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Milblogs

If you haven’t been there, done that………….get yer ass over to MILBLOGs and go there! A good mixture of stories, facts, antidotes regarding the military. Semper

Viper's gunships escort Marine patrol in Karma

KARMA, Iraq - Under a baking Iraqi sun, beads of sweat roll down a Marine's face as his eyes slowly scan the surrounding fields of tall grass, looking for insurgent forces that could ambush him and his fellow Marines' dismounted patrol. Suddenly, the thumping sound of helicopters breaks through the noise of his beating pulse and a squawking radio in his ears. Air support has arrived.Like guardian angels, the sharp-eyed crews of a UH-1N Huey and AH-1W Super Cobra with Marine Light Attack Squadron 169, Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, use their bird's eye perspective, flying just above treetops or thousands of feet in the air to provide reconnaissance on the convoy's route through the streets and fields of Karma, May 11."Our mission was to fly in the vicinity of Karma, Iraq, in support of the dismounted patrols that were throughout the city," said 1st Lt. Brian P. Brassieur, a Huey pilot. "We were looking for any improvised explosive devices on the roads or any military-aged males digging holes in the road and anything (insurgents) might be doing to disrupt our patrols."The squadron's ability to successfully support the Marine ground forces on patrol begins at the squadron's airfield in Al Taqaddum."Before every flight, and at the beginning of our training, we always do cockpit coordination and crew briefs, as well as a section brief," said Capt. Brian J. Crawford, a Huey pilot and Laurel, Md., native. "First, the crews from both aircraft get together and conduct a thorough brief on how we're going to conduct that flight. Then, myself, the other pilot and the two crew chiefs will sit down and talk about the conduct of operations for the day. It's everything from what we expect to see, what we expect to execute and all the communications associated with accomplishing that."Once in the air, the two helicopters sped toward Karma. The two pilots in the Super Cobra and the two pilots and two crew chiefs in the Huey kept their eyes open, alert to the threat posed by surface-to-air missiles and gunfire."Communication is the key for these kinds of missions, because without proper communication no one knows what's going on," said Lance Cpl. Justin W. Ahlers, a Huey crew chief and West Bend, Wis., native. "We all might see pieces of a whole, but we won't be able to put it all together without communication to make the picture complete. That allows us to accomplish the mission more effectively."The desert landscape surrounding their airbase quickly passed below Ahlers and the other Marines in the helicopters before turning into lush fields and canals, as they passed over the land surrounding the Euphrates River and approached Karma. "Once we got in the vicinity of where we were supposed to be, we contacted the forward air controller on the ground," said Brassieur, a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native. "He is apprised of the whole situation because he is right in it. He tells us what's going on, what he needs us to do, where his position is and how we can support him."Through coordination, the ground and air Marines can form an accurate picture of what lies ahead down the streets of Karma. The information flow between the forward air controller on the ground and the two helicopters is the key to the success of the convoy escort and the safety of the Marines on the ground. "Marine aviation's overall role is to support ground troops, and in Karma, we were providing immediate, overhead close air support and reconnaissance to them," said 1st Lt. Kyle R. Vandegiesen, a Super Cobra pilot and North Allteboro, Mass., native. "The grunts can only see a couple hundred meters around themselves. We have the vantage point of 500 to 1,000 feet above the ground."According to Vandegiesen, the view from above is crucial to the success of their mission. "The key to any battle is situational awareness," he said. "Whoever has it is going to win. If you can see the enemy then you've got him, that's what we provide." The Vipers ability to provide an "eye in the sky" for the ground troops is a vital part of the Marine aviation mission here."When I go over a station, when I'm over Karma, I want to look out for those Marines, that's what I've been trained to do and that's what I'm going to do," said Brassieur. "The Marine Corps revolves around the grunts on the ground. We're just here to support them. That's what we're here to do."

NEWS ON MEMORIAL DAY


Memorial day has come and gone and the #1 biggest news event at least on CNN was that the “Jolie-Pitt baby is the 'Peaceful One” Vomit,cough,spit ……..In the world of Barry Barnes doped up and breaking records to The Hilton sisters being the worlds biggest mental disasters, it is a cruel day when those above topics are ran every thirty minutes and nothing is said about the great progress in Iraq and Afghani. Sure, they said many Americans are celebrating Memorial Day today……………hello missing the meaning of the day. I know you all did it right.
Semper Fi
“More than duty”
Capt B


AMERICA DOESNT FORGET! This Memorial

AMERICA DOESNT FORGET! This Memorial Day is the first one I have been home at since I deployed to Afghanistan for 8 mos, then Iraq for a year. A lot has happened in that time, to me, my family and my fellow Marines but I haven’t forgotten.

