Sunday, May 28, 2006

This is a Test.

Today, we look at Ann Scott "I know because I was there" Tyson's (Washington Post book review princess) statement that "Americans including members of the media
-- are appreciative of the sacrifices not only of medal winners but of
all those who serve, regardless of their views on the wars."  Google the names of our Heroes in Weinberger's and Hall's book  "Home of the Brave" against the current anti-war "hero".
  •   Google the current liberal darling name:  Jessie Macbeth, proven liar and anti war critic  and we get 897,000 hits. 
  • Rafael Peralta,  Battle of Fallujah hero and nominee for the Congressional Medal of Honor--40,500 hits. 
  • Leigh Ann Hester, Silver Star 275,000. 
  • MSgt. William Markham 375. 
  • Lt.Col. Mark Mitchell, 123,000. 
  • Sgt. Marco Martinez , Navy Cross, 66,000.
You call this appreciation by the members of the antique news media?
Home Of The Brave : Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bostick Resigns as Mayor of Fort Lupton, Co --Big Deal---Where is Jason Sepulveda's $7,500 ' "Ask Debbie"E-Mail:

The savings account of deceased Marine Jason Sepulveda's is still missing $7,500 but the Mayor of Fort Lupton and owner of Bostick Funeral Homes has resigned. Big Whoop! Pressures of office, meany emails, death threats, TV publicity and evil bloggers have increased Bostick's blood pressure to near fatal limits. Dammit Jim! What were you thinking! Where is Jason Sepulveda's money? Please ask Colorado State Rep. Debbie Stafford who is working on a bill to "bill to license funeral directors in Colorado."
"Through the outstanding efforts of Rep. Debbie Stafford and CFDA representatives, the bill successfully passed through both the State House and Senate and its future lies in the hands of Governor Bill Owens. The bill could be vetoed, could become law with the Governor's signature, or become law without the Governor's signature 30 days after the General Assembly is adjourned. Colorado funeral directors are urged to contact the Governor's office NOW in support of this legislation."

Colorado State Representative, District 40
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303)866-2944
E-Mail: - News - Fort Lupton Mayor Resigns After 7NEWS Investigation

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bronze Star:1st Lt. Alfred L. Butler IV -Weapons Company executive officer, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski presented the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device to 1st Lt. Alfred L. Butler IV, XO for Weapons Company, Three/Five at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, May 19. USMC photo Cpl. Mark Sixbey

It was one of those days when everyone ran out of ammo,” said Butler, a graduate of Western Carolina University. “We even used AK-47s.”

According to the award citation, as insurgents ambushed his platoon, Butler rushed to the attack where he found several men pinned under heavy automatic weapons fire on a stairwell. He evacuated them from the house and learned insurgents isolated additional men on the second floor. He quickly organized an assault force and raced to an adjacent house under constant small arms fire to recover the men.

Cpl. Justin Butler, a mortarman in the platoon, saw his platoon commander from across the street while laying suppressive fire.

“When we were on the roof, he was the first one I saw standing up to see the situation while everyone was getting shot at,” said the 21-year-old from Dyer, Ind. “It pumped everybody up that he would do that just to know everything that’s going on.”

The platoon commander led his team as they cleared two buildings, jumping from roof-to-roof to reach them. He shielded the bodies of the fallen Marines when a grenade landed nearby with complete disregard for his own safety, then threw two grenades into a room filled with insurgents.

While delivering cover fire, the lieutenant moved the men across to an adjacent rooftop, personally evacuating a wounded Marine under constant small arms fire and grenade attacks. His actions preserved the lives of the men.

He credited the decoration to the Marines under his command.

“I owe those Marines my life,” he said. “The things they did that day are the sort of things you read about in books. What they do for each other and what they sacrifice for each other makes you not want to leave the Marine Corps. They hold up the tradition of 3/5 and live up to the legacy.”

Alfred Butler III, was a Marine major who was killed in Beirut when his son was only 5 years old. The lieutenant said most of what he knows of his father he learned from Marines who served with him.

“It’s nice that he (Natonski) knew my father and served with him,” he said. “My knowledge of him as a person is through people like General Natonski and what they say about him and the man he was. From what I understand, he was a great man, great Marine, husband and father. If I can be half of that, I think I’ll be fine.”
U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Alfred L. Butler IV - DefendAmerica News Article

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Paulette Martinez Graduates Today-Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from UMBC

B.A. in Modern Languages and Linguistics

"Prior to her studies at UMBC, Paulette Martinez worked as a Master Well Driller, a union tile setter, and in the environmental restoration field, breaking barriers for women in all fields. She graduates with a 4.O GPA, and recently received an Overall Academic Achievement Award in Modern Languages and Linguistics. Martinez volunteered with the Hispanic Youth Symposium, a program hosted on the UMBC campus designed to offer practical help and inspiration for Hispanic high school students who are considering attending college."

"Home of the Brave" Caspar Weinberger's Tribute to our Selfless Troops Ripped by Liberal Hack-Ann Scott Tyson

"Over the top" Left to Right: SGT Marco Martinez, LTC Mark Mitchell, Steve Forbes, Wynton Hall, Caspar Weinberger Jr., SGT Leigh Ann Hester, MSGT William Markham are some of the unsung heroes featured in "Home of the Brave" written by Weinberger. Have you bought your copy yet?

Ann Scott "I know because I was there" Tyson, the darling of the liberal press at the Washington Post, reviewed "Home of the Brave" and boldly declared the writing as over done, over the top and "...falls short of doing justice to the topic. The book's overall credibility is thrown into doubt by inaccuracies, grammatical errors and a heavy reliance on secondary accounts, including government news releases. In some cases, chapters seem cobbled together with no input from the medal recipients."

The review from the princess of reviews is topped off with a WHooBoy! GIANT Whopper:"A nation that ignores or, worse, attacks its heroes erodes and disparages its own ethos," they say in the afterword. On the contrary, statements by military leaders and returning veterans, as well as public opinion polls and countless gestures of gratitude, strongly suggest that Americans --(WARNING GIANT WHOPPER AHEAD) including members of the media -- are appreciative of the sacrifices not only of medal winners but of all those who serve, regardless of their views on the wars.".

