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Marines rescue three hostages, uncover weapons cache in Operation Spotlight

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FUHUYLAT, Iraq  2006) -- Marines from 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment rescued three hostages and uncovered a large weapons cache, including a fully-assembled suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, during Operation Spotlight.

The intelligence-driven operation was conducted alongside Iraqi Army soldiers from 2nd and 4th Brigades, 1st Iraqi Army Division recently. The three hostages were personal assistants of Dr. Rafa Hayid Chiad Al-Isawi, an Iraqi government official in

Baghdad

. They were held by al-Qaeda insurgents for 27 days.

“We are extremely pleased we were able to recover these Iraqi citizens,” said Col. Larry D. Nicholson, Regimental Combat Team 5’s commanding officer. “The safety of Iraqi citizens to move freely about their own country without fear is a priority for U.S and Iraqi forces and we will continue to assist the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police in ensuring their citizens have a future that is free of terrorism.”

The hostages were beaten with electrical cords by their captors, as well as bitten and threatened with their lives at gunpoint. They were treated by Coalition Forces medical personnel.

The three were taken hostage by insurgents west of Zaidon, a rural area south of Fallujah.

Also recovered nearby was a significant weapons cache, including a fully-assembled suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. Marines also recovered IEDs and IED-making material, mortar tubes and round, artillery rounds, machine guns, bulk explosives, anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, AK-47 assault rifles, small-arms ammunition and video cameras.


Marines give helping hand in search for Army Sgt. Keith M. Maupin

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GHARMAH,

Iraq

  -- The search for Army Sgt. Keith M. Maupin continued in Regimental Combat Team 5’s area of operations recently. A team of Marines, U.S. Army and British soldiers fanned out across several sites to search for the remains of the soldier missing for more than two years. The team searched in two separate locations in this town north of Fallujah. Marines from 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment assisted in the search.

Maupin is the only missing U.S.servicemember from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Navy Capt. Michael Scott Speicher, shot down during Operation Desert Storm, is the only other missing U.S.servicemember in

Iraq

. This search marked the 86th separate site searchers combed through looking for any sign of Maupin.

A single, surface-laid bone was found. It was about six inches long, found at the second survey site. The single bone was bagged, labeled and shipped from Camp Fallujah to Balad Air Base and eventually delivered to Dover Air Force Base, Md. Tests there by experts later proved the bone was not that of Maupin’s, but that of an animal.

Still, no efforts are wasted in locating the missing soldier.“This is very important for us to do this,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven J. Nesbit, a 49-year-old member of the Personnel Recovery Detachment from Multi-National Corps-Iraq in

Baghdad

. “Any Coalition member lives by that creed that we never leave anyone behind.”
Maupin was taken captive by insurgents April 9, 2004 near Abu Ghraib, after his convoy was attacked. He was show in insurgent propaganda films in uniform and later, insurgents claimed to have shot and killed the soldier. The clip, shot under night vision, was grainy and unclear and experts were never able to verify if the shooting victim was, in fact, Maupin.

It was the second time searchers from MNCI came to RCT-5’s area to search for remains. Searchers arrived in March and searched two sites south of Fallujah with Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. At least two sets of remains were dug from crude graves on a desert hilltop in that search. Tests conducted after that search revealed that they were not that of Maupin


You really should be sitting down when you read this one.
Gold   Star Mothers is an organization made up of women whose sons were killed in   military combat during service in the

United States

armed forces.   Recently   a delegation of New York State Gold Star   Mothers made a trip to Washington   , DC , to discuss   various concerns with their elected representatives.According to published reports, there was only one   politician who refused to meet with these ladies. Can you guess which politician that might be? Was it New York Senator Charles Schumer? Nope, he met   with them. Try again.Do you know anyone serving in the Senate who has never   showed anything but contempt for our military? Do you happen to know the name of any politician in

Washington

who's husband once wrote of his   loathing for the military? Now you're getting warm! You got it!  None other than the Queen herself, Hillary   

Clinton

. She refused repeated requests to meet with the Gold Star Mothers. Now, please don't tell me you're surprised. This woman wants to be President of the