I think about the warriors from past battles Inchon, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and wonder if they felt the same as us during this Memorial holiday. A time you let the faces of the warriors past stay a little longer in your immediate memory and stare at them and remember them. Here one minute and then gone so quickly the next, its incredible that they are gone. They were just here. America doesn’t forget.

Your thoughts and grief follow through to their children and families who will be getting the word way to soon that their warrior has been killed in action. The knots in the stomach of the service members who are about to inform the families of their loss are no comparison to the pain the family is about to endure as their lives are changed forever. America does not forget.

Our American warriors did not fight for glory, but to fulfill a duty. They did not want to be heroes, they wanted to see mom and dad again and to hold their sweethearts and to watch their sons and daughters grow. They desired the daily miracle of freedom in America, yet they gave all that up and gave life itself for the sake of others.
You cannot ever let those warriors down by not continuing to raise their honor for what they have done for this country. Grieve if required but continue to honor them in a way that if they were here it would bring a smile to their face. That’s all they would have wanted. To be appreciated for what they have done and for you to be proud of them. To thank their fellow warriors who might need to hear it now and then, to raise the flag if it isn’t already posted on your porch and to tell their loved ones that they didn’t get to meet because they were off fighting when they were born, what they were like and how brave they were. We owe this to them, America doesn’t forget.

For those that did go fight and are here now, be glad that you are home. Cherish it. Be glad you have someone thanking you and perhaps think of it this way, everything you do from now on, being fun, tuff or whatever the emotion, you do it for those that have paid the price in the past and cannot be here to feel it with you. That is one way to honor those who have fallen for us. America doesn’t forget.



From Debra Youngblood (mother of Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis L. Youngblood)
I just read a few entries in your blog and I am so very glad I did. Since my son's death in Iraq, on July 21, 2005, I have been trying to reconcile my hatred of this war with my son's strong belief that what the troops were doing was the right thing in Iraq. I know that many people don't realize how much the troops have helped the Iraqi people.

My son was a field medic with the II Marine Expendiary Unit, Lima company. He was wounded in Hit, Iraq on July 15, and died 6 days later in Iraq. Your words give me comfort not only for his convictions, but for the care he received.

Many blessings to you.
Debra S. Youngblood


Capt B response:

Ma’am-
I just finished watching A&E’s special on 3/25. I visited them often at Haditha Dam and they were always pumped and excited. Your last name stays with me as I knew a young Marine with the same name in Hawaii when I served there in 1996.

The position I held in Ramadi Iraq, was the sort that I knew of fallen warriors as soon as they were injured. Your sons name sticks with me in my gut and I can remember when I heard about him being first wounded as it made me think about the young Marine I knew in Hawaii. The medical attention he received was the very best and additional medical personnel were on him providing additional attention within seconds. When I heard he had past away I sat down in our CP, put my hands in my lap and thought about you, his family and knew his death was not in vain.

As an infantry officer all of my Marines are my kids. Loosing one is like loosing apart of myself. Marines conducting operations in Iraq have made such drastic accomplishments; it will be a long time before people actually realize what they are doing there and in Afghanistan. Serving in Afghanistan for 8 months then home for 3, then sent to Iraq for a year, I have seen the progress that warriors like your son are doing, with my own eyes and that’s why I try to educate and show others what we are doing through my Blog.

Like Iraq and the progress made, your son has helped make great gains with the Iraqi people, the country and especially his Marines. The Corpsman in the unit is a cherished person we all hold close to us and although he didn’t enlist to be a Marine, corpsmen are transformed and are one of us.

Your son has made a difference and has helped change the world.
My deepest gratitude and respect for the hero who has past and the one I write to.


