facing challenges alone and scared.

There aren’t easy to spot as they carry on with their lives using what they have learned being a military spouse. Calloused and strong, they are tough and seasoned. However, they still can use your support, especially around the holidays. Pray for them, tell them thanks. It isn’t easy being green and its even tougher being a spouse. Its quiet, peaceful and scary how quickly it can turn ugly.

Keep Attacking, attack again, never stop.
Semper Fidelis


SMOKE EM IF YA GOTEM!


SMOKE EM IF YA GOTEM!
Another fine day here in Iraq. Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are that much closer to getting outa here. The holiday was nice although it was the same as every other day here as we maintained vigilance and on guard for attacks and concluded operations. The chow was hot chow……..It resembled turkey, really it did…..kinda….….oh well I digest. It was hot chow and I am thankful for that. As I remember back in Afghani living months on MRE’s, yes it was hot chow and Im damn glad to have it. On our Thanksgiving some of my guys were wrapping up a convoy as they would on the typical day here when they were ambushed and hit with an IED. Probably an 81mm mortar size. Because there were many civilians in the area they weren’t able to fire into the crowed where the known triggerman was hiding within. No Marines were injured due to their training, gear and armor hummers. Its was the fourth IED for us. Not a lot compared to others but about four too many, trust me one was plenty and I have the T-shirt Im good to go.

Now we race down what we call the “White Knuckle Express” It’s a road to our destination similar to others with names like ambush alley, dead mans curve and the gauntlet. I really hate this road and respect it a lot because of how dangerous it is. The second time we were scheduled to travel this route I rewrote some items in a “last letter” to my family the night before……..just in case the worse happened because this is where it would happen. I did this because the first time really got my attention if you know what I mean. We maneuver down the bare street (never a good sign) and have to jump the curb to go around an M1 Tank that is protecting our flank. M1’s are great to have around as they bring a lot of fire power to the fight. “Watch the bag on the right with wires” says truck one, as we continue our movement through the dirty trash covered streets. What doesn’t look like an IED at this point??? Everything you see looks like it could hide an artillery shell underneath it. A pack of 5 dogs begins to chase truck 2 in the street as the other trucks continue their paths. We aren’t moving or stopping for anything. In this area its survival of the meanest as these same dogs are probably some that have been seen feeding on dead enemy, a real pleasant sight.

I could explain every detail to you about it but you wouldn’t feel the sneaky eyes peeking around corners with cell phones calling trigger men ahead waiting to try to blow you up or you wouldn’t feel the weight on your chest as you swerve to miss the crater holes and the radio chatter is calling out the probable IEDs spotted. Its very surreal because while this is going on small kids are waving hello at you on the sidewalks. I guess that’s better than them mashing their thumbs down imitating the act of detonating an IED like they sometimes do. This place is crazy. As we drive Ive now counted at least twenty IED crater holes in the road and have lost count there are so many. However, this fear keeps you razor sharp and alert with adrenalin pumping in your veins to where it takes an hour or so to chill the hell out. Smoke em if ya gotem!

Just as we enter the friendly lines a large IED goes off behind us. It was triggered too late to hit us and no one was injured, well that was number five says one of the Marine, 6 if you count the one we discovered and detonated ourselves. As we pull in to our destination, prayer begins and the familiar Arabic chant is broadcasted throughout the area. You remind your Marines of where not to position themselves because of past sniper shots claiming warriors. The Marines are fired up and have lightening reflexes ready for anything. It’s a good thing because I think if “Bambi” the deer ran across them now the little thing would be vapor.

We conduct our mission on scene and adjust to do the run again. Its another fine day here in Iraq.

Semper Fi, time for a cigar!


BE THE ONE What are


BE THE ONE
What are you thankful for? This time of year things get crazy in the states. Family members come to visit, gifts are bought, stress, excitement and fun wrapped up in one. But I ask, what are you thankful for? Before the Thanksgiving holiday gets here, stop for 2 minutes and try to write down what you’re really thankful for.
Have you thought about your health, to the point if you’re going to see your kids graduate high school? How about the shape of your relationship? How about simple things we overlook everyday like clean water the lack of death squads taking over our houses and families and two of great importance, freedom and the greatest country in the world. They can never take our freedom!