United States

   --- and there is a huge percentage  of Voters who are eager to help her achieve that goal.May you sleep in peace always..and please...hug or thank   a Veteran for that privilege. Think about this one !!! Don't forget, our girl, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as a New   York Senator, now comes under this fancy congressional Retirement and Staffing   Plan. It's common knowledge that, in order for her to establish NYS residency, they purchased a million+ dollar house in upscale

Chappaqua

,

NY

. Makes sense. Now, they are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Still makes sense. Here is where it becomes interesting. The mortgage   payments hover at about $10,000 per month. BUT, an extra residency had to be   built within the acreage in order to house the Secret Service agents. The Clinton's now charge the Secret Service $10,000   monthly rent for the use of said Secret Service residence and that rent is   just about equal to their mortgage payment, .......meaning that we, the tax   payers, are paying the Clinton's mortgage, their transportation, their safety   and security, their 12 man staff, and it's all perfectly legal. Sincerely, Cdr. Hamilton McWhorter USN (ret)

PS: Please forward this to as many people as you can. We don't want this woman to even think of running for President. So, just how many people can you send this to? It will take no more than 2 minutes. Thanks


Welcome Home

It was in the morning that I got word that I may be needed to conduct a special project. This of course sparked my interest and once I dug a little I quickly learned how special it was.

Eight KIA service members were arriving and the Marine Corps needed an escort to receive the warriors and transport the warriors officially as required. To stay general, I drove for about 2 hours to the airfield they were coming into. As we waited for the aircraft to arrive, numerous Honor Guard teams practiced and rehearsed their scheme of maneuver. The Air Force team arrived after the Marines and Army Honor Guard and began to rehearse. All were ready as they had done this many times as recent as last week but only to be out done in numbers last month where they had to escort 25 Hero’s home. I wasn’t nervous but honored to be the first one to help the warriors as they touch

US

soil for the first time.

As I came to the section of the aircraft where the coffins were at, it caught me by surprise to see the perfect flag draped coffins lined up. The first order of business was to inspect the flags for any stains, tears or defects that may taint them. Great care and respect was employed to ensure the very best attention and handing was used with the warriors. Because at least one of the families was on site to receive the remains the Honor Guards moved into place and professionally and accurately carried the remains to the designated vehicle. Once they were in place and the individual family members departed, the Honor Guards returned onto the aircraft to pick up the coffins we had positioned. They all took great care and used gentle handling of each coffin. I was very impressed with the care and respect displayed as the Army EOD technician, US Marine and fellow warriors were carried off the plan. Once the last of the remains were loaded, a final salute was given before we departed and drove back. As we left, I thought of how this event somewhat completes the circle of my deployments. It was an honor to be their escort.

Semper Fi

Capt B


HERO'S CALL

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The Department of Defense announced today the death of  soldiers who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.Spc. Manuel J. Holguin, 21, of WoodlakeCalif., died on July 15 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained when his dismounted patrol encountered enemy small arms fire and an improvised explosive device.  Holguin was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder,Germany. Sgt. 1st Class Scott R. Smith, 34, of Punxsutawney , Pa., died on July 17 in Al skandariyah, Iraq, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated during a controlled ordnance clearing mission.  Smith was assigned to the 737th Explosive Ordnance Detachment, 52nd Ordnance Group, Fort Belvoir Va. Cpl. Kenneth I. Pugh, 39, of Houston Texas , died on July 17 in Baghdad Iraq , of injuries sustained when his M1A2 Abrams tank encountered enemy forces small arms fire.  Pugh was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas Staff Sgt. Michael A. Dickinson II, 26, of Battle Creek, Mich., died on July 17 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, when his dismounted patrol encountered enemy forces small arms fire.  Dickinson was assigned to the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.Semper Fi warriors! Capt B


Never Forget!!!!