COMMANDANT TO REINFORCE STANDARDS AND


COMMANDANT TO REINFORCE STANDARDS AND CORE VALUES
in Visits to Marine Bases
Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. - (May 25) -- General Michael W. Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, left this morning to visit Marines at forward operating bases in Iraq to reinforce the ideals, values and standards for which Marines have been known for more than 200 years. Reflecting his personal concern over recent serious allegations about actions of Marines in combat, Hagee will address Marine officers and enlisted men and women in a series of events inside and outside the U.S. over the next several weeks.
Hagee’s remarks will focus on the value and meaning of honor, courage, and commitment and how these core values are epitomized by most Marines in their day-to-day actions - both in and out of combat. During these talks, Hagee will reemphasize the training all Marines receive in the Law of Armed Conflict, the Geneva Conventions, and Rules of Engagement. He will remind his Marines that each of them has a duty to obey and issue lawful orders and apply only the necessary force required to accomplish the mission.
He will not address any specific incidents currently under investigation until any and all legal actions are complete.
A full biography and high resolution image of General Michael W. Hagee can be found at: www.marines.mil/cmc/33cmc.nsf/cmcmain


“On Marine Virtue”
By Gen. M. W. Hagee
Recent serious allegations concerning actions of Marines in combat have caused me concern. They should cause you to be concerned as well. To ensure we continue to live up to General Lejeune’s description of a Marine as someone who demonstrates “all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue,” I would like to review the importance of our core values.
As Marines, you are taught from your earliest days in the Corps about our core values of honor, courage and commitment. These values are part of and belong to all Marines, regardless of MOS, grade, or gender. They guide us in all that we do; whether in combat, in garrison, or on leave or liberty.
To a Marine, honor is more than just honesty; it means having uncompromising personal integrity and being accountable for all actions. To most Marines, the most difficult part of courage is not the raw physical courage that we have seen so often on today’s battlefield. It is rather the moral courage to do the “right thing” in the face of danger or pressure from other Marines. Finally, commitment is that focus on caring for one another and upholding the great ideals of our Corps and Country.
The nature of this war with its ruthless enemies, and its complex and dangerous battlefield will continue to challenge us in the commitment to our core values. We must be strong and help one another to measure up. The war will also test our commitment to our belief in the rule of law.
We have all been educated in the Law of Armed Conflict. We continue to reinforce that training, even when deployed to combat zones. We do not employ force just for the sake of employing force. We use lethal force only when justified, proportional and, most importantly, lawful. We follow the laws and regulations, Geneva Convention and Rules of Engagement. This is the American way of war. We must regulate force and violence, we only damage property that must be damaged, and we protect the non-combatants we find on the battlefield.
When engaged in combat, particularly in the kind of counterinsurgency operations we’re involved in now, we have to be doubly on guard. Many of our Marines have been involved in life or death combat or have witnessed the loss of their fellow Marines, and the effects of these events can be numbing. There is the risk of becoming indifferent to the loss of a human life, as well as bringing dishonor upon ourselves. Leaders of all grades need to reinforce continually that Marines care for one another and do what is right.
The large majority of Marines today perform magnificently on and off the battlefield. I am very proud of the bravery, dedication, honor, courage and commitment you clearly display every day. And America is proud as well. Americans, indeed most people around the world, recognize that Marines are men and women of the highest caliber - physically, mentally, and morally.
Each one of you contributes in your own unique way to our important mission; I am proud of your dedication and accomplishments. Even after 38 years, I still stand with pride every time I hear the Marines Hymn. The words of that Hymn mean something special to me. Especially, “Keep our Honor Clean”. I know that means something to all of you as well. As Marines we have an obligation to past Marines, fellow Marines, future Marines and ourselves to do our very best to live up to these words.
As your Commandant, I charge all Marines to carry on our proud legacy by demonstrating our values in everything you do - on duty and off; in combat or in garrison. Semper Fidelis.


MEMORIAL DAY TRIFECTA Memorial Day

MEMORIAL DAY TRIFECTA

Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country.

This Memorial weekend you should be taking your kid to Vets hospital, visiting fallen warriors or if you stay inside at home educate them or yourselves on our nation’s military and fallen warriors and what it has meant for them to serve.

Recently, HBO aired “Baghdad ER” where the majority of the feed back of those who pony up to watch it said it was typical HBO persuasive BS.

Now CNN is going to air “CNN Honors American Troops on Multiple Platforms for Memorial”.