This holiday season try to really enjoy it like never before. Think and live it as if is your last. What would you do different this year? Go and do it. Be the one who resolves past family conflicts. Be the one who says Im sorry. Be the one to give until it hurts. Be the one who makes a difference and knows the meaning of the holiday. Be the one who truly means what they say. Regardless of the outcome of what you do, if you do any of the above, you won’t regret that you at least tried it.

Friends had us over for Thanksgiving one year. After we prayed and before I could devour the chow in front of me, one began to say let’s say what we are thankful for. Mouth watering I quickly brought up the preloaded family and friends answer. Although very true that was what I would say as a reaction I guess. What I didn’t say was that I was glad to be welcomed in their house, was with someone who cared about me and would be there in times of trouble to come. Thankful for healthy family members and that many were together to enjoy the holiday together. Thankful that we were together. Don’t get caught this year not knowing what you’re thankful for.

Your Marines are kicking serious butts here in Iraq and in Afghanistan. I was just out and about and visited with a few of the Marines. In Husaybah Operation Steel Curtain Iraqi soldiers and U.S. Army soldiers assigned to Regimental Combat Team – 2 have begun clearing the Ramana area, which is west of Ubaydi on the northern side of the Euphrates River. Ramana is a rural, agricultural region with dozens of small villages. The goals of Operation Steel Curtain are to restore Iraqi sovereign control along the Iraq-Syria border and destroy the al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists operating throughout the Al Qa’im region.

In Ramadi, your Army and Marine teams are Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2 BCT), 2nd Marine Division began Operation Dhibbah (Bruins) in northern Ar Ramadi Saturday evening. Operation Bruins is part of a series of disruption operations in Ramadi and is designed to set the conditions for successful elections in December. The forces are conducting cordon and searches, blocking off known insurgent escape routes and searching for weapons caches.

Throughout central Iraq, your service members continue to take the fight to the enemy. Its not an ordered or forced fight, your Marines want to fight the insurgency and we want to kill them. If the scumbags want to fight, then by reading the above they are going to get one. Your Marines are powering through the remainder of the above city enemy holdouts. Moving through cities and continuing on after the enemy had thought we had to stop to regroup. Professionalism and the American spirit have the insurgency on its heels and in disarray.

This holiday season add your service members to your “Thankful” list. During this holiday season, we will be forwardly deployed to maintain the fight. We will not stop operations and we will keep the enemy on the run. "We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not faulter. We will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Semper Fidelis,
Keep Attacking!


THE GREEN MACHINE Many people

THE GREEN MACHINE
Many people know of the “The Marines”. But do they really know the Marines? We are made up of a few basic groups. “Wingers” aka flyboys, Support Marines and Combat Arms Marines, aka Infantry Marines, Grunts, Dirt People and several other colorful names. I thought I would expand from my first post and try to paint you a picture and explain and describe what we are all about.

As many of you know we were born on Nov 10th,1775 in a place called Tun Tavern in Philadelphia PA.. Over 230 years ago we become a fighting force for the United States. An organization that was special and unique to safeguard our Navy ships. Because Im a dirt person (Infantry Officer) I will mainly focus on our breed although all of the specialties of the Marine Corps are equally important.

Marines in general may come across as arrogant, egotistic, fanatics……….yea that pretty much sums it up. Infantry Marines tend to be wound a bit tighter than most. It may be their training, their job description or simply their attitude. We will eagerly go to the ugliest places, with the smallest amount of logistics with the meanest enemy and produce the best results. We wear “high & tight” haircuts, which is a shaved head except for the top and some wear it all shaved. We maintain impeccable uniforms as it almost becomes a disease to be squared away. We stay in top physical shape and continuously strive to be the best at everything we do. We wont take no as an answer (don’t know the meaning of the word) and when others give up we get a second wind, improvise adapt and overcome. Attention to detail is a commandment and we police our own and hold all Marines to the Marine Corps standards. Marines in general are usually loud abrasive and have type A personality’s. They resemble Rottweilers and Dobermans because they come in two sizes, big and mean and skinny and mean.