Media Lib Attacks Caspar Weinberger Troop Tribute

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In the Bag: Thug mastermind Ibrahim Hamed

Ibrahim Hamed, number one on the hit parade, finally bagged after an eight year chase by the IDF. The Ramallah-area commander of Hamas' military wing was run to ground hiding inside a house by himself. What makes this thug-master so unique? "What made him special was his creativity in finding very complex ways to attack Israelis," the colonel leading the capture team told Army Radio. You can run but you can't hide forever.
IDF arrests most-wanted Hamas bomb mastermind in West Bank - Haaretz - Israel News

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"E" Stops on the SURC

"SURCs are the fastest thing I've ever been on off the freeway.The thing moves like a jet ski, turns on a dime and still keeps it's speed. The turns are violent. You have to be ready all the time- its a work out just to hold on. The first"J" turn we did felt like surviving a car crash without hitting anything. Everybody was laughing their asses off afterward. I was too busy spitting all the sea water out of my mouth to join them. I was dreading the "E" stop. ("E" for Emergency) It's like the whole world zooms in-- stops and all around you is this big crash of water. Its friggen incredible."

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ask Lance Cpl. Robert F. Dean, D Co. 3rd LAR about Extra Armor

You know, no body gets religion like a man who has cheated death out of a bite of his tuckas. From this side of the pond all the BS about the extra armor, the extra weight, the extra effort to move all become "KaKademic" when you have been in the cross hairs of a sureshot thug sniper for that brief instant when time and motion coincide and then you're are thinking to yourself:
“I thought someone had thrown a rock at me,” but it wasn't a rock. It was a lead slug fired from somewhere 500 meters away. "Some things are in our control and others not." Epictetus wrote that back in 135 BC about Marines. What is in your control is wearing your "extra" armor.

"Lance Cpl. Robert F. Dean, a light armored vehicle crewman with D Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, owes his life to the small arms protective insert he had strapped to the side of his body armor when he was shot by an insurgent sniper May 14 near the city of Gharmah.

“I thought someone had thrown a rock at me,” said Dean, from Spring, Texas.

Dean soon realized it was not a rock, but a bullet fired by an insurgent from roughly 500 meters away.

“We had an area cordoned off and the scouts were out searching the area,” recalled Cpl. Dustin R. Nelson, Dean’s vehicle commander. “I reached down to give him some water. As he popped out of his hatch to take it from me, I heard a crack.”

The Marines immediately responded to the insurgent attack. “The bullet would have hit his femoral bone, and possibly gone through and hit his femoral artery,” said HN Chad T. Kenyon, 20, the corpsmen who treated Dean after the incident. “If that happened, he could have bled to death within a few minutes. It would have been a sticky situation, but the plates did their job and stopped the bullet.” “The round hit the very bottom of the plate, shattering some of the ceramic, but the fiber paper [backing the plate] caught the round like a baseball mitt,” added Nelson, from Grand Junction, Colo.
Story/Photo by: Cpl. Graham Paulsgrove

Marine Corps News -> Side SAPI plate saves life

Bostick Funeral Home:"Unprofessional, shoddy, a disgrace, blatant disregard for dignity, no respect or concern"... for the dead or living .......

Bostick Funeral Homes has come under more severe criticism for their less than professional services on the body of John Wesley Bohm, whose horrific death-care treatment was witnessed by members of the family. “Thank God his mom and wife were not there to see that,” said Tom Johnes, Bohm’s stepfather. Jim Bostick, owner/operator of two Bostick Funeral Homes and Mayor of Lupton, Colorado, is the same Bostick who earned national ire for stealing $7500.00 from savings account of deceased Marine Jason Sepulveda.
“It was unprofessional and shoddy. It was a disgrace,” said Tom Johnes, Bohm’s stepfather. “It was blatant disregard for (John’s) dignity. There was no respect or concern shown for John or us.” “He showed up by himself wearing a T-shirt and jeans with no sheets to cover the body,” Tom said of the man, estimated to be in his early 20s, sent by Bostick to retrieve the body. Tom said the employee said Bostick couldn’t be there because of a family emergency.

Bohm was a big man before going into the hospital, about 6 feet, 230 pounds. The fluids that were pumped into him at the hospital in attempts to save his life added another 30 pounds to his frame. Tom said Bostick’s employee needed help to move the body onto the gurney, which was smaller and less sturdy than those found in an ambulance. Nurses and family members helped Bostick’s employee with the task.

The employee then wheeled the body from intensive care unit through the front lobby and out the front doors of the hospital to a Suburban parked at the main entrance. When Tom realized Bostick’s employee was going to take the body through the front lobby, he rushed to get his wife, Barbara, and John’s wife, Sonja, down a hall so they wouldn’t have to see the body removal process.

Tom said the employee again needed help from a nurse to lift the gurney into the back of the vehicle. In the process, Tom said the portion of the gurney that was supposed to be inside the vehicle slipped out, causing the gurney to tip, almost spilling Bohm’s body onto the pavement.

“If we had not been standing there, he (John) would have hit the ground,” Tom said.

Tom was able to grab the end of the gurney, while his nephew and John’s brother were able to grab the sides. “Thank God his mom and wife were not there to see that,” he added.

Bohm’s mother said the family should have trusted their instincts that all was not right with way Bostick was handling the arrangements. First was the fact that one employee showed up to retrieve the body and didn’t think to call for help when realizing the size of the man was a big concern. The fact that he showed up in blue jeans and a T-shirt was another concern, she said.

“People don’t go through this every day,” Tom said. “What do you say? Your mind goes blank. You have to trust that people in that (funeral home) business know what they are doing.”

Daryl Meyers, spokesman for Platte Valley Medical Center, said Bostick’s employee was doing as directed by hospital staff. Although most funeral home employees enter and exit through the emergency room, the goal is to find the least visible path, Meyers said. In the Bohm case, Meyers said it was around 8:30 p.m., after visiting hours. The main entrance was closed. Most nights, that means the lobby is dark and unoccupied. But Bohm’s family said it wasn’t dark or empty. It was well lit and busy with people from the maternity ward.

“People don’t just stop having babies because visiting hours are over,” Tom said.

Meyers agreed with the family that Bostick’s employee was not dressed appropriately for the occasion and he should have called Bostick for help rather than relying on the nursing staff and family members.

“We have worked with Mr. Bostick and others, and this is the exception. It is not the rule,” Meyers said, explaining that Bostick’s professionalism and concern for families has not been challenged at the hospital before.

Because of Bohm’s family’s experience, though, Meyers said the hospital is reviewing its policies for body removal.