They advertise that they will be pushing, “Coming Home” explores how the current war differs from previous conflicts, including the effects on social support systems for military families” They are basing this of off primarily donated video footage, letters etc donated through their web site link http://turnerinfo.turner.com/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLK1F/www.cnn.com/cominghome that didn’t work when I clicked on it. Perhaps they had turned it off so close to airing of the show but my gut call is this is going to be a typical Communist News Network (CNN) broadcast and will, like the HBO debacle will try to persuade the viewer on how “bad” this war is and how “bad” he President is doing.

I will eat crow if they come across as the President being the “shit” and doing better as they could ever dream of, but something tells me there will be a underlining subject of Yak, spit spew coming from the CNN,


ACT II
Another televised event will be of Lima Company 3/25 and their action with in Iraq starting on Thursday, May 25th at 9pmC. Featuring candid interviews and never-before-seen video, we tell the story of the hardest hit combat unit of the Iraq war. Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, a reserve unit out of Columbus, Ohio was deployed to Iraq from February 28-September 30, 2005. http://www.aetv.com/listings/episode_details.do?episodeid=163325


ACT III
The third watch able show is 60 Minutes and the coverage of Cpl Fulk’s and his funeral services. Unlike the first of our trifecta, 60 minutes is usually pretty good on not involving a political agenda.


If you’re going to watch TV don’t be a self centered hooyaa. Get yer ass over to A&E, History Channel or the like and watch some warriors slug it out. Plus….it will drive the women crazy!!!

“More than duty”
Semper Fi
Capt B


Could this be said about Iraq and Afghanistan as well?...........
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)
(The Civil War) created in this country what had never existed before a national consciousness. It was not the salvation of the Union; it was the rebirth of the Union.Memorial Day Address (1915]


HADITHA, Iraq When some Marines return from Iraq, they bring back memorabilia, such as tattered Iraqi flags or old photos of Saddam Hussein they found in cluttered streets. Some, like 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Jeremy Russell of Salem, Ore., will bring back memories of actions on the battlefield and scars from being wounded in action.Russell, an infantryman with Weapons Company of the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, was manning a machine gun turret in a Humvee struck by an improvised explosive, or IED, last month. The battalion arrived in Iraq two months ago, and has since had to deal with numerous IEDs while patrolling the streets in the Haditha “Triad” region – an area of about 75,000 people along the Euphrates River in western Al Anbar Province and renowned insurgent hotspot.The blast left him with a piece of shrapnel embedded in his right hand and a severely bruised leg, and left three other Marines dead: Sgt. Lea Mills, 21, from Brooksville, Fla.; Sgt. Edward G. Davis, 31, from Antioch, Ill.; and Cpl. Brandon M. Hardy, 25, from Cochranville, Pa.“I thought I was going to die,” said Russell.The IED struck Russell’s vehicle during a three-hour mission to recover another U.S. military vehicle. With vehicle in tow, the Marine convoy was enroute to their base at the Haditha Dam. It was 2:30 a.m., and the night seemed quiet, said Russell. “I could hear the Marines below me talking about their families while I was in the turret,” said Russell. “I just kept my eyes on the road behind me to make sure there were no vehicles approaching.” Still, he kept alert to ensure no vehicles approached the U.S. convoy. Aside from IEDs, vehicle suicide bombers are also a threat in Al Anbar Province, said Russell. Russell said the Marines’ talking in the vehicle “died down a little” just seconds before an earth-shattering explosion, which was followed by two fireballs on either side of the vehicle. Russell tucked his chin and closed his eyes, hoping to avoid the majority of the blast. He did. The blast destroyed the rear left side of the humvee and flipped the vehicle 180 degrees onto its left side. Russell was ejected from the vehicle onto the roadway and feared the vehicle would rollover on top of him. “It felt like minutes had past and everything was in slow motion,” recalled Russell. “But it really took only two seconds for the IED to detonate and throw the vehicle on its side.” As he laid in the street, disoriented from the blast, Russell, who is serving his first combat deployment since he joined the Marine Corps in 2004 to “see the world,” remembers smelling fuel – a leak from the vehicle’s gas tank.He also saw the vehicles three other passengers lying motionless in the street. Two of the Marines were killed on impact and another died a short time later, according to medical records. Russell climbed back into the humvee to notify the other Marines in the convoy of his situation, but the radio was broken.Russell then notified Marines ahead of him in the convoy by using luminous flares he located in the vehicle. He also rearmed himself with his M16 rifle, ready to fight off a secondary attack. Believing he was the only Marine around, Russell saw Lance Cpl. Cheyenne Macintosh, an Assault Amphibian Vehicle crewman from Seaman, Ohio. Macintosh was traveling back to Haditha Dam in the same convoy as Russell. Macintosh, 20, was checking the mortally-wounded Marines when he noticed Russell had survived the blast and was completely covered in soot. Staff Sgt. Michael Woodridge, 28, a section leader assigned to Weapons Company, had several other Marines from other vehicles in the convoy secure the area and be watchful for a secondary attack. “It was chaotic,” said Woodridge, a native of Augusta, Ga. “The back end of the humvee was completely gone.”Shortly after, Russell was evacuated by helicopter to a near-by medical facility. As his adrenaline began to wear off, he began to feel the pain from his injuries on the helicopter, he said. Shrapnel was lodged in his hand, his right leg throbbed in pain after he was tossed around inside the turret, and eventually ejected onto the ground, he said. Russell, who is now fully recovered and back to daily patrols with his unit, says the incident has not deterred him from patrolling daily. Given the chance, he’ll deploy again to Iraq after his battalion returns to the U.S. in the Fall, he said. “I never imagined I would be in a life-or-death situation,” said Russell. “When I joined the Marine Corps, the only thing I knew about combat was what I saw on TV shows like M.A.S.H.”As Russell recovers from his injuries to his hand and leg, his fellow Marines say he still has high spirits. “Russell has kept his head up high and still has his sense of humor,” said Macintosh. “It helps everyone else in the platoon stay in high spirits until we can go home.”