We are called Jar Heads, Leathernecks and Devidogs but ultimately we are worldly known as US Marines. We have slogans like “No better friend, No worse enemy” and live and die by the Marine motto, Semper Fidelis which is Latin for “Always Faithful”. We never leave fallen Marines behind and we routinely aide and treat the innocent and enemy wounded better than our own. We stand at parades when the Stars and Bars pass and render a salute and know the proper protocol for the kind. The Marine Corps has been described as a cult, Mafia and indescribable brotherhood. You may see two Marines who never met before become very good friends in a room full of strangers. We have nothing against the other services but we are referred to as Marines, not soldiers, we believe we’ve earned the title and we will make you earn it as well if you decide to be one of us.

It isn’t easy being green. We take pride in maintaining the toughest boot camps and officer training schools. We don’t lower our standards to meet yearly recruiting goals nor do we make short cuts or exceptions, we simply don’t have to. We deploy in 7 month increments usually in conjunction with our Navy brothers and their glorious boats. We fashionably live in sleeping bags, tents and buildings over 100 years old and many other hell holes. We believe in taking care of our gear before ourselves and take care of our junior Marines first and foremost.

We take great pride and honor in serving our great country. We volunteered to serve and swear to god to defend it. Our families make gut wrenching sacrifices; kids learn what the word deployment means and built a bond that would deliver you from a burning inferno they are so strong. It is an obligation to service and commitment and a way of life. We are willing to give our lives for what we believe in and support and we will take the lives that threaten it if need be.

Why do I describe the Marine Corps this way? Because EVERYTIME you hear and believe anything that prevents your Marines from completing our job in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world you now know what you are disgracing and how you are dishonoring the fallen Marines that have held it to custom for 230 years.

In case you didn’t catch it last night in Congress, it took the Marines to intervene,
At one point in the emotional debate, Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel. "He asked me to send Congress a message — stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message — that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said. Murtha is a 37-year Marine veteran and ranking Democrat on the defense appropriations subcommittee. Democrats booed and shouted her down — causing the House to come to a standstill.
Once a Marine Always a Marine, I guess I’ll have to send a reminder to Congressman Murtha as he didn’t “get it” when I saw and talked to him a couple months ago here in Iraq!

Time for a cigar!
Semper Fi,
Capt B sends……..

COMBAT UPDATE
Fighting continues although moderately in the Husaybah area. Mainly IEDs, infrequent small arms fire and little explosive presents the enemy left behind as they fled remain in place. Throughout central Iraq fighting is about at the normal rate. The usual sporadic gunfights and IDF (Indirect Fire, mortars artillery) has been at a minimum. Now that Marines have become a permanent fixture in Husaybah through Fallujah, scumbags, have limited access to the Iraq and Syrian border. Their life (those who are still alive) just got a lot tougher.


THE WRONG STORY The broad


THE WRONG STORY
The broad Main Steam Media (MSM), mainly news on the internet and some TV last night reported that there were 6 deaths from fighting in Iraq. Can anyone tell me their names, how they died, what state they were from anything besides that they were Marines? Although tragic, because it was a relatively small group surly they could have mentioned any of the above. How much time would that have taken? 5-10 seconds? Its not your fault America, but the MSM………….well.
Their very own embedded reporters aren’t even getting the story straight or at least they are now putting their own spin on things (big surprise)

From the NY Times:
“A New York Times reporter (embedded) traveling with U.S. forces said an explosion occurred as a squad entered a farmhouse in Obeidi, (its called Ubaydi and for all you reporters out there that’s how its spelled, genius) 185 miles northwest of Baghdad (hello, its on the boarder of Iraq and Syria). Insurgents then racked survivors and rescuers with small-arms and grenade fire before other Marines could recover the dead and wounded and kill the attackers, the newspaper said”. (Sounds pretty negative doesn’t it?)
What really happened- Marines were moving to clear a booby trapped building, began to defuse the rigged house then were attacked, took, cover took some wounded from small arms. They moved in to get wounded and started getting grenades thrown on them from roof tops. The Marines then maneuvered sprayed the rooftops with small arms killing those who were thronging grenades down on them. Followed by helo’s cleaning up the area. All wounded were recovered and saved. Its tragic that our own (MSM) cant even get the story’s straight even when they are there. That just goes to show how “off mark” they are back in the states about the news let alone at the actual scene. Lets take a look at the basic MSM to see who has even mentioned Iraq or the continuous fighting,
http://www.foxnews.com/ (torture BS story, fighting, progress??? Nope nothing)
http://www.cnn.com/ (notta a damn thing-“big surprise”)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (zip)

http://www.nytimes.com/ (man charged for job set up. Fighting, reconstruction??? Nothing mentioned)