Tom and Barbara said they do not put the blame on the hospital, though. They praise the hospital and staff for the care and compassion shown during Bohm’s hospitalization.

But the next day, the family was in for an even greater shock when they tried to meet with Bostick to make the funeral arrangements. Tom said he and Bostick agreed the day Bohm died to meet at noon the following day at Bostick’s Fort Lupton office. Tom said when he called to get directions at 11 a.m. April 14, Bostick said he couldn’t meet at noon because he had a funeral. When Tom suggested a time later that day, Bostick claimed he had another funeral. Tom said he didn’t believe him.

“If he had two funerals, that’s not the type of thing you forget and make other arrangements,” Tom said of Bostick.

Bostick said he did have funerals that day.

Further, Tom said Bostick informed the family that the Easter weekend meant the body could not be cremated until five days later, the Tuesday after Easter Sunday, and the death certificate could take a week to get back.

Frustrated, Bohm’s family called the second funeral home on the list provided by the hospital, Tabor-Rice Funeral Home in Brighton. Tom and Barbara met with Pat Tabor shortly after the phone conversation with Bostick. Within a half hour of the family signing the papers requesting the transfer of Bohm’s body from Bostick to Tabor, Tabor’s employees had the body and were on their way back to Brighton.

Tom said he was told Tabor’s employees didn’t see Bostick or anyone in the Bostick Funeral Home. He said they found the body in an unrefrigerated room. Because the body was unrefrigerated and not on ice, the decomposition process had begun. The body, which was to be cremated, was no longer viewable. Concerned by what he called the mishandling of Bohm’s body to that point, Tom and Bohm’s father, Richard Bohm of Wheatland, Wyo., asked to see the body to make sure they had the right one.

From that point on, with Tabor’s employees handling the arrangements, the family felt comfortable that Bohm was in good hands and would receive the dignity and respect he deserved. He was cremated and the death certificate was given to the family the day Tabor retrieved the body from Bostick.

Bostick said he did not mishandle the arrangements as the family claimed. He said that, at the hospital, the gurney did not tip and the body was never in jeopardy of falling to the ground. Bostick said family members actually got in the way of removing the body and having it safely loaded for transport. The gurney had handles under it to raise and lower the body, and Bostick said the family was asked not to touch the gurney to avoid tripping those handles.

“The family stepped in and did the wrong thing,” Bostick said.

Tom, a retired firefighter with 22 years in the military working with the air ambulance unit at Buckley Air National Guard, said he knows how gurneys work and is incensed that Bostick is claiming the body didn’t almost fall to the ground, because he it did.

Bostick said when he talked to the family by phone prior to Bohm’s death, he was not informed of Bohm’s size. Had he known, he said he would have made sure there was adequate staff to move the body. Normally, the hospital informs him when a second person is needed for pick up, and Bostick said that didn’t happen. Meyers confirmed the hospital did not inform Bostick of Bohm’s size.

Bostick said the hour at which the body was picked up and the fact that it was to be cremated played a role in how it was stored at his facility. He said it was kept in what he calls the cold room used for embalming procedures. That room, he said, is air conditioned and suitable for storage and embalming. Bostick does not have refrigeration capabilities on his property.

State law requires that a body be refrigerated or put on ice within 24 hours of death. Bostick said that 24-hour window hadn’t passed when Tabor’s employees picked up Bohm’s body April 14.

Bohm’s mother said if Bostick didn’t consider her son’s dignity, then he should have considered his own and his employee’s health.

“My son died of blood poisoning. That’s bacteria. That’s a potential health hazard for anyone who comes in contact with it,” Barbara said.

This isn’t the first time Bostick’s treatment of a family has come under fire. Marine Lance Cpl. Jason Sepulveda, 22, of Fort Lupton was killed June 30, 2002, in North Carolina. His parents, Robert and Elis Sepulveda, gave Bostick the $980.49 that came from the Marine’s savings account when it closed. Bostick then billed the U.S. Marine Corp $4,880 for funeral expenses, and he was paid. When Elis Sepulveda asked for the $980.49 back, Bostick refused, saying the Marine Corp payment didn’t cover all the expenses. The family took Bostick to small-claims court and won a $7,500 judgment in June 2004, which included pain and suffering. Bostick, the mayor of Fort Lupton, has yet to pay it.

Intense media scrutiny over the Sepulveda case led to an angry outcry across the country. Bostick said he has received death threats this month because of that anger. People also have questioned his ability to serve as mayor considering his business practices, which include other long-term, unpaid debts and court judgments.

“It really is not related to me being mayor,” Bostick said. “I get sent a lot of people who come to me with nothing, and I still perform the services for nothing. That’s what’s kicking my butt financially. I take care of everyone.”

Barbara said she wants others to know the pain her family endured so others don’t have to suffer the same thing.

“It was bad enough that John got so sick so suddenly. It was a huge shock to us,” Barbara said. “Then to have to handle this thing with Bostick, it’s just horrible.

“There is nothing worse than losing your child,” Barbara said. “It doesn’t matter how old you are or how old your child is. It still hurts.”
Metrowest Newspapers, Inc.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Don't look to Congressman Murtha to Watch Your Back w/the Presumption of Innocent Until Proven Guilty

The lack of an official report did not stop Murtha, now congressman and former Marine officer, from running his mouth to reporters about a Haditha roadside IED ambush Nov.19.

“It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill.

“There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported.

No official investigation report has been released by the Pentagon and a spokesman for Murtha was unable to add to the congressman’s remarks.

“I do not know where Rep. Murtha is obtaining is information,” said Lt. Col. Sean Gibson, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Central Command in Tampa, Fla. “Thoroughness will drive the investigation.”

The congressman has been reading the FYI files that are supposed to be kept under wraps after all there are men still under investigation any undue publicity could prejudice the investigation.

Army Times - Murtha: Marines may have killed Haditha civilians in cold blood

Sunday, May 14, 2006

On Guard at the Haditha Dam--Bravo Co DSU

photo by Cpl. Justin L. Schaeffer

Noam Chomsky: In praise of Hezbollah

Thank you, my foolish friends in the West - Sunday Times - Times Online: "The left has a proud tradition of defending political freedoms, at home and abroad. But this tradition is in danger of being lost when western intellectuals indulge in power worship. Applause for autocrats undermines the morale of people who insist on fighting for their freedoms Leftists were largely sympathetic, and rightly so, to critics of Berlusconi and Thaksin, even though neither was a dictator. Both did, of course, support American foreign policy. But when democracy is endangered, the left should be equally hard on rulers who oppose the US. Failure to do so encourages authoritarianism everywhere, including in the West itself, where the frivolous behaviour of a dogmatic left has already allowed neoconservatives to steal all the best lines.