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Missing WWII Airmen Identified

The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that nine servicemen missing in action from World War II have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors. They are 1st Lt. William M. Hafner, Norfolk, Va.; 2nd Lt. Arthur C. Armacost, III, Cincinnati, Ohio; 2nd Lt. David R. Eppright, Warrensburg, Mo.; 2nd Lt. Charles F. Feucht, Reynoldsburg, Ohio; Technical Sgt. Raymond S. Cisneros, San Antonio, Texas; Technical Sgt. Alfred W. Hill, Temple, Okla.; Technical Sgt. James G. Lascelles, New York, N.Y.; Staff Sgt. William C. Cameron, Los Angeles, Calif.; and Staff Sgt. Wilburn W. Rozzell, Duncan, Okla. All were members of the 63rd Bombardment Squadron, 43 Bombardment Group.  The individually-identified remains of Armacost, Cameron, Hafner and Lascelles will be buried July 19 at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. as are the group remains representing all nine crewmen. Cisneros, Rozzell, Feucht, Eppright and Hill were buried elsewhere.      

On November 4, 1943 Hafner and his crew took off in a B-24 Liberator from Dobodura, Territory of New Guinea. The men were on an armed reconnaissance mission over the Bismark Sea. A few hours into the flight Hafner sighted a convoy of Japanese ships and was told to shadow the convoy and report back. Four hours later the crew radioed from the B-24 that they had made three direct hits on the convoy and destroyed the target. That was the last radio contact with the crew.

           In March 2002 a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) was contacted by a local government official through the U.S. Embassy. The team was exploring unrelated WW II aircraft crash sites in Papua New Guinea. The official turned over aircraft data plates, human remains and three ID tags which had been found at a crash site in Morobe Province.

           During the excavation of the site in Aug.-Sept. 2003, the team recovered additional remains and personal effects including identification tags and bracelets. The remains were submitted to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL). Specialists at JPAC and AFDIL used mitochondrial DNA as one of the forensic tools to help identify the remains of these servicemen. Laboratory analysis of dental remains also confirmed their identification.


C'Mon Girlieman!

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Alright you girliemen! Donation for cigars for troops, going good. Donations for our “Had enough” ad going better (send more) BUT when the call comes ya gotta help out folks! So you say you support the troops but not the war? Well then go to AnyMarine.com and check out where you can purchase a raffle ticket for a US Flag that I flew for AnyMarine.com in

Iraq

for charity. The flag was up during a major operation where both friendly and enemy rounds flew past it. Get your part of history and bragging rights! Go HERE to check it out!!!   They are $5 each. Go light on the McDonalds tomorrow and help us out!!!


IM BACK!

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Between movers showing up late, kids going to the emergency room at 0100 to getting strip searched at the airport Ive finally made it back to the DC area. Vacation was great, the beer was cold and the stoags burnt nicely. What a country!!


After waiting on the moving truck fro four hours and then finishing up at midnight with the unloading of boxes, one of my little ones complained about a bump behind her ear. Long story short I was looking for an emergency room at one in the morning. Found one and thought it would be painless until the stabbing victims and drunk drivers were wheeled in. Spending all night at the hospital and then catching a flight out at six am made for an interesting beginning of a trip. However those things wash away after a night like last night.

My in laws told us we were all going out to dinner. Simple enough but as we entered the restaurant the patriotic music was blaring and about 100 people were cheering. I figured man this place is awesome but with about four more steps I realized that it was a welcome home party for me. Ive never met these guys and they are welcoming me back like no other.

This just goes to show how an idiot at the Arizona Republic has no clue of force he is dealing with. More to follow but so far Arizona is looking strong with patriotism!!

Stay tuff!

Capt B


Happy Fourth of July

It’s been a crazy few weeks. Moving, traveling and the like. Ive been to the southern border (El Paso, Texas) region and you can expect a border post in the future since Ive seen it fist hand. With the fourth of July approaching, pleas take a moment while you are cooking out and having fun and remember that we are celebrating our independence. Something that must be taken lightly. Like us, Iraq is facing its independence as well and will have a long road ahead as we did. I went by the Arizona Republic newspaper but all were gone for the holiday (big surprise). I guess its probably better my friend the cartoon artist wasn’t there anyway. Currently in the Arizona area enjoying the heat and rain. Happy 4th of July to all of you!

Semper Fi, Capt B