But now lets look a few other news media sources,

http://www.aljazeera.com/ (Coverage of the war and how former Presidents are saying Iraq is a huge mistake)

http://www.iraqinews.com/business.shtml (almost all about the US military)

I only checked two foreign newspapers reporting about current events and what is going on in Afghanistan and Iraq and they have more than our heavy hitter stations (which in case you didn’t know CNN & FOX are owned by Arabs)
NOW, Im hearing about the use of “Chemical Weapons” during Fallujah on CNN. FIRST, White Phosphorous is not a chemical weapon. It’s not nuclear nor is it poisonous. IT BURNS (its not napalm). Just like an explosive artillery shell. Its an arty shell which when fired 9 out of 10 uses of it are for marking targets for fast movers (jets). We hit the target with “WP” and then adjust additional weaponry from the large white cloud it makes and allows aircraft to see it. It’s a battle ground and we are going to kill bad guys. Period. The term “Shake and Bake” which the news is using means to shake them with high explosive arty rounds then when they dive into holes to hide or expose themselves, WP hits them. Shakem then bake them. Simple and effective. It has been technique dated back to WWII. Amazing how now some moron woke up and said, all of a sudden “its chemical weapons”! I would love to here what they would have said when the Nazi’s used mustard poisonous gas on GI’s!!
Here is an idea. How about these idiots focus on the real poisonous stuff and no shit chemical mortar rounds & IEDs used on Coalition forces? They seem to forget the chemical labs found in Fallujah growing Small Pox and other good stuff didn’t they? How about the Russian CS gas mortar rounds hitting Marines to this date? No, they don’t address that, CNN points to the BAD people killing terrorists in Iraq and tries to paint a villain picture of US Marines kicking ASS!. Here is a newsflash re; “WP” it’s a legal weapon. Perhaps some need a first hand demonstration.

The Marines in Husaybah and Ubaydi continue to clear the city elements and already have begun establishing reconstructive facilities in the portions of the city they have gone through. This is possible because we surgically attack and smartly eliminate terrorists without destroying the entire city with “chemical weapons”. Marines around the city of Fallujah continue their operations and maintain control in their area. The tone of fighting in any area can change in a blink of an eye. One second you are patrolling then the next second you are picking yourself up from an exploding IED and begin kicking butt. One example of how fast things can change was when a local convoy got a flat tire and pulled onto the side of the street in the middle of nowhere to change it. You could see for miles as the Soldiers were focused on the tire. Still providing security, a speeding Mercedes came at them down the road which was notified of their pause of movement. The vehicle came under escalation of force measures, signals, flares, and then machinegun fire as it go closer to the convoy. Warning shots hitting the ground, then tires, then engine block and bagan to move to the windshield. The SBVIED car got next to the last Hummer and detonated its multiple artillery shells within the car. So many shells were in the car a few were thrown away from the car and remained unexploded. The explosion destroyed one Hummer and wounded several. Only an engine block and scumbag carnage was left from the SBVIED.

Americans play by the rules. Always have, always will. We respect the Geneva Convention and all Rules of War. The enemy, of course does not. They will use what ever means to try kill you and don’t care if they kill their own women and children in the process. The “News” talks about children killed during use of “WP” in Iraq, what about those children killed in the World Trade Centers? One group was told to leave; the other group never saw it coming and was truly murdered.

Be smart America, support your leaders, we are winning! Semper Fi!


TAKING IT TO THE STREETS

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
We continue the assault though Husaybah and into to the town of Ubaydi along the Iraqi and Syrian border. Numerous air strikes have been conducted throughout the operation to squelch the insurgent held up in the cities. Tanks and additional armor accompany the Marines through the streets with continuous overhead protection from fast movers and helo platforms. Meanwhile, small arms battles continue with the ever present threat of 107 IEDs, SBVIEDs and 36 weapon cahes in the city as Marines on the ground level continue to clear the objective.