FRAUDS This isn’t the first


FRAUDS
This isn’t the first time a dress wearing, twinkie eating, zit face bag of bones piece of crap decided to imitate one of our finest. Here is a heart punch into a wanna be that should have stayed in bed.

But this isn’t the first piece of monkey crap to wake up and decide “hey, Im going to play soldier today” or for that fact Marine! The latest was in April of this year where

Colonel insignia: $5.50
Purple Heart: $38.95
Dress blues: $520
Punishment for impersonating a military officer: $2,500
Reaction from one former Marine: Less than gung-ho.
In this nut jobs case, Albert T. McKelvey stated end result he needed to ‘have” a title and be something he’s not. “He wore the uniform and played the role of colonel for years at veteran functions, holiday ceremonies and military funerals, giving speeches, celebrating the birthday of a Navy admiral and presenting folded flags to widows” What the hell are these people thinking?? If you want to wear the gear then get your ass downtown and enlist. There are a couple sandy resorts that would love to have you come play Marine in!

Last year this old hoot played it out until he got so busted. “Lawson had passed out coins — the kind of metal tokens generals and some senior enlisted give out in a long-followed military tradition. He even passed out coins at a recent post event to Marines from Bravo Company who just returned from a yearlong mobilization in Iraq.”
Two years ago, Walter Carlson, 58, of Summit, New Jersey, was arrested Wednesday at services for Marine Lieutenant John Wroblewski, 25, of Jefferson Township, New Jersey. He was released after paying a $10,00 bond.
These are just a few of the shit bags out there that want to taint the history, honor and respect paid for by our forefathers and warriors of today. This is actually good we are attacking this like blood in the water as many Bloggers have recently . If we don’t another shit stain will go and order his Marine or Army uniform and reap the respect due for the fallen warriors that actually paid the ultimate price.
I say firing squad FOR THEM ALL or flame thrower…………….their choice, Im in a good mood!
Semper Fi
Capt B

HUSAYBAH, Iraq – After three years without a police presence in this western Iraqi town of approximately 10,000, the community is beginning to see a fully-restored police force with the introduction of two new police stations.

With a new force of fully-trained police officers, many of whom are seasoned veterans from the previous police force, Iraqis here hope the added security forces will curb insurgent activity in the area, according to tribal sheikhs.

The Police Transition Team here, a team of Coalition service members responsible for training and mentoring Iraqi police officers, has worked in recent months to prepare these law enforcement officials for their duties of providing law and order here.

Despite delays in the arrival of necessary police equipment, such as vehicles, the new police stations are providing an additional asset for Iraqi security forces by collecting tips and information from citizens and responding to criminal activity to combat insurgent operations in the region, according to the transition team.

“The police officers are eager to get out there in the towns and establish a presence,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Torres, an intelligence chief with a transition team serving in western Iraq. “They are very organized, motivated, and they already have the respect from the community.”


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