The D.C. Frost Call "Turn and Burn" Snuffies USMC Combat Correspondents Reunion: Why wasn't Jack Burton Invited?

Earl "KrazyEarl" Gerheim issued a frost call reunion in Washington DC w/less than ten days notice to inspect the turn and burn capabilities of the formerly "armed and dangerous" Snuffies of Hooch 13 now in their sixty something. To everyone's amazement, several members actually managed to slide grand kids off their laps and drag their retired butts over the perimeter wire to answer the roll at Luigino's: Joe Jeradi, Tom Donlon, Mike Barnes, Tom Tamovich and Gerheim. How crazy is that...?

Viet Nam photos: Snuffies

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Moving to Fort Lupton? What you need to know...Mayor is Jim Bostick also the Funeral Director who buried MarineJason Sepulveda


Start water and sewer service? Pay my water bill?

The City of Fort Lupton provides water and sewer service. If you have purchased a home, documents at closing will transfer your water and sewer service to your name, as the water stays with the property. The owner of a rental property must go to City Hall and tell them to whom the water and sewer should be billed; the property owner or the renter.

Your meter will be read and billed once a month. You may pay your bill by mail, by credit card over the phone at 303-857-6694 (ask for Donna), or in person at the Finance Department at City Hall, 130 South McKinley Avenue. Their hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m."

......Still waiting for word that Mayor Bostick has returned the $7500.00 he took from the savings account of Marine Jason Sepulveda who died in a stateside accident without a will.

City of Fort Lupton OFFICIAL SITE

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s letter to President Bush: It's a come to Islam "Invitation" or Your Tuckas is Grass and the Lawn Mower Cometh

Iran Declares War On U.S. So much for teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony. Oh, wait, this letter is an "invitation to Islam". But of course! Love and Kisses from the man who says he wants to bulldoze Isreal into the sea.
“Vasalam Ala Man Ataba’al hoda.” What this means is “Peace only unto those who follow the true path.”

"It is a phrase with historical significance in Islam, for, according to Islamic tradition, in year six of the Hejira - the late 620s - the prophet Mohammad sent letters to the Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor telling them to convert to the true faith of Islam or be conquered. The letters included the same phrase that President Ahmadinejad used to conclude his letter to Mr. Bush. For Mohammad, the letters were a prelude to a Muslim offensive, a war launched for the purpose of imposing Islamic rule over infidels."Iran Declares War - May 11, 2006 - The New York Sun - NY News

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Thursday that his letter to President George W. Bush did not concern the nuclear dossier, but rather was an invitation to Islam and the prophets culture."The letter was an invitation to monotheism and justice, which are common to all divine prophets. If the call is responded positively, there will be no more problems to be solved," added the president. The president said that the letter actually contained a clear message of invitation to human beliefs, adding that its response will determine the future. Islamic Republic News Agency

Monday, May 08, 2006

Special Missions Training Center Small Unit Riverine Craft Tactical Coxswain

Special Missions Training Center: "USMC Small Unit Riverine Craft Tactical Coxswain

To train Marines assigned to units operating the Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC) as tactical coxswains.
The course emphasizes small boat safety, handling, operation, navigation, communications, maintenance, employment and other individual and collective skills unique to the SURC.
The curriculum includes instruction in operating and maintaining the SURC, manning the various stations, and employment of the SURC in a Riverine environment. Twenty Five (25) Training Days.

Students must be assigned or pending orders to a unit operating the Small Unit Riverine Craft. Students must have 12 months remaining on their current enlistment after completion of the course, second class swim qualification, normal color vision (correctable to 20/20) and depth perception and be medically qualified to participate in rigorous training. Students should be free from cold, upper respiratory, ear, nose or skin disorders which might preclude participation in prolonged waterborne training.

Dubya Visits Marine Barracks

George W. Bush, president of the United States, attended a Friday Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., May 5. The president enjoyed the ceremony alongside Gen. Michael W. Hagee, commandant of the Marine Corps and Col. Terry M. Lockard, commanding officer of Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. Bush last visited the “Oldest Post of the Marine Corps” May 18, 2001. Next, Dubya should visit Bravo 4th LAR before the men leave town for the Dam in the desert. Marine Corps News> President visits Marines at "Oldest Post"

Saddle Up the War Blogs the Sand Monkey Calls for Help

"Alaa, blogger, co-founder of the egyptian blog aggregator Manalaa and democracy activist, got arrested today during a protest to support the Judiciary's branch fight for independence. He, and about 10 others, were rounded up in the street, beaten up and thrown in a police car. Amongst those who got arrested were at least 3 girls, and the police beat up at least another 2 girls as well.

Alaa and those arrested with him are now arrested for 15 days "pending investigation", which could be renewed indefinitely if the state so wishes. Him and the men were sent to the infamous Torah Prison and the girls to the Qanatir prison for the duration. This makes them hardly safe, because stuff that goes on in egyptian prisons on the hands of the jailors: beatings, sexual assaults, torture of all kinds. This is why we aim to get them out of there as soon as possible, so that even if they do end up serving the entire 15 days- which they won't have to if the government gets pressured- they ndon;t end up serving an extra day after that. No one deserves this happening to them, especially for exercising their right to free speech." contact the state department as well as the egyptian embassies. We have informed the US state department people of what's going on, and as the media blitz that we have planned takes place, they will have something to back up their demands on the egyptian government. But some public outrage (or encouragment if you will) from you guys should push them to act faster. Here is their contact information:

State Department contact information:

US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000

URL to send email:

Site with information on contacting your congressional representatives (in
the US):

As for the Egyptian embassy in DC, the information is right here:

The contact information for the Egyptian embassy is below:
The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Ct. NW
Washington DC 20008
Phone (202) 895 5400
Fax (202) 244 5131
(202) 244 4319

Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Waiting for Bostick pay up: Greeley Tribune - News

Funeral costs battle

Roxye Arellano, (Bio)
May 5, 2006

Elis Sepulveda of Fort Lupton said the Fort Lupton mayor, who is also a funeral home director, has refused to pay her money awarded by a small-claims court for her son's funeral costs.

Mayor Jim Bostick, who failed to appear in court because he was in court-ordered alcohol rehabilitation, said it's all a misunderstanding.

The costs in questions arose from the funeral of Jason Sepulveda, 22, a Marine training at Camp Lejune, N.C. He died June 30, 2002, when the truck he was riding in as a civilian crashed into a tree. Bostick handled the funeral arrangements.

Jason's mother, Elis Sepulveda, said the Marines paid Bostick in full for the balance of her son's services, but he also took $980.49 of her son's savings and failed to return the money to her.

"My son always believed in what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong," said Sepulveda, 45, sitting at the kitchen table in her sister's home. "My son would be furious this is going on."

The military told Sepulveda they had to send her son's money to Bos-tick because his services had not been paid in full. But several days later, Bostick submitted a bill of $4,880 for funeral services. And records show the Marine Corps paid for services in full.

Sepulveda said that, because all costs for services were paid, she should have received her son's savings back.

"Every time I have to go through all of these papers, it's just a nightmare," said Sepulveda, looking at the documents provided by the Marines and spread out on the table.

After many failed attempts to collect the $980.49 from Bostick, she decided to sue him in small-claims court. Sepulveda and her husband, Robert, sought $7,500, the maximum amount in small claims. The claim included the savings amount of $980.49 and 10 percent interest multiplied by 24 months. They also asked for pain and suffering in the amount of $4,148.30, court costs and filing fees.

After Bostick failed to appear at a continuation hearing, the Sepulvedas won the maximum amount, $7,500.

"The media makes it look as if I stole $7,500, which is not true," Bostick said in a released statement. "People think I went into his bank account and took his money. That is not true."

Bostick claims a check for $900 was sent to him from a bank. At that time, he assumed it was to be used to pay for the rental fees for the use of the Fort Lupton Recreation Center, where the funeral was to be held. City records show Bostick was later refunded $200 for a damage deposit for use of the center.

But other itemized claims on Bostick's statement of funeral goods and services submitted to the Marine Corps has stumped the Sepulveda family.

On the invoice, Bostick charged the Marines $200 for clergy services. Sepulveda said the service was provided free by a family friend. On the same statement, he charged $20 for acknowledgment cards and $120 for memory cards. But Sepulveda's family members made the cards, and they have no idea why he would charge for them.

"My family did everything they could to help us out," Sepulveda said. "That's the way we are. They served the food, cleaned the kitchen and the hall. There was no extra charges to be added. If there was, he should have billed it to the Marines."

Bostick said things are getting difficult for him since the community found out.

"I'm not going to lie to you," said, crying. "I was in rehabilitation at the time of the continued hearing. The sad part is, the judge that heard the case is the one that sentenced me to rehab for 45 days. I'm not a bad person, but in this business, I bury babies and kids every day. Stuff piles up inside. I give free funerals all the time. Other funeral homes tell them to go to Jim. He'll care."

Bostick said he thought he submitted another bill to the Marine Corps and, when the $900 arrived, it was for extra expenses. But according to Marines records, there wasn't another bill submitted by Bostick.

"This is a misunderstanding," he said. "I will go back and re-submit a bill to the Marines. I will pay the Sepulvedas money owed to them. I've got to."

Bostick said things have gotten to the point that he and his family are receiving death threats.

"I plan on paying them the money but I'm not doing this to admit guilt," he said. "It's to stop the threats to me and my family. I have to stop it. ... If I had $7,500, I'd give it to her. It needs to end. Whatever I need to do, I'll do it."

Sepulveda said she hopes the community can understand she wasn't out to destroy him.

"I wasn't out to ruin him. He had every opportunity to take care of this," she said with tears. "It's an unsolved task as a mother. No mother would not fight. I'll fight with every last breath I take. I will stand. I will fight for my son."

Greeley Tribune - News

Saturday, May 06, 2006

"It's my fault ... I will try to do whatever I can with Mrs. Sepulveda to get this issue put to bed," Bostick said. "As soon as I get the money, it's

The mayor of Fort Lupton, who operates two funeral homes, has been afforded police protection after receiving death threats following a 7NEWS investigation that revealed he has refused to repay money illegally kept from the family of a U.S. Marine who died."I've been getting a lot of phone calls from a lot of different people, a lot of threats," said Jim Bostick, the mayor of Fort Lupton.Bostick is worried about his personal safety and that of his business and he now admits he made a big mistake."It's my fault ... I will try to do whatever I can with Mrs. Sepulveda to get this issue put to bed," Bostick said. "As soon as I get the money, it's hers. I mean, fast. Because, you know, I can't keep putting up with the threats against myself and my family."
While he may be sincere this time, Bostick claims he doesn't have the $7,500 a Weld County court said he owes Elis Sepulveda.Sepulveda is the mother of a U.S. Marine who was killed in a car accident and brought back to Fort Lupton for burial. Jason Sepuldeva's savings were sent to Bostick's funeral home. It was money Bostick had no right to but he refused to return it."He was the person who received the money," said Magistrate Rebecca Koppes Conway. Conway assessed the judgment against Bostick in small claims court but can't force him to pay."This is not a criminal matter. The only time that people get arrested for not paying their bills is if there is an order of the court to pay and there is a contempt citation and then there's a finding after that the person is in contempt," said Conway.Bostick has many outstanding debts, including more than $11,000 he owes in child support. 7NEWS has learned his mayoral paycheck is garnished monthly.But he said he hasn't decided yet if he is going to resign as mayor."My personal financial issues have nothing to do with my job as mayor," Bostick said. "My intentions were not to screw over a Marine veteran. You know, I'm a veteran myself. I take care of veterans every day.""So why didn't you just pay it?" 7NEWS Investigator John Ferrugia asked.After a long pause, Bostick said, "I should have."Several city officials are urging the Fort Lupton mayor to pay the Sepulvedas as soon as possible, hoping that the firestorm, which has nothing to do with city business, will subside.As one official put it, "This has nothing to do with the Marines vs. Fort Lupton. This is about how Jim Bostick is doing his private business." - News - Mayor In Marine's Money Case Says He's Getting Death Threats

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Some minor very minor, really, really minor Swedish Muslim Demands

Ok, Swedish dudes running for office, this year, in exchange for our votes and support, we have a few changes for OUR society that we, Swedish Muslims, want implemented as part of quid pro quo agreement otherwise, baby, we stay home and keep our couch company. And dude, forget the chicken in every basket crap. Ok. Start w/a mosque in every town. You want to talk turkey, make medicene read this:

An open letter to all Swedish political parties that are participating in this years election.


If we are to succeed in engaging Swedish muslims so that they will participate in the election in September 2006, we should take note of the following demands and wishes from the Muslim minority in Sweden.

I have not seen clear signals from all parties as to whether they'll accept such wishes. We want to see the most important demands as a part of the political programs. Otherwise there is the risk that the majority of the muslims will remain on their couches on election day.

Muslims are fed up with broken election promises, and therefore they wish concrete suggestions to show that we care. It won't hurt if our elected representatives or new candidates would set aside an hour to read our open letter that is sent to all established parties.

Kind regards

Mahmoud Aldebe

The Forgotten Minority

Islam in Sweden, a short history.

Sweden didn't really get its first contact with Muslims before immigration began during the 1940s, when the first Muslims came from the east, that is from Finland and Estonia, they were Tatars and it was they who established the first house prayer assembly in Stockholm 60 years ago. The Muslims who immigrated during in the 1960-1970 period was part of the big labour immigration. Between 1970 and 1990 the immigration changed character, a flood of refugees began to make up a much larger share of the number of Muslims in Sweden. The Islamic community calculates the number of Muslims in Sweden to be roughly 470 000 people. Everyone that through birth belongs within a tradition [culture] traditionally dominated by Islam, who accepts the Islamic declaration of faith, belongs to a Muslim people, is descendant of Muslims, have a first name that belongs in an Islamic tradition, and who themselves identifies with or considers themselves part of this religion or tradition are Muslims. There are some immigrant Muslims that don't want contact with the Islamic community and that considers themselves secularized, and on occasion we have heard that they are objecting to being considered Muslims. It is hard to calculate the exact numbers but from our analysis and mapping, we can assume that there are approximately 15% of the Swedish Muslims that want nothing to do with Islam and that want to be considered as Swedes with an ethnic background.

Swedish Muslim rights and duties, special laws for religious freedom.

Regarding the problems that concern the legal status of Muslims - concerning everything from laws regarding residency- and work-permits, denominational issues and the legal status of their religious functions to possibilities to, with the support of religious freedom, to practise and live according to the message of Islam - the situation various enormously.

We have struggled, often with little progress, to make Islam accept on the same terms, and with the same (legal) rights, as any other religion in the country. Despite that you talk about the same general rights for all religions, there are still in practise big differences between the ability of different religions to work in the community.

We require special laws protecting religious freedom since all the conventions regarding human rights that Sweden have committed itself to, we are thinking especially of the UNs declaration of human rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (ECPHR) all imply the right to create special laws protecting religious freedom. Creating such specific laws is really about religious freedom since here in Sweden there has been full religious freedom since 1951.

Swedish Muslims have become more and more politically aware of their rights in the community and now they wish for these rights to be respected. To be able to affect Swedish politics and to maintain an effective dialogue and conversation between Swedish Muslims and the different organs of the community [state in this context] we present these practical and necessary solutions that must be carried out if you wish a successful integration policy and a diversified Sweden.

Svenska muslimer är en svensk minoritet

Religious freedom should apply to everyone, and the UNs different declarations in this regard are applicable even in Sweden. So in reality all laws should be altered or adjusted after the needs of all minority groups in Sweden. We Muslims are a large minority group in Sweden, but lack status and the laws created to protect religious freedom must be applied in their widest meaning so that they don't just apply to certain minorities and the majority, but rather they should applied even to the Muslim minority in the country. The problems that exist in regards to the Swedish religious freedom is that it is a Pietistic coloured understanding of individualised religion, that lie behind the Swedish laws regarding religious freedom, whereas for the Muslim minority it is the collective expressions of the religion that are central. One considers the religion more like a way of life than a belief system. It is also a part of ordinary life, with its social rules and judgements, through which religious allegiance is displayed, and the religion practised, not primarily through prayer and sermons and the common religious language that is Arabic. This is why certain Islamic religious practises come outside what is covered by religious freedom.

The Muslim minority criticises this narrow definition of religion that is the basis of the Swedish laws regarding religious freedom. Specific laws are required when it comes to the legal protection of the Muslim minority. With such protection we can request corrections of the Swedish family law to adapt it to Islam. It is this law that is the most important to Swedish Muslims: marriage, divorce, child protection, and raising underage children.

It is also a matter of having the right to take a vacation on some of the two major religious holidays, and to be allowed a few hours time off in the middle of the day on Friday to participate in the Friday prayers. In such matters we special legislation is seen as essential to protect the Muslim identity of the Swedish Muslims. The ability to live entirely according to Islamic family law if you wish to do so is very limited in Sweden [it is very difficult to do so], unless we get status as a separate minority.

Islamic religious community in Sweden

In Sweden there are more than 185 local Islamic assemblies, but only a very few mosques. Several mosque projects are underway. The community views this as a threat and many individuals and groups are loudly protesting. Counties and provinces ought to elevate all the so called basement- and apartment mosques around the country to equal status with Churches, if the local politicians want to bring about a practical integration in the country. The resistance to mosque building comes from certain persons and from organised groups. The arguments that are most often used against mosque building are those linked to the environment [surroundings] in that a mosque would lead to increase traffic, and among other things increased air pollution, and noise. The mosque has been seen as an encroachment on parkland. The negative views on mosque building also contains comments and questions about Islam and Muslims. People talk about the immigration numbers and if they'll increase, about friction between Swedes and Muslims as well as internally between Muslim groups that frequent the area. Many people are openly saying that the limit has been reached, and that the Muslims should accept the customs of the place they've come to. The threat [damage] to Swedish values and culture is often held up as an argument. That one thinks ill of or is afraid of Islam as a religion or movement is also often given as a reason among those that argue against mosque building. This strong ill will can hardly be changed by counter argument and is nourished by ignorance or mythology [bigotry, fantasy] about what it [Islam] stands for. Construction of mosques and financing this construction is a big problem for Muslims in Sweden, the basement facilities that exist are no longer sufficient as they are getting much too cramped.

Basement People

Muslims are called the basement people by young Muslims that are loathe to participate in activities in such underground facilities, often hinting at the problems caused by the local environment such as poor air quality in basements that often lack proper ventilation. Many get sick from underground facilities or bicycle sheds.

Swedish Muslims wishes and hopes.

A mosque in every city or county would have significant value to the Muslims of the country. It would be seen as a recognition of the existence of Muslims and Islams right to exist in Sweden. The right to be a Muslim in Sweden is strengthened if there is legislated religious freedom that gives Muslim groups the right to build their own mosques without any obstacles and it would be a sign from the Swedish majority community that religious freedom can work in practise as well. A mosque has several roles other than simply being a place of worship. The mosque is the house of a great people that functions as a social and cultural institution, a place to meet, where the contact with the Swedish community and its fellow citizens happens daily. The demand to be allowed to build Mosques is a step in a process of Muslim integration that is occurring in Sweden. It is a matter of fundamental needs to keep and practise your religion, but also to be able to improve the status of Muslims and gain respect and understanding. In such a situation it would greatly increase the sense of loyalty towards Sweden as your new homeland, despite being a Muslim.

The creation of interest free loans.

The construction of mosques ought to be financed by interest free loans as an alternative to voluntary contributions from abroad. The counties should take the responsibility to either provide security for these interest free loans or to lend money without interest for the construction of mosques for its Muslim inhabitants. The Swedish state should introduce the term interest free loans and borrowers should have the right to deduct payments on interest free loans from the tax returns on the same grounds as loan interest.

Islam and the school

To integrate Islam into Swedish schools reduces the demand for separate private Islamic schools.

This includes elevating native language and religion [Islam] to the level of normal subject in the curriculum, where Muslim children have the possibility of being educated in homogenous groups using their own native language and their own religion in the County schools. Imams and native language teachers should have status as ordinary teachers in Second Native Language and religion. In this way the demand for separate private schools would lessen and many of the problems Muslim students meet daily in school would easily be eliminated.

Education in school would not be held in a different language from the Swedish, aside from the traditional Native Language education and the increase religious education in their own religion.

Islamic schools

To support the establishment of Islamic elementary schools in densely populated areas with many Muslims where Muslim students would have the opportunity to study in homogeonous groups could reinforce the students cultural and religious identity and this way many of the problems that Muslim students meet every day would very simply be eliminated, among other things Native Language, religious education, the issue of Muslim food, the gymnastics [physical education] question, and there could be a concrete way of helping girls and boys from Muslim countries to participate in segregated swimming classes and thereby graduate with a school diploma.
Many Muslim students finish their High School education without being able to swim at all.

[size=5]Health and Physical Education[/size=5]

Every county ought to have one night a week that should be a womans evening, and respectively a mans evening, in the gym and the swimming hall. The entire hall [facility] should be open only for women women or men, whereas other evenings would be for both genders. This is among other things about giving young girls from Muslim countries the opportunity to participate in swimming education and thereby getting a passing grade [equiv to anything above an F] in gymnastics [physical education]. The prerequisite for this is that there are no young boys or adults in the swimming hall. The very presence of the opposite sex prevents certain girls with an immigrant background from taking advantage of the swimming education. Among other things ethnic and religious causes means that Muslim girls may not bathe together with young boys and men.

It is both dangerous and injust to that the girls are often not able to swim at all. Thousands of immigrant women can never use the swimming hall and training facilities. This is a pity. Exercise and activity is required by all and the problem with swimming education and training in the official locales is very great for immigrants men and women.


We demand that county politicions should deliberate this matter immediately. The counties are responsible to make sure that school children get their degrees. All youth regardless of background shall have the opportunity to get a passing grade in gymnastics [physical education]. With good will this could easily be done.

Muslim holidays

That the riksdag [Parliament] create a law that gives Swedish Muslims the right to take vacation time during the Islamic holidays of Eid al fitr and Eid al Adha is a demand from all Muslims. Currently it is impossible to take time off to celebrate the vacation along with your family.


We demand special legislation in this matter that is the right to two days paid vacation in connection to the celebration of these holidays and that these two days cover the need to celebrate the holidays for Sunni and Shia muslims and it proves that our religion and culture are accepted by the community.

Wishes and hopes

To solve the integration problem requires a true adjustment of legislation to accommodate the Muslim demand for vacation during the celebration of their holidays. To be able to keep your religious way of life at the same time as the Muslims are integrated into the Swedish community, creates a real diversity in the community. Muslims demand that the government shall investigate the possibility of whether a special law is possible and how in this case it shall be motivated given existing legislation in the religious freedom law [Ed note: Just as incomprehensible in the original.] Muslims are in other words demand special treatment in terms of legislation as they are a minority and this would increase their status and protect them from the majority community.

UN and EU conventions

In Sweden one is often pointed to the constitutionally protected freedom of religion and, since January 1995, the equally constitutionally protected European convention about human rights and the fundamental liberties. The support for special legislation can be found even there, but Sweden today chooses to interpret the laws and conventions in such a narrow way that religious freedom is in practise reduced to a level that is unacceptable.

Muslims as a religious minority has, like any other religious minority, according to, among other things, the UNs international convention on civic and political rights, the right to have their own culture, the right to profess and practise their own religion or use their own language.

Friday prayer and time off

Two hours of time off for Friday prayer, between 12-14 o clock winter time, and between 13-15 o clock summer time. The Friday prayer is an obligatory prayer that must be conducted collectively in the mosque. Employers are loathe to even talk about the matter with their Muslim employees. The state, as the biggest employer, ought to be an example for other employers in the private sector. A religious minorities interests and struggle to preserve their identity coincides with both the legislation regarding religious freedom and the established legal minority rights. It would be good to investigate if there is support for special legislation in the relevant parts of the declarations, conventions, and legislation for our just demands.

Halal butchery (permitted foods for Muslims)

To contribute to giving the Muslims and Jews dispensation or special legislation to perform the Islamic and Jewish butchery. In a series of international speeches and conventions it is established that religious freedom is a human right. That certain food items are prohibited to Muslims, especially any products of pigs, are now commonly accepted in the Swedish communities. Institutional food halls are therefore been adapted to providing special food for Muslims and Jews. Since pig products are often used in food items and other every day objects it has become more difficult for Muslims to determine what can be considered permissible foods. The Department of Food Items has therefore created a listing of any food items that contain pig products as a guide to Swedens muslims and Jews, but access to permitted Swedish meet (halal) can still be a problem. In Sweden animals may not be ritually slaughtered before anaesthesia, but you are permitted to import food to be used for our permitted meals.

It is imported meet that is used in the institutional dining halls in, among other places, all schools. Halal butchery has become a special problem for Muslims. This is especially true in connection to the sacrifical feast (Kurban or Eid al Adha) where Muslim families slaughter a lamb due to religious traditions. Since 1937 it has been prohibited in Sweden to ritually slaughter large animals without preceeding anaesthesia. The demand for anaesthesia was part of a larger reform initiate to protect animals. However the law did not only have animal welfare in mind, an important argument was also a distaste for foreign customs. This prohibition against slaughtering according to Jewish and Muslim traditions remains all the same. It has several times been brought up in the riksdag [Parliament] but the decision makers have been unwilling to change their attitude. As late as in 1992 a study made by the ministry of agriculture determined that ritual slaughter cannot be accepted in Sweden. Now however there is a new study being made by the department of agriculture and we hope that the decision makers will come to a positive conclusion.

Burial Grounds

Despite the fac that Islam has existed for 32 years as an organised religion in Sweden, the construction of burial grounds has been constantly hampered. Other than in the forest church yard in Stockholm there are Muslim burial grounds in 20 something countries, but that is not enough. Today there are Muslims in nearly 100 counties that lack burial grounds. The biggest general problem that Muslims encounter is that their dead are to be buried as quickly as possible, according to Islamic custom, and by a Muslim burial in their home county.

Muslims demand that the Union of Congregations [head organ] in the Swedish Church co-operates with the countries counties to reserve burial plots in all counties that have Muslim inhabitants.

Muslims also demand that the ombudsman in each province will, in matters of funerals, take full responsibility to accommodate the Muslim demands for burial grounds.

Imam education in Sweden

Starting Imam education in Swedish universities and colleges is a demand from the nations Muslims and from Swedish authorities. The education can be created as part theology education, part Native Language (Arabian) education. Students can get permission to function as language and theology [religion] teachers. This education can create a natural integration of Islam in Swedish schools, and reduce the demand for private schools.

Opinion making

That the Swedish legal system is democratic and non-discriminating must in practise mean that the system should protect all people and ethnicities in the country, but this isn't always enough as the Muslims see it. People that belong to minority groups can require special rights to be able to exist on an equal footing with the majority. The biggest problem that Muslims face is the opinions of the majority. The community is responsible [or guilty] for trying to assimilate the immigrants of the nation. Both in daily speech and learned discussion the community uses such concepts and expressions in regards to Muslims that are untrue, distorted, and laden with negative undertones. Borders are made between "us" and "them".

As members of the dominant majority culture you're equipped with your own cultures blinkers that gives you great trouble when it comes to seeing the whole picture. The stark one sided focussing on the problems are strengthening the already widespread idea that "the immigrants have forced their way into Sweden and they are a burden on the country's natural resources" and that "they're the only ones that are to blame for the high unemployment and economic crisis not to mention the cause of their own problems." Today you openly speak about the Muslims as if they are not proper, full members of the Swedish community.

The negative image of Muslims are maintained and strengthened by the media and not least by the Swedish educational system. Muslims immediately pick up on the negative connotations [subtext, undertone] that are used to describe their existence. It cannot be denied that this will affect their self-image and the end result is that they are kept outside of the community.

Many Muslims experience discrimination, especially at work or when they are looking for housing. The biggest problem in the integration politics is that second generation children and youths cannot find their place in every day life. This should be seen as an expression of negative Swedish cultural influence that has rubbed off on the youth.

Wishes and Hopes

Swedens Muslims express displeasure towards those local politicians that are not doing anything to increase the struggle against Islamophobia in Sweden.
The Muslims express displeasure towards towards employers, both in the private and the public sectors, since they [the muslims] cannot get work because of their origin, skin colour, foreign name and religion.

Muslims demand that the community should treat them in the same way as you treat native Swedes and the Muslims want to live under the same circumstances as their Swedish neighbours.

Muslims want help to create a creative future on the basis of their cultural background and religious allegiance, if this is done they will feel at home in their new homeland.
If the Security Police will continue to consider Islam a violent religion and Muslims as a security risk, the community will force young religious Muslims to segregate and that is not good either for the community or for the Muslims.

Islamic culture should be a part of the multi-cultural community. It is up to the community as the maintainers of the dominant culture to recognise Muslims as full fellow citizens, and give Muslims the same social, cultural, economic, political, religious, and personal right as the "native Swedes" enjoy themselves.

Mahmoud Aldebe
Sveriges Muslimska Förbund

Divine Salamis BBS :: View topic - The List of Musulman Demands to Swedish Political Parties...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New equipment to beat desert Heat via Stars & Stripes

Stars & Stripes

Marines have been issued desert tan smocks that fit under their body armor and are designed to help keep air circulating under the heavy body armor and gear harnesses they wear. While some Marines swear by them, others say it's just yet another piece of equipment to put on; wearing them is optional.

Sgt. Michael Jones, First LAR, returns from Third Tour

"Sgt. Jan Michael Jones, who was profiled in The Capital in August as he was returning to Iraq, said his experience was "definitely more high-speed" in this last tour.

"From early September until after Christmas, it was non-stop operations; and they were all big," said Sgt. Jones, who served as a scout for special forces on night raids.

"This year we found some pretty good caches of weapons," he said, recalling one find that included rocket-propelled grenades, two machine guns and materials for making improvised explosive devices.

Another cache consisted of "a lot of stuff," including mortar rounds and 155 mm artillery shells.

"Saddam had ammo everywhere - it is not hard to find it out there," Sgt. Jones said.

Sgt. Jones, 21, went on to say he thought the United States should remain in Iraq and rebuild it as a democracy.

Various armed factions are determined to control the country, he said.

"If we were to leave now, the (place) would just destroy itself," he said.

Sgt. Jones is a member of the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif.", Top Stories - Marine 'scout' details his third tour in Iraq

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Second Bronze Star Medal for Capt. Thomas 'Tad' Douglas Force Recon

Capt. Thomas 'Tad' Douglas with his wife, Rina, and daughter, Caroline, after being awarded his second Bronze Star Medal. Douglas helped to establish the Hilla Special Weapons and Tactics team that has earned a reputation as one of Iraq’s premier fighting forces. Douglas was responsible for leading more than 70 unilateral, joint and coalition combat missions against anti-Iraqi forces throughout the northern Babil and southern Baghdad area of operations. Douglas was cited for operating "under direct enemy fire and resolutely and without concern for his own safety directing his forces against the enemy," an effort that resulted in the elimination and/or capture of hundreds of insurgent forces.
USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Jeffrey A. Cosola