The 2,500 Marines and 1,000 Iraqi Soldiers are moving from house to house as Operation Steel Curtain expands its plan into the next city where insurgents are holding up along the Euphrates River. Many weapon caches and wanted personnel are being obtained as the assault continues. A minimum of 37 insurgents were eliminated in the first portion of the battle and dozens have been killed in the past two days. Pockets of scumbags still remain and are being trapped like rats with a ever tightening neuse around their neck. They can run but will only die tired. Insurgents have began to dress as women, crawl on the ground amongst sheep to escape and resort to, booby trapping bodies, using SBVIEDs are being identified by Iraqi forces which can identify them quickly and apprehend them. Both Iraq and Marine forces face booby trapped houses throughout the city that are rigged to collapse on them when they enter them. They can be baited to go into the houses by being fired upon or by insurgents wounding personnel in them only to have the American forces enter to aid the wounded and have the houses blown up to fall on them.

The Marines moral is good. Tuff and determined they continue their operation for the extended week. When you kick a rock over and find scumbags you keep turning rocks over until you get all of them. There are plenty of scumbags out here to take care of and we are on a roll as young Marines and Iraqi Soldiers build their coordination against the enemy. It’s the young Marines out there kicking in doors and freeing Iraq one terrorist at a time. They are where the rubber meets the road and regardless of age their professionalism and determination is ever present. These are the 17-22 year olds you know back home who might have loaded your grocery’s, cut your grass or been the “kid” next door. Tough, smart and battlefield tested they take on the foreign fighter head on and respond with outstanding results freeing a nation of scum. Its my pleasure to serve with them. They are heroes! May God continue to Bless America!

Semper Fi,
Time for a cigar!


KEEPING STRONG Challenge, Commitment, Fear,












KEEPING STRONG
Challenge, Commitment, Fear, Honor and Accomplishment. You know you have done good this last week and you can carry your head high with a sense of accomplishment. You took on the challenges and did good. Although at times you weren’t sure of what direction to go or what you were going to do next and at the same time friction played a large part in screwing things up all week long for you. Nothing like having your plans go the opposite direction as soon as you step off to do them. Its time to prepare for another busy week ahead with unknowns and worries that lie in wait. Not that you cant handle it but you must keep you eyes on it. You must plan ahead, communicate and be prepared. A slogan that works for more than just Boy Scouts.

You know what you’re doing, you have the tools to execute and know where to turn for help if you need to. Identify your friction points and put yourself there at the time it requires for you to be there. You will know when that is. Have a plan “B” and expect for “Murphy’s Law” to step in with a size 12 foot a screw everything up. Remember the six “P’s”, Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Tomorrow brings a new start. Attack it like a Pit Bull and don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. Use your down time wisely and use it to prepare for the next two steps ahead and require attention to detail. Time management is a must for you to be efficient and successful.

The above isn’t about the warriors here in Iraq, it’s a recommendation for you. You are the target. The enemy is being beaten here in Iraq and Afghanistan and they know they cant beat us and their own comrades are turning against one another. Ones that try to fight us die trying and are disappointed that there are no virgins waiting for them because they all went to America to the Marine base instead! Operation Steel Curtain has put the insurgents in a severe hurt locker and now has begun to wind down. Insurgents love their fighters with in the U.S. Yes that’s right America we have known enemies against the US amongst us. It’s the MSM and their one sided press views, the Cindy Sheehann’s out there, and the “I support the Troops but not the War” drones. They remind me of the locals in Afghanistan. Some Mujahideen are dedicated and cant be convinced of a new life. However, the young adults don’t share that same opinion but they listen and are seeing a new light through democracy. You have to continue to be strong, and hold the ground back in the states. Because of you great Americans, we are able to do what we do so well!

We continue to do great things here and we are doing the right things for their future. We don’t want to leave here until it’s done because WE don’t want to come back here if we don’t have to. There will always be right and wrong, right and left. You can try to educate them but like the Muj, most are outdated and stuck in their ways.

Look ahead, prepare yourself and support the country and its leaders. We count on you like you count on us here as well and we need you to succeed there at home while we succeed here against the bad guys. Because of you, we are winning, we are making a difference.

Time for a Stoag! Semper Fi

COMBAT UPDATE
The Marines are doing great although IEDs and IDF continue throughout the area as the weapon of choice. All of the Coalition forces are doing great as are the Iraqi forces holding their own in Operation Steel Curtain. Haji is off balance because we have shoved him out of his comfort zone and have disrupted their operations and leaders.


THE REAL AMERICAN HERO The

THE REAL AMERICAN HERO The title of veteran is a term of great respect due to the patriotism, willingness to serve, and dedication to a larger cause. As the holiday approaches if nothing else Americans should remember the vets who made this country what it is today. I stand in front of a unit’s memorial board here in Iraq. A wall of warriors killed in action. I stare at the many fallen Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen, many so young and full of life, determined and brave. I stare at the memorial walls and a silent crowded wall stares back at me holding me accountable to complete the job we were sent here to do. They gave their all. It’s a shame we cant display all of the pictures from all of the battles that show these brave men so people could see who was number 7 and who was number 2001. So people can feel the eyes of men and women looking at them and telling them so much without saying a word.

Their faces wind torn and chapped, uniforms faded from the hot sun, body armor stained with sweat marks, dirt and smoke. Many of them serving multiple tours defending America and freedom, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but places like Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima and Vietnam. Some people don’t support war for whatever reason but I ask all of you to respect the warriors for the person they are, no the American that they are and always will be. For the fact that which ever war they fought in, they fought bravely. Some are gone now. Some never made it home but many are still with us. Some people on that wall may have wondered what would be said about them once they are gone. As on that wall, many names reside on the black Vietnam memorial wall in DC and the many walls, memorials to come which hold words of gratitude and honor, strength, determination and hope.

Of course nice words were said at their funeral, to their survivors. But why not say those same words to them now when they are there to hear them? Why not feel the pride felt when a spouse is handed an American flag at a military funeral every day. Veterans today will be all around you this holiday, male and female and of all ages. The stories and miracles they hold are priceless to the American history, because they wrote it with their souls. Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day in commemoration of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I, is the anniversary of the ending of World War I. In the United States it is celebrated as a federal holiday on 11 November. According to the VA website, the major hostilities ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Veterans Day has been observed annually on this date since 1978, except for a brief period when it was celebrated on the fourth Monday of October. Following World War II, the name of the holiday was changed (enacted 1 June 1954) to Veterans Day to honor those who served in all American wars. The day has since evolved to primarily be a time of honoring living veterans who have served in the military during wartime or peacetime, partially due to competition with Memorial Day, which primarily honors the dead.

The Marine Coprs Birthday is Nov 10th 1775. It has been 230 years of kicking ass and taking names to ensure our fellow Americans and freedom continue to be safe. This has become ever so evident today as it was back on Mount Suribachi when Lt Gen Holland said “‘the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.” I know this will be true because of our country’s outstanding 24.9 million Veterans and their fierce fight within them.

I close with a story
When I was a Platoon Commander and had about 45 Marines under my command we occasionally had a few that had disciplinary problems. That year I got a little creative and instead of prosecuting them under the Uniform Code Of Military Justice (UCMJ) the military legal system, I decided to offer them another option that wouldn’t reflect on their records. I directed them along with myself to meet me at 0600 in their USMC Service Alpha uniform (Green Coat & Green pants like worn by Jack Nicholson in the movie “Few Good Men”) in front of the barracks. Not going into details, they took the offer. We drove a quite hot hour to a Veteran’s Hospital. Clinching Marine bumper stickers and posters and American flags we had no agenda. We looked each other over and began our mission, No time limit, no schedule. We went in to the first floor and told them “we are here to make sure people know we are thinking about them”. You want to talk about surprising someone. The nurses immediately took us to see some rough and tuff warriors and told us you must see Gen Richardson. As you entered his conservative room there was a tired warrior with oxygen in his nose, family picture of his grandkids on his nightstand and the Stars & Bars on the wall, orientated correctly. The nurse said “General the Marines are here”. He said “you guys here to get me outa here?” I said yip I got your shoes lets GO. He couldn’t move from his bed but he enjoyed the offer. Along with him and several other gentlemen the Marines sat and mainly listened as warriors from Normandy on through the wars told their story but surprisingly were so interested in the young Marines story and reinforced how proud they were of the young men sitting with them in their impeccable uniforms. I could barley sit there and watch as these gentlemen hooked to all kinds of contraptions had a glow in their face and tried to sit up in their beds to shake young warriors hands. I felt pretty dang humble. One gentleman in a wheel chair dressed in his Sundays best asked one of the Marines, “where does a rusty old Marine find one of those Eagle Globe and Anchor tie clasps”? (these are worn with this type of uniform by Marines). The Marine looked down at his own tie clasp and said you mean like this one, as he clasped it on the gentleman’s tie. The guy just through his arms around the Marine and gave him a big bear hug. Money can’t buy you feelings like that.

All of the Marines that day left the hospital a little different that day. It was a quiet ride back to the base and no one really said anything but everyone was thinking the same thing. We were all very proud to be associated with the gentlemen we just visited with and very appreciative that “they” did what they did for their country. The other 364 days of the year will probably be the same as any other day as the nurse stated “these guys don’t get many visitors”, but that Veterans Day was different for all of us.

As we continue operations here in Iraq I will light up a cigar in your honor and say Thank you veterans and Happy Birthday Marines!
Semper Fidelis

COMBAT UPDATE
Across the full spectrum of operations, Marines create stability in an unstable world. We continue to do so as Operation Steel Curtain excels with success here in Iraq, especially on our Birthday!


RELEASING THE HOUNDS It’s a

RELEASING THE HOUNDS It’s a brisk morning somewhat like that of a fall day back in the states. The sound of heavy mechanized equipment, small arms fire in the distance and fast movers above are a constant sound followed up by the thump of attack helo rotors cutting the air throughout the city. I just returned from visiting the Marines up in Husaybah Iraq where they are kicking butt in Operation Steel Curtain. The Marines are working hand in hand with the Iraqi Army and they are doing a great job eliminating terrorist in the area. Mostly house to house fighting and maneuver warfare combined with close air attacks which are eliminating terrorists that remain in the city. The fast pace attack is being conducted in Husaybah as it has been taken over by insurgents and foreign fighters and used as a command center for operations, as well as the smuggling of weapons and foreign fighters into Iraq's population centers. Marines are quickly transitioning from full combat operations to humanitarian operations back to full combat operations as quickly as they move down the city. This is achieved by their can do attitude, flexibility and ability to adapt and overcome.

Displaced Husaybah citizens are satisfied with leaving because they know that with us being there means the scumbags are leaving as one citizen told a Marine and they will no longer continue being held captive. Many citizens escaped the city while waving white flags above them so they are not confused as insurgents. Tough street to street fighting went on today but major ground was covered as individual houses were searched and several weapon caches were discovered. Operation Steel Curtain includes 3,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers and sailors and 550 Iraqi soldiers. It's the latest in a series of operations this year in Anbar province and follows others such as operations Iron Fist and River Gate.

The Marines morale is high as they have been chomping at the bit to clear Husaybah for some time because we knew there were insurgents there holding the city at ransom. Few injuries have resulted on the coalition side although medical attention has been the utmost professional for the location. Operation Steel Curtain is an excellent example of all of the armed services coming together to work as a joint effort and showing the world that we mean business eliminating terrorists in Iraq.
Operation Steel Curtain is just another fine example of the United States coming to the trouble spot, identifying the enemy and kicking the living crap out of them. Many naysayers have questioned if the Iraqi Army will be ready to take over when we pull out of Iraq. This operation is perceived as a near graduation to full security and protection of their country. We are focused, in the attack and we are pissed! Semper Fi!

COMBAT UPDATE
The area in central Iraq hasn’t been as busy as out west however the usual IEDs and IDF continue to occur throughout the day. Sunday was a quiet day until Sunday night brought counter artillery barrages and responding enemy mortars trading volleys for a half an hour. Our convoy today was the norm although high energy packed we didn’t have any enemy contact and went on our way. Haji be warned we are looking for you.