Monday, August 31, 2009

Sgt. Antonio Ayala, India 3/11, Shows off the M777A2 155 Howitzer -Fire Base Fiddlers Green

Sgt. Antonio Ayala, India 3/11, explains the capabilities of an M777A2 lightweight 155 mm howitzer to British Brig. Gen. David Hook, Operations Division, at Fire Base Fiddler's Green, Helmand province Aug. 27, 2009.

Global Security:"The M777A2 fires unassisted projectiles to a range of 15 miles and assisted projectiles to 19 miles, but the addition of the digital fire control system enables the weapon to program and fire the improved Excalibur precision-guided munition to ranges in excess of 25 miles with and land within 10 meters of its target.

It is able to fire up to five rounds per minute and is capable of firing high-explosive rounds up to 25 kilometers and place them within three meters of their intended targets.

Weighing in at less than 4,200 kilograms, the revolutionary M77A27 is the world's first artillery weapon to make widespread use of titanium and aluminum alloys, resulting in a howitzer that is half the weight of conventional 155 mm systems.

"The weight reduction improves transportability and mobility without impacting range or accuracy," Shields said.

The lightweight M777A2 can be air lifted into remote high altitude locations inaccessible by ground transportation and is capable of being transported by the Marine Corps' new V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft as well as all medium- and heavy-lift helicopters."


Two Seven Firefight

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Nutshell-Smallest Pub in England

From England's Royal AirForce Mildenhall is a quick work of research by visiting American Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tracy L. DeMarco with photos by Senior Airman Teresa Hawkins. On their travels they managed to discover anotherJack Burton, no relation, running England's smallest pub the Nutshell in Bury St. Edmunds. In this 15-foot wide by seven-foot deep 102 customers set a record for the Nutshell. Still, always good to see a Burton making a living selling Guinness. I prefer drinking it myself.

Thirty-eight Marines/sailors from 3rd Platoon, Company A, Third LAR Bn. home

Thirty-eight Marines and sailors from 3rd Platoon, Company A, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion returned home Aug. 23 after a seven-month Western Pacific deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, aboard the USS Essex, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. Third Platoon , 3rd LAR acted as a light armored support asset for BLT 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

LAV-25 War Pig M-242 Chain Gun Porn

Pizza Time At One Five

One Five Marines put a pizza into an oven constructed by fellow Marines at Patrol Base Jaker, Aug. 25, 2009.  Nothing beats pizza for a bit of a taste from home. No brewski's.  photo Lance Cpl. James Purschwitz

Two LAR Chaplin Navy Lt. Raymond Rivers

Navy Chaplin Lt. Raymond Rivers is on his second tour with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and today is the subject of a WAPO feature story: A Man of the Cloth and Uniform
gallery of Nikki Kahn photos Faith in the Desert with the men of Charlie Company, Two LAR

In July 2008 Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson Regimental Combat Team -wrote about the chaplin and also took the pictures for his story on the widows of Rutbah:

By Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson
Regimental Combat Team -5

RUTBAH, Iraq – A man of faith gave blessings to more than 10 families without fathers recently.

Navy Lt. Raymond Rivers, a chaplain with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, and Marines with Security Platoon, 2nd LAR packed up and delivered food and supplies to widows, July 16.

"I'm very happy with this project and helping the widows of this city," said Rivers, 43, from Anderson, S.C. "It's an outstanding opportunity to help them establish themselves."

During the mission, the Marines loaded a group of Iraqi police trucks with supplies for transportation to the city council building here. Upon arrival at the building, Iraqi policemen and the members of the Security Platoon emptied the supplies for future distribution to more than 10 families that have been raised by widows.

"I would like to say thanks for helping them," said Imam Mahmud Ahmid Modhen, 65, Islam leader of Rutbah. "Family is very important to these women, and it's hard to raise them without a husband."

The event brought hope and happiness to the city council because of the selfless promise and execution by Rivers. It served as another bonding element between the people of Rutbah and coalition forces.

"My logic is to treat people the way you want to be treated," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Greg S. Bennett, 29, religious program specialist, 2nd LAR, from Decatur, Ga. "If I was on the other side of the fence, I would want somebody to help me."

Rivers and the imam met after the event to schedule more operations to benefit the families.

According to Rivers, it has been a breakthrough to combine minds with a region's leader of a different religion

"This has been one of the highlights for me and (Petty Officer 2nd Class) Bennett's time out here," said Rivers. "We want the best for the people and it's great to help them."

On Alert

Bravo One Five Marines alert and ready to return fire somewhere in Helmand Province 8/14.USMC Photo Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg

Friday, August 28, 2009

for your protection.......this site is closed

Bill would give president emergency control of Internet

This site Closed for your own protection

Saudis want Nuke Power Plant

In spite of having having the largest, most humongous, oil reserves on this planet the Saudi Government, our dear friends,  has decided, all the same, the Saudi have to look toward the future and just has to have a NUKE power plant. Got to have it. Gee, you think it has anything, anything at all to do with the SWORD on their flag: translate----------------
"No God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet."
Underneath that religious statement there is the large sword.

It represents the superiority of Islam and its desire to impose it by force on the non-Muslim."

anyone, anyone, anyone.....

Like you Didn't Know--Outrage-- Oh Please

Pentagon Files Prove Pentagon is Profiling Reporters

WASHINGTON — Contrary to the insistence of Pentagon officials this week that they are not rating the work of reporters covering U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes has obtained documents that prove that reporters’ coverage is being graded as “positive,” “neutral” or “negative.”

This week's "
fat in the fire" is the discovery that the Pentagon is using Rendon Reports to rate the work of reporters' coverage. Big Whup. Listen Dudes: grow up. Get Used To It. Your work has always been rated. In one way or another your work has always been rated. Your reputation ALWAYS precedes you. Like you did not know. Has for years and years. Like you did not know. This has been going on since most of you required your mom to change your diapers. And before. Cam Ne. Remember Cam Ne. No of course not. Most of you stalwart stewards of journalism have the memory retention of toilet paper. Cam Ne, 1965, was the Zippo lighter village. Morley Safer's footage of Marines setting fire to the village with their Zippo lighters was a big hit with Marines in the Corps. His claim for godhood status. Marines-Never-Forget. Fast forward 18 months and Jack Burton Newbie-PVT. has just reported on base and gets assigned duty driver during a "MUCHO importante", big pow wow meeting with Huge Mucksmuks from other nations to observe Marines hitting the beach. Duty driver Jack Burton did not make sense as Jack has just reported on base. Jack protests to Top. Jack can navigate from his barracks to the newspaper office. That's it, Top. Top: You're it. Go. Go I went. Of course, Jack got good and proper lost. Made his passenger, unfortunately, late. His passenger--a writer involved in the Zippo lighter village thingie. I think he understood the resentment. Why he would even bother to show up on base is beyond me. During the entire navigation fiasco, the writer never bitched and never said a word except to answer "No" when I asked him if he knew where we were supposed to go. Huuumm. You think he knew?

Take Cover

Bravo One Five Marines take cover after receiving enemy fire during a security patrol through Helmand province's Nawa district, Afghanistan, Aug. 20, 2009. USMC photo Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg

On Your Six America

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Lionel Ortiz with Bravo Company, one five changes cover position during a firefight with the Taliban in the Nawa district of Helmand province, on Aug. 14, 2009. USMC photo Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Baitullah Mehsud: Teliban Commander Confirmed KIA Next in Line:Hakimullah Mehsud

Next...............................Hakimullah Mehsud

Baitullah Mehsud Outside the Air Locker

Hakimullah Mehsud, bosom buddy and life long friend of KIA-leader Baitullah Mehsud, has been unanimously selected, by fellow associates, to be the next target for US the Doctrine called "you can run but you can't hide". The appointment, of Hakimullah Mehsud to follow in the steps of Hakimullah Mehsud, also confirms the death, by a 5 August 2009 missile strike, of Baitullah Mehsud by a Hunter Killer Drone. Start the Air Locker count down for Hakimullah Mehsud.

Lance Corporal Donald J. Hogan Killed in Helmand Province

The Department of Defense announced today the death of Marine Lance Corporal Donald J. Hogan who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan, 20, of San Clemente, Calif., died Aug. 26 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Mail Call at One Five

One Five Marines sort mail on Patrol Base Jaker in Helmand province's Aug 23, 2009.
USMC photo Lance Cpl. James Purschwitz

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Say Western Charity I say Muslim Zakat AKA Not the Same Thing

This discussion of Western bias and Muslim interpretation between Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today and Raymond Ibrahim goes to the heart of the matter of misunderstanding Islamic Doctrine. Charity vs. Zakat. Western charity is for everyone deserving of help. Muslim Zakat is for an intended purpose and definitely not for everyone deserving or otherwise. You get this bad boy wrong and you will be a day late and dollar short from the get-go as this article will explain:

In the Nut Shell: "Well meaning Americans would do well to cease interpreting age-old Muslim doctrines—from jihad to zakat—according to their Western epistemology and instead rely on the standard rulings of mainstream Islam, as articulated by its authoritative schools of jurisprudence. That is, after all, what Muslims do."

Here's Why:Middle East Forum

Recently, Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today wrote an article about Muslim zakat, wherein I was referenced as a "critic of Islam." She then followed up with another article titled "Critic questions the aims and ends of Islamic charity," dedicated to examining my views on zakat.

While I appreciate Ms. Grossman's initiative, what especially interests me is that her response exemplifies the problems originally highlighted in my article, "The Dark Side of Zakat: Islamic Charity in Context," which Ms. Grossman takes to task.

I had written: "From what American schoolchildren are being taught by their teachers to what Americans are being told by their presidents, concepts unique to Islam are nowadays almost always 'Westernized.'… [T]his phenomenon has resulted in epistemic (and thus endemic) failures, crippling Americans from objectively understanding some of Islam's more troublesome doctrines."

It is, therefore, a bit ironic that Ms. Grossman's entire article is a testimony to this phenomenon. For starters, even though I indicated Muslims are actually forbidden from bestowing zakat onto non-Muslims, her opening sentence stubbornly describes zakat as a "mandate to be charitable." Surely "charity" that discriminates according to religion cannot be deemed all that "charitable," a word that, in a Western context, is connotative of universal beneficence.

Ms. Grossman is also decided that Muslims engaged in that timeless Islamic phrase fi sabil Allah—most literally, "the path of Allah"—include "anyone from seminary students to imams to missionaries"; conversely, I supposedly read it "as a straight pipeline to violent jihadists."

Fair enough. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to the significance of Islamic terminology, neither her opinion nor mine matters much; how Islam's authoritative schools of jurisprudence (specifically, the four madhahib) have interpreted fi sabil Allah is all that matters. And Islam's juridical rulings are such that fi sabil Allah is synonymous with the concept of violent jihad.

For example, in its section on zakat, the Arabic-English edition of the standard legal text, 'Umdat as-Salik, translates fi sabil Allah as "those fighting for Allah." Next to the index entry for fi sabil Allah, it simply says "see jihad."

The following zakat-related anecdote from Islamic history is further illuminating: After Muhammad's death in 632, several Arab tribes, while still identifying themselves as Muslims, refused to pay zakat, much of which was being used to fund ongoing military operations. Abu Bakr, the first "righteous" caliph, responded by launching the Apostasy Wars, which claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Arabs. In this context, neither the uses of zakat, nor Abu Bakr's murderous response, seem very "charitable." (Who ever heard of killing people for not being "charitable" enough?)

As a result, the same canon of Islamic law (the Sharia) that unequivocally forbids Muslims from giving zakat (financial assistance) to non-Muslims, advocates giving it to what we call "jihadists." This is a simple fact, played over and over again—not my opinion, nor something that is "open to interpretation."

Ms. Grossman's concluding questions are further indicative of the widespread tendency to recast Muslim concepts into Western terms. She asks the reader: "Do you think believers may support those 'in the path of Allah' in a religious sense, just as Christians might support missionaries evangelizing for Christ? Or do you read that as code for nefarious purposes?"

Aside from the fact that—alas, and once again—what any of us "think" is totally irrelevant, these questions demonstrate the all too common inability to transcend one's own culturally-ingrained notions of right and wrong, ascribing to them a universal pedigree. For just as Ms. Grossman's Western sensibilities inform her that zakat, which has to do with giving money, must always be "charitable," so too do they inform her that funding violence, jihadi or otherwise, must always be "nefarious."

Yet she may be surprised to discover that men such as Osama bin Laden actually see their jihad—yes, with all the death and destruction entailed—as an act of altruism, as an ugly means to a beneficent end (see Koran 2:216), that is, the establishment of Islamic law across the world (which is, incidentally, another Muslim duty). One of the most renowned Muslim clerics and hero of modern day jihadists, Ibn Taymiyya, has written at great length describing jihad as the ultimate expression of "love." And, at any rate, it seems a safe bet that most Muslims will be inclined to adhere to his opinions, i.e., his fatwas, as opposed to Ms. Grossman's casual thoughts on the matter.

The lesson here? Well meaning Americans would do well to cease interpreting age-old Muslim doctrines—from jihad to zakat—according to their Western epistemology and instead rely on the standard rulings of mainstream Islam, as articulated by its authoritative schools of jurisprudence. That is, after all, what Muslims do.

Postscript: As it happens, I recently relayed much of this to Ms. Grossman, and she responded in another entry, the gist of which is that, just because a religion teaches something, does not mean its adherents follow it. She writes:

As clear as Jewish law is on the dietary rules, most Jews do not keep kosher. As clear as evangelical preaching in many denominations is that Christ is essential to salvation, most people say all good people go to heaven, regardless of their faith or lack of same [italics added].

Thus let us differentiate between the teachings of the various religions (which are often objective and ascertainable) and the actual practices of those who claim to adhere to them. Ms. Grossman's unspoken assumption, then, appears to be that, even if Islamic law mandates jihad and the need to fund it, most Muslims ignore it.

Unfortunately, even if true, this position offers little comfort: It took only 19 Muslims to commit the horrendous events of 9/11.

Honor Guard for an dead Afghan Soldier

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Joe Hamilton, an artillery officer attached to one five, takes cover from the wind blast of a SH-3H Sea King helicopter leaving Patrol Base Jaker,Aug. 21, 2009 with the body of a dead Afghan National Army soldier . The Marines of the 1st Battalion assisted as honor guard for the soldier killed fighting the Taliban in his country. USMC photo William Greeson

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

3/11 On Patrol Around Fire Base Fiddlers Green

(For the "anymouse" who left a note that 3/11 was his son's unit. You're right. There is not much on FBFG. But I scoured deep and found this and whats-more even relatively fresh dated 8/13 DVID posted 8/19) FBFG rates a writer: Lance Cpl. Daniel Flynn don't know how much he gets moved around but maybe he'll write again soon. Love the battalion color sergeant's name: Christopher Colt Remington.
Lance Cpl. Sean Allen, a radