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YES, IM STILL HERE IED’s

YES, IM STILL HERE
IED’s , mortar attacks and the ever so crappy SVBIEDs are continuous throughout the area. I say that not to say things aren’t getting better because they are but I say it because the American public needs to be aware that although our trusty news service doesn’t report it we still are fighting our asses off here and Marines are still dieing. Not to take away form Afghanistan or Africa where most recent two CH53s crashed in maneuvers killing 10. I happen to know one of the pilots who survived and was able to swim to safety. Hardly any scratches then the others past on. Proof that when its your time its your time.

I caught a news blip last night as a burned a nice stoag and a guy used the analogy that Iraq is like a classroom that has 3 gangs in it and they have been fighting for the past 30 years. This guy made the point of what would then happen if the teacher called in sick or a substitute showed up one day?? This isn’t too far off and could be expanded that now the student can read and do math and all the bully’s are now gone or moved to another part of the school that wont affect the class. However, much of the outcome depends on the student attitude and will. Many ask what will this place be like when we pull out?? Will there be a civil war? Who knows but the country has a lot to work out still. Is the Iraqi Army ready to fight without the Coalition? Not all of them but a lot of the Iraqi units are.

Yes, Im still here in this glorious country as we have stayed busy to the last day as if it were our first. The number of attacks have dropped in the area in the past few months around here and so has the IDF (indirect fire aka mortar, rocket fire). IEDs continue to the ring of about 10-12 a day in some areas and twice that that we find before they detonate. Still the preferred coward tactic used by the local insurgency groups. Suicide attacks are sporadic but evidence that they are getting desperate. There isn’t a lot of kinetic (dropping bombs, artillery missions etc) fighting because the major insurgency cells have been eliminated. Are there still fights? Yes, without a doubt just not like 6 months ago and your service members here in Afghanistan and around the world need your support! This is important because Ive notice especially since about the time frame of the Super Bowl, the Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa operations, have fallen off the radar as far as reporting. We have minimal embedded reporters in theater and thus little news gets out. Its almost as once the elections were done back in Dec, Iraq was no longer a problem in the MSM eyes. Well I got another NSNF (No Shit News Flash) for ya, there is a shit ton of work to be done still here and our main focus is to give the Iraqi Army the final shove to get on their feet and take care of things.

Marines are great at fighting and taking objectives. Its our bread and butter. We have that down. Now what the hard part that lies ahead is for the schools, electricity and additional civil additions to continue to grow. They will and we will continue to train and build the Iraqi military and government.


Just because all of the in your face fighting has been reduced don’t think all is peachy here. Its not but we have a tight two handed grip on it and its not going anywhere. Your service members still need your support!

A couple events I would like to bring to your attention:

Milblog Conference (April 22nd)
The 2006 Milblog Conference will take place in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 22, 2006. The conference is designed to bring milbloggers together for one full day of interesting discussion on topics associated with milblogging. We will explore the history of milblogs, as well as what the future may hold for this medium which the military community is using to tell their stories.

Dinner Cruise aboard theAmberjack V Saturday, April 29 7pm-11pm
Enjoy a wonderful buffet dinner with DJ and dancing to follow as we cruise around the Hudson River. Take in the beautiful views while passing the Manhattan Skyline and Statue of Liberty!

Get yer butt out here to these events so I can thank you in person and share a stoag with ya! It would be my honor!!


COMBAT UPDATE
(Press Release)
More than 3,000 pieces of various types of munitions were discovered yesterday by U.S. Army soldiers conducting a reconnaissance patrol near Al Quratiyah, approximately 350 km northwest of Baghdad. This cache is among the largest discovered to date in western Al Anbar province. The soldiers, from the Fort Wainwright, Alaska-based 4th Squadron, 14th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, assigned to Regimental Combat Team-7, were actively seeking out weapons caches. Local citizens provided information regarding the site, where the soldiers discovered two displaced piles of dirt and rocks near a vehicle trail. Upon further investigation, the displaced areas were identified as weapons caches and they were excavated. The vehicle path and shallow depth of the rock piles where the caches were discovered indicated that the munitions were easily accessible to terrorists.
“This find means a serious reduction in the IEDs (improvised explosive devices) available for anti-Iraqi forces to use in cowardly attacks,” said Army Maj. Doug W. Merritt, operations officer, 4th Squadron, 14th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. The cache of munitions ranged from 60 to 125 mm mortars and included various other projectile-type munitions. The munitions discovered in this cache site are typically used to make roadside bombs that injure and kill Iraqi civilians, coalition forces and Iraqi Army soldiers. This latest cache is the 118th found by soldiers from 4th Squadron, 14th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. In a similar find last October, soldiers here discovered about 1,000 122 mm artillery rounds, 40,000 armor piercing bullets, 1,000 .50 caliber rounds, detonation cord and various bomb-making materials.

It’s a shame that this as all my other “Combat Updates” are released world wide the same time I get them and how few appear in any news, simply tragic!
The most decisive actions of our life – I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future are, more often than not, unconsidered. (Andre Gide)

Keep kicking butt & taking names!!
Semper Fi
Capt B


THE NEWS ILLUSION AROUND THE


THE NEWS ILLUSION AROUND THE WARRIOR

We travel a lot around the country of Iraq we we see alot of great things being done by the Coalition & Iraqi forces. Im sorry, but to hear nothing but how the VP shot a fellow hunter, a four legged show mutt bailed at the air port and has ran away, or any other sorry filler for “news” is a dang disgrace.

Lets talk about the recent news articles regarding operations of the coalition forces, or how about the latest school openings in Iraq or better yet about how many Iraqi civilians didn’t get blown up because we foiled numerous SVBIED attacks because of the continuous aggressiveness of coalition and Iraqi forces. But oh we cant because those arnt in the news. In fact I haven’t seen anything in the news regarding Iraq for almost two weeks now. Yes, you have the “cartoon” affect that the MSM tries to spread all over like a bad rash but look out - - - This is a No Shit News Breaking Story- - - It’s not a big deal IN Iraq!!!! Nope, their isn’t any burning, rioting etc etc. Are their demonstrations? Very limited and hold on to your seat cape crusaders, they’re peaceful!!!!! Yip that’s right BUT they don’t talk about those do they??? The MSM are too busy evaluating the VP and his hunting accident so much they are missing what THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT. I SEE THAT AS A MAJOR FAILURE. In fact a failure in their responsibilities as a news agency and a failure of their leadership! Iran? Nukes? Ladies & Gents, don’t pull the fire alarm over Iran please. They are simply bowing up. We have them under control. Don’t be distracted as the news rolls “Nuclear Standoff” on their screen. Hell, you would think there is another Cuban missile crisis on the brink.

Desperate? The news is so desperate they no have gone and began running “new” 2 year old pictures of Abu Gurab prison. Oh for the love of god move on!! We have and or will punish those idiots who did wrong. That’s a good barometer America of how desperate and incompetent the news agency is for actual news! BTW, I just came back from Baghdad and tried to find some reporters “reporting”, going on convoys ANYTHING. None were to be found. You do the math. How about all the reporting about the reporter and camera man Martha Raddatz and Bob Woodruff??? I couldn’t believe all the shows and updates on these two. Tragic? Yip, but hello your going into a war zone, your making a shit ton more money than me and you’ve been warned repeatedly. Haji wants to kill you and he doesn’t care that you carry a microphone or camera. The truth? WHY isn’t there the same coverage on EVERY single Soldier & Marine getting injured by the same weapon? If they are going to do it for one guy than ya got to do it for all. Is it because the reporters are special? Famous? BETTER?? You do the math America. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck HEELO it’s a freaking DUCK!

Your Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen are kicking major butt here still! The fighting hasn’t lessoned. The obstacles haven’t gone away. We are making ground with the implication of the Iraqi Army and to have a force that doesn’t sign a contract to serve for a determined amount of time but simply has men who are tired of the insurgency and have had enough to fight back come and volunteer to fight. Every day the Iraqi Army becomes stronger and stronger and the insurgents become weaker and weaker. The Iraqi citizens as well are becoming stronger as they to have increased their information process to the Coalition forces to rat out bad guys. It’s a good sign that although the Iraqi people want us out they will help us in the process. Iraqi service members helping wounded coalition and vise versa. The team has developed nicely and soon it will be time for the Iraqi Army to take things on themselves and Coalition forces to reinforce them and back off.

We are still busy and we have a lot to still do although some warriors may leave here. They job isn’t over and the Fat Lady hasn’t arrived at the theater yet so we keep full throttle and keep on keeping on until she sings. Then we will do the high five and let those fresh ones come in to advance the ball even further in Iraq and Afghanistan and continue the fight.

Through the past 8 mos in Afghanistan and a year in Iraq, the biggest down fall without a doubt hasn’t been the service members completing the mission or a lack in body armor, tanks or battle equipment, its been the media support back in the states. Without fail the media has done its best to downplay the elections, create doubt and instability. Sure they covered the battle of Fallujah but that was easy for them. Now, when the rubber meets the road, where are they? Where are the stories? I there are othe very important things happening in the world that should be reported on to inform America, Instead they are busy reporting about show dogs escaping!!!

Time for a Cee GAR!
Capt B
Semper Fi


THE UNBREAKABLE CHAIN (From the

THE UNBREAKABLE CHAIN (From the picture) Pear Harbor survivor Houston James of Dallas embraced Marine Staff Sergeant Mark Graunke Jr. during a Veterans Day commemoration in Dallas yesterday. Graunke lost a hand, a leg and an eye when he defused a bomb in Iraq last year. This weeks image of U.S. troops in combat in Fallujah deepened the day’s significance for many who attended tributes held in San Diego and across the nation (Last years Veterans Day)

I have been out and about a lot lately across Iraq. The destination names change but the Marines there are the same wherever you go. They have been trained with the same foundation of warrior ethos and know what is expected and demanded of them as Marines. We police our own and fix it if discipline strays or leadership weakens well before others get the chance to do it for us. As an officer if you see something wrong and you don’t correct it, your just as guilty and you’ve let that Marine down if you don’t “fix” it on the spot. We maintain our corps standards regardless if we are at Camp Pendleton in the states or in the middle of the desert in Iraq because in this business if you begin to stray, people can get killed when you screw up.

But why do we do it?? Is it the Money, yea right, is it the fame? Nope were not apart of the NFL. Then why do young men joint the Marine Corps, get physically demolished at boot camp, travel to the crappiest places in the world, face the toughest enemy’s and win?? Because they want to be different. They want to be challenged and they want to be a US Marine. Marine Corps boot camp breaks down recruits from how they did things as a civilian and makes them time efficient, physically top notch warriors. They learn to do more with less and be the first ones to take the tuff jobs head on.

Overhear in Iraq they do it for one another. Each Marine knows that he must do his part or the Green Machine will become weaker. He doesn’t want to let his fellow Marine down. In day to day operations, combat operations, wounded situations and in the attack. Marines may come across as cocky, arrogant and mean. However, when you look at it, its one Marine taking care of business for another. That’s why you see a Marine run out in the open to grab his fellow wounded Marine. He might get hit as well but he’s not going to sit there and let some bag nasty low life hurt one of our own. This why you might see Marines traveling around in squads or fire teams back in the states in your near a USMC base. They have lived, eaten slept, worked and died together. That bond continues when they return to the states.

Ever seen two Marines meet for the first time? Usually they ask what the other does and then begin to swap stories. One time a buddy and I were out and ran into this guy who said he was a Marine. Ok, when we began to ask him about duty stations or what he does, all the wrong answers came out. He obviously used this “act” to pick up chicks. Wow was he embarrassed when we exposed him for the truth. Here in a foreign country your fellow Marines are what you have. They are your family. A place where you make sure they are fed before yourself. You make sure they get the gear they need to do the job you ask. You make sure you take care of your Marines. Regardless of what others think of you, you know you Marines know you and you know them

Marines stick together. Sure there are Marines who don’t get along, who don’t agree but all that goes out the window when its them against us. When you are facing the enemy, nervous our out numbered you and your Marines have a common bond, a chain and neither of you will break it, its unbreakable. Regardless of rank or age, Once a Marine Always a Marine. We take care of our own.

My tour in Afghanistan is over and now my tour in Iraq will end soon too. There are thousands of Americans out there who have helped us in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Sending packages and letters love and support. It would seem impossible to put the thanks into words and express the gratitude and the appreciation. One of the best ways for us to express our appreciation is through a few simple words. Thank you for your support!!

One organization has made a lot of this possible and has helped me back when all of this started in Afghanistan.

ANYSOLDIER.COM started the “on line support your troops” and still offers thousands of service members who need your support. It’s the simple things like letters letting them know your out there and that you care that matters. Knowing they have your support makes a difference.

On April 29th, Any Soldier.com will be hosting a Dinner Cruise aboard theAmberjack V. Its on a weekend in NY city where this all started near the Statue of Liberty. I owe it to Marty and you all to be there. Please if you can make it, join us and allow me to thank you in person, where meeting you and thanking all of you it would be my pleasure.

SEMPER FIDELIS
Capt B
“Keep Attacking”

COMBAT UPDATE
Late yesterday afternoon, three Iraqi citizens and two Iraqi soldiers were killed by a suicide car bomber at a vehicle checkpoint near New Ubaydi in western Al Anbar.
Additionally, two Iraqi soldiers and a U.S. Marine were injured by the blast and were transported to a military medical facility nearby. New Ubaydi is 20 km from the Iraq-Syria border along the Euphrates River and was cleared of Al Qaeda in Iraq-led terrorists by Iraqi and U.S. Forces last November during Operation Steel Curtain.
Vehicle checkpoints are established to deny AQI terrorists the freedom to re-establish a presence in cities once cleared. Since the combined Iraqi-U.S. presence was established in the area, New Ubaydi has seen few signs of insurgent activity. During the Dec. 15 National Election citizens of the area voted in considerable numbers.The nationality of the bomber is unknown.


WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT

WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT THIS PLACE??


Hey Gang. Weve been on the road a lot these past few days and all is going well. Blogger is giving me hell and doesn’t allow me to sign on but I have my ways but still cant add a photo or the post I had for today so it will be posted next time.

The Marines are doing very well along with the Iraqi’s who are gradually coming up to speed and taking things on themselves. Throughout our travels and as a light at the end of the tunnel begins to appear you come to forget some of the basic things you might take for granted back in the states. Besides the obvious, running water, cars and economic structure that allow you to buy anything you want just about anytime of the day, you forget about what’s it like to do the basic things that use to be common practice. Hot water in the shower is a nice thing. Radio stations, TV other than DVDs and FOX news and some crazy Haji station. Having not to decide what you’re going to wear because you’ve worn the exact same color all year, something out of an Einstein story as he would always wear the same clothes so he could eliminate that problem of his day. Yes wearing blue jeans and shoes other than the slipper formed combat boot may be a shocker. Traffic lights, adjacent traffic, cars besides armored hummers, crowded places and all with out a gun or two or close air support clearing your way??

Going out to dinner with the family and friends. Not being at work 24/7 from 0600 to whenever and working weekends and holidays. Holidays? What are those when you’re in a combat zone?? Interaction with people who aren’t readily trying to kill you and no immediate threat of indirect fire or trash on the road covering IEDs. No more “situations” as the major situations back home might be a flat tire or a car wreck………..but not an impeding sniper picking off warriors downtown or the small arms fighting just off base. No I anticipate what it will be like to go out for dinner and sit among people not in body armor, with weapons and couple day sweat worn camies on. To eat with metal utensils and have real glass of real milk. To not have constant dirt, dust, pollution, burning shitters or the otherwise in the air as your daily fragrance.

To live in a house, not a semi trailer and acquaintance myself with a real bathroom and not a shoe box disguised as a port a john. Try climbing in a port a john with combat gear on. For the love of god don’t drop any gear down that hole and don’t mind the shrapnel holes in the side of the cozy crapper either. Doing my laundry in a house and learning how to use money and its denominations again. To see my family and have a BBQ with American meat. To watch TV on the same time frame as the rest of America and not have to stay up to 0200 to watch a Sunday morning football game.

How I will miss the ever constant low fly over of helo gunships, aerial reconnaissance aircraft, jets and occasional mortar, RPG and small arms rounds. Tracers through the sky and warning sirens. The many flys trying to get you’re your mouth and the rat that thinks my sleeping bag is a good place to give birth. Our melted and burnt TV and mattress ( we will miss it so), walking to the head in shower shoes and having Haji attack. Of course how will we adjust without having sand everywhere, under and atop everything and in all cracks? The need to use boxes sent to you to send out your own packages and filling out the hundred lined customs form. The many uses of an ammo can from cigar humidor to useful furniture. Hitting golf balls over the Euphrates river and seeing the FOX news reporters (ladies) and thinking “that’s what American women look like” I think. Donning the ever loving body armor in the 120 degree weather, sweating until salt forms on your clothes and you see Elvis streaking across the Iraqi road as you are crammed into a reinforced hummer. Drinking the tasty bottled water out of the UAE shipped through several Arab country’s to us in another Arab country……….does that make sense??

Being in Iraq is like being in Hawaii. You are stuck on a base (an island) and if you go into the waters you might get attacked. But here everything is crap brown and Hawaii, well it’s the totally opposite of crap brown. Yes, the frequent shock wave created by incoming and out going that you feel in your chest will never be replaced back home but at least the Iraqi’s are gradually coming up to speed and taking things on themselves.

Burning a stoag for all of you
Semper Fi
Capt B

COMBAT UPDATE
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division spearheaded their second independent operation yesterday. Iraqi soldiers led a security presence and sweeping operation today in the village of Subiyhat to clear the area of insurgents and interact with the populace. Subiyhat is a small village located in rural, eastern Al Anbar Province, home to more than 2,000 citizens in the vicinity of Fallujah. Operation Tawakalna Ala Allah, (Trust in God) was the unit’s second battalion-sized operation in the Al Anbar Province planned and conducted by the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade leadership. Marines from 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team - 8 assisted in the operation by providing security on the outer perimeter. The operation resulted in the detention of four suspected insurgents and enhanced relations between the citizens of Subiyhat and the Iraqi Army. “I want the people in this area to understand that we are here for their protection and we are here to stay,” said Col. Najim Abdullah Menahi Salmon, commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade. “I am very proud of the way my soldiers operated today…our mission was a success.” The operation involved three Iraqi army companies from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade which patrolled the village. Two additional Marine companies from 1st Battalion manned the outer security cordon. The primary goals for the Iraqi soldiers were to meet with locals and search for illegal weapons. They also distributed leaflets with the battalion’s tips line phone number so residents can report insurgent activity. In addition, the soldiers passed out several dozen Iraqi national flags while interacting with the villagers. “The national flags are popular because it gives the people pride to receive the Iraqi flag from the soldiers of the Iraqi army,” Najim said. “I plan to build on our success today and increase these types of operations in the future.” The Marine commander supporting the operation also considered the day’s efforts a success. “My number one priority during this deployment is to facilitate the development of the Iraqi army capabilities,” said Lt. Col. David J. Furness, commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. “The more [the Iraqi Army] operates, the more confident they become in their abilities, and the more eager they become to assume responsibility for security.” Iraq’s 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade assumed their current battle space from the U.S Marine’s 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment Feb. 1. This operation was the next step in the progression of this unit gaining complete operational independence in this area of operations, Furness said.The 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division is partnered with Regimental Combat Team 8, under the II Marine Expeditionary Force (Fwd) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


I KNEW THIS WAS GOING


I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN
So, Im in my sleep coma and life is good. Then the alarm clock from hell part two sounds off at 0130 Monday morning. The Super Bowl pre game is starting and I asked myself, self why am I getting up?? The Cowboys aren’t playing, the Broncos aren’t playing (the two greatest teams that exist-in that order I might add) so why get up? Knowing I could watch the game and enjoy a cold haji Pepsi and cigar was a good enough excuse to get up and check it out.

Detroit or also pronounced Detwa, The land of the automobile, Motor City, Motown with its 900,198 residents. What a place to have a Super Bowl and what a great theme for the Super Bowl. But as I watched the beginning I waited and anticipated the National Anthem. I still get chills when it is sung and so I tend to enjoy that part of the Super Bowl or any other major event that showcases the anthem. As it approached, the crowed and millions of viewers were informed of the Katrina victims etc as they were recognized on the the jumbo tron screen. Understandably. The Marine Corps Color Guard was introduced and I thought ok here we go fellas, get some. Then I blinked and that was all I saw of them. OK no big deal they will do good Im sure and Aaron Neville & Aretha Franklin began to let er rip. They sang it and seeing them made me feel even older than before…….and seeing The Stones at half time really made me feel old…………..but not as old as them (No offense Mick).

But wait a second the anthem ended and as I got to enjoy a great commercial that followed from the US Army about Hummer safety, I thought WTF??? No mention of the hundreds of thousands of service members deployed kicking holy bat shit out of guys that want to chop the heads off of reporters and anyone else that looks like a westerner?? The discipline safety commercials ended (joy) and the sports announcers did mention “We would like to welcome all of the service members watching on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Stations (aka A-Farts…..don’t get me started) across the oceans and on board ships and foreign land joining us today”. You’ve got to be shitting me? OK, it’s the Super Bowl, its not about us, its about football and we know that but for the love of god throw us a bone, will ya??

Lets take a quick look back at Super Bowl XXV when Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem. Remember that one? That one was shit hot! The crowed had the “Support Our Troops” signs in the crowed and the halftime show at least had an American flag in it. But now with hundred of thousands of troops deployed keeping the wolf at bay, squashing the insurgency and freeing and establishing democracy in two country’s you would have thought you would see a couple seconds of the usual shot of troops deployed warriors watching the game in shitville or something, right??? Nope. Did you even know they had a jet fly by the stadium?? Although a covered stadium they did a fly by at the end of the National Anthem. Didn’t get to see that one either. What happened? What did we change? Why have we changed? We still need your support like we did back in Super Bowl XXV.

I understand there was suppose to be a scheduled “Service member Acknowledgement” commercial shown, (ohhh lets not go crazy now and run a commercial supporting the troops ohh we might make some one mad…..) but since I didn’t get to see the commercials I don’t know if it was shown or not. BUT I have to give it to AFARTS as they showed families saying thanks and come home soon taped messages on our commercials and political leaders thanking us for our service. Cool.

With the 133.7 million viewers and it being one of the 10 most-watched programs in TV history why wouldn’t you want to run a “That a boy” for your fellow warriors out getting some?? Money?? Na, the government sponsors www.Americasupportsyou.com and they could have made crazy support by running a spot but didn’t. They’re were even wounded veterans in the crowed, did they get a pat on the back or recognition! So I ask WTF over? Is it because there wasn’t any negative news?? Maybe if hundreds of Marines were killed or lost comparable to the losses of Katrina we would have gotten some recognition? If that’s what it takes I never want recognition.

Monday morning Fox news did show some Army Joes watching the game in Baghdad just after they did the follow up story on that pinko punk ass from the LA Times that says we shouldn’t recognize the service members for what they are doing. Maybe he was on the Super Bowl committee?? I don’t have to tell you gang that if it weren’t for that 18 year old out on patrol while many over paid fat butts were watching the game in the big dollar press boxes, they would have been complaining big time about security searches and everything else that would have been installed because of the threat at the game. But they didn’t moan about cavity searches because it didn’t happen because Haji is on the run from that pissed off 18 year old and not worried about melting a stadium down and killing thousands. I think that deserves a “that a boy” at least, especially since it’s his third freaking tour over here.

I don’t know maybe Im off the mark here and have had too many close calls with explosives and two pots of coffee to many, but my gut call is this could have been done a lot better, especially if the Cowboys were playing. Now I know why I woke up to watch the game, its because down deep I knew this was going to happen and I guess I just thought I might be wrong. Has the media convinced you that what we are doing is wrong or not significant since Marines arnt dying at the cyclic rate? No big deal, its come and gone and we continue to carry out operations against these scum bags and open cans of whoop ass on them, regardless of what was shown during the Super Bowl, its our job and we are glad to do it regardless of the “Thanks”. We wish you could have seen some of the real Super Bowl out here, or at least let that 18 year old Marine watching the game and all the other Americans out there know you were thinking about him, but the Super Bowl didn’t run that play.


With or without Super Bowl recognition,
SEMPER FIDELIS
Capt B
“Keep attacking, we are”

COMBAT UPDATE
(Press Release)
Approximately 250 Iraqi Police candidates left Al Anbar last night to begin their 10-week police training course. Approximately 100 were recruited from the provincial capital of Ar Ramadi. This is the second group of Iraqi police recruits to volunteer and ship out for training in the last three weeks. The previous group of candidates left Ramadi for the Baghdad Police Academy on Jan. 12. Ninety candidates are from the western Iraqi city of Husaybah and the remaining 60 are from Fallujah. After graduating from the training, the police officers will return to Al Anbar and assume their policing duties. On Jan. 5 a suicide bomber attacked a police recruitment center in Ramadi killing approximately 30 and wounding many more.

Four insurgents were killed after they opened fire on an Iraqi Army and U.S. Marine patrol operating along the Euphrates River south of Hit yesterday. The combined patrol was conducting a cache sweep when the insurgents attacked with small arms fire. Iraqi soldiers and U.S. patrol returned fire killing four insurgents and detaining three others for questioning. In addition to their weapons, one killed was found to be wearing a suicide vest of the bodies of the attackers. Operation Cart Aldachan (Smokewagon) began Feb. 2 and is a 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) operation along the Euphrates in the vicinity of Hit.
No Iraqi Army or U.S casualties were sustained during the raid.


ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (words in

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (words in picture follow) For all the free people that still protest, you’re welcome, We protect you and you are protected by the best. Your voice is strong and loud, but who will fight for you? No one standing in your crowd.

We are your fathers, brothers, and sons, wearing the boots and carrying the guns. We are the ones that leave all we own, to make sure your future is carved in stone.

We are the ones who fight and die. We might not be able to save the world , well at least we try. We walked the paths to where we are at and we want no choice other than that.

So when you rally your group to complain, take a look in the back of your brain. In order for that flag you love to fly, wars must be fought and young men must die.

We came here to fight for the ones we hold dear, if that’s not respected we would rather stay here. So please stop yelling and put down your signs, and pray for those behind enemy lines.

When the conflict is over and all is well, be thankful that we chose to go through hell.

It’s an early Sunday morning. The anticipation builds along with excitement. Nerves twinge and fears and worries race through your head this morning. It’s the big event, the Super Bowl. I’m not talking the football game I’m talking about your next convoy.

But wait everyday is the Super Bowl here. That’s the mind set. You get your “gear” on, have a pre game (order & rehearsal) and you’re always practicing. Sure there are some big time pressures in a Super Bowl football game and I’m sure they seem grand with high stakes. A lot at stake, trophy, money, fame, victory but it’s still a game and not your life at stake. If it comes down to the last few seconds of the game and you begin to see teammates holding hands like they did in their college days on a knee as the kicker lines up to kick the winning field goal and the kicker misses, you aren’t going to have to begin first aid treatment for a sucking chest wound…….well usually you wont have to but the fans may wish otherwise. If they don’t get to the first down hash mark on third down during the fourth quarter, you’re not going to have to go to physical therapy for six months to learn how to use your prosthetic. But if you catch a glimpse of a Marine taking a knee, do us a favor and keep your pie hole shut and respect em while they do it.

Sure the coaches and players on Sunday will have plans and plays for their strategy. But will they be reading the surrounding citizens in the stands to see if they are pulling their kids off the streets because of an immanent attack? Will they see a piece of press trash blow towards them on the side lines and flinch because of a past IED experience? Will the game be interrupted by incoming mortars??……..not while were at work.

It may not be fair to compare the Super Bowl with combat action in Iraq and Afghanistan but if you want to talk about the “Big Show”, all the marbles, what you’ve been training for your entire life then, yes you can compare the two.
You can compare the stresses, fear, anxieties, joy and sadness.

However, we are 10,000 miles from anyone who really likes us and do it everyday not just on one particular Sunday. No autographs, few positive interviews, no contracts for endorsements or rolling around in expensive cars or nice houses. But I do have a sweet cot they can borrow…….when I don’t need it and I’ll take my scratched armed to the teeth hummer over their new Mercedes here any day.

The game comes on around 0300 for us, not that it will be any different from any other day heck, Christmas wasn’t different why would the Super Bowl create a special day? We won’t see the two million dollar commercials as the government station that shows the game will only produce safety commercials and weather reports for the region instead. The standard day’s events will take place and we will have our own game to fight.

As you watch the game this Sunday, having a cold one with your cigar, chips and dip and family and friends, take a couple seconds and remember we are out here for you and proud to do it. Some on their third tour, some here for a year, some just getting here. As you watch the game, know that that somewhere a young Marine is walking the streets of a foreign land, driving the armored hummer on their billionth convoy or standing a post to keep the wolf at bay while the game is on. When they play and sing the National Anthem, listen to the words carefully because we are making those words actions here taking care of business during our Super Bowl. The super stars on the field will play their game but regardless don’t believe the rumors, your Marines are human.

This Super Bowl Sunday the players will don their battle gear, conduct their press days, living with excitement and fame. Enjoy their moment to shine and they will do everything in their power conquer and seize the moment for when they will make a difference. Your Marines, well we will be doing the same thing here.


Semper Fidelis
“Get Some”
Capt B


COMBAT UPDATE
This raid was conducted by Iraqi soldiers not any of the tribal groups that have been stated in the press. There were American soldiers in support but this was an Iraqi Army raid.
PRESS RELEASE- Soldiers with 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division conducted a targeted raid in Ar Ramadi against a foreign insurgent cell suspected of operating in the provincial capital. The intelligence attained by the Iraqi soldiers led to the capture of 15 suspected insurgents, 11 of which are identified as Syrian nationals and the remaining four as Iraqis. The raid took place at a factory in the Tameem district of Ramadi at about 1 p.m. today. The foreign insurgents surrendered to the Iraqi soldiers and were taken for further questioning; 36 AK-47 assault rifles were also taken in the raid. No casualties were sustained during the raid.


ACE IN THE HOLE Have

ACE IN THE HOLE
Have you ever had to do something that was complex, crazy but required. Something that if it went astray the domino affect would be catastrophic? When you experience these type of events and you are hit with a size 12 shoe from Murphy (Murphy’s law) you had better have a plan B set up. Well My plan B was shot to hell and we were loosing altitude and airspeed quick as we were headed towards a very bad area. To say shit was hitting the fan is an understatement. Everyone going 50,000 directions and dealing with one of those events where if you forget the smallest detail you would be swallowing a big spoon of trouble. This is the perfect time for your one “Ace in the hole” to shine. You know the guy that gives you what you need just as you go to ask for it. The guy that comes up with a nice cold glass of ice water in hell. That’s this guy. I know one of “those” guys. He’s worth his weight in gold and he is hard to replace. Were not talking reliable. Were talking how in the hell did you pull that off reliable.

This guy could have been Wylie Coyote (Canis latrans,) pulling rocket launchers out of the ACME box as he always comes up with what he needs just in the right time. Although he has a lot better luck than Wylie with his results. This guy doesn’t work for me here but that’s all the better. Here in Iraq, it’s the land of “hook ups” and this guy is the man for hook ups. He tells me you can get anything in Iraq, you just have to know where to find it. Nothing criminal of course, as we don’t keep what we are borrowing. Its just that back in the states if you need something you go to the store if you don’t already have it and get one. Here, if you didn’t bring it in your pack, you got to go a searching and bargaining and that is time demanding and time is our worse enemy sometimes. Its almost a game and a challenge for him because we hit him with some crazy stuff sometimes and during those “tuff requests” we will get the response of, “I’ll get you one, it might take be a couple hours but I’ll get you one”

We are currently looking into cloning this guy and I must say we have a good start. The coffee can has a solid buck twenty five in the coffee mess. “So your saying there’s a chance”……... We were almost successful last time, we went to clone him but we didn’t tell him we were doing it and his pockets were full metallic stuff and everything got cloned but him………..minor set back…don’t stare at the lump on the side of his neck if you see him…..the machine kicks out some serious radioactive material.

The best is when you need “X” and you need it in an hour. You make your usual calls and then after you can’t find one you “make the call”. Its like out of a movies, “Mr President, its time to make the call”. By combining ingenuity thinking, time management and savvyness this guy can be a deadly weapon in this area.

I guess this guy gets his creativity from being part Marine, Canis latrans, magician, MacGyver, part server. He just won’t be beat and takes on the challenge to help. Wanting to help and giving a crap to get off his butt to do it is what sets this “go to” guy aside from others. He also doesn’t let distraction get in his way “keep the drama for your mama!!!


This guys resume could read like the intro from the A team.

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped the maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles Underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-team.

Are their guys out there like this that you know?

Semper Fi
Capt B

COMBAT UPDATE
Press release-Approximately 1,000 Iraqi soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (28th Infantry Division) completed Operation Al Dharba Al Nihaa’ya (Final Strike) in the Jazerra area northwest of Habbaniyah, 75 km west of Baghdad yesterday. The eastern Jazerra is a known insurgent staging area for attacks against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces. Operation Final Strike is a counter insurgency operation aimed at neutralizing the insurgency activity and providing a secure area for the citizens of the Jazerra.
The Iraqi soldiers discovered an improvised explosive device and a small weapons cache during the course of the daylong operation.Third Brigade controls their own battle space within the 2nd BCT’s area of operation. Since the end of August, 3rd Brigade has been conducting independent counter insurgency operations in this area. The morale of the Iraqi Soldiers of this brigade is very high; the work that they are doing shows their ability to properly execute missions. The Iraqi Army is earning the trust of the Iraqi citizens by protecting them from the insurgents and their terrorist operations,” said 3rd Brigade Commander, General Abdul Amir. Third Brigade is composed of three Iraqi Army battalions, a commando company and the brigade headquarters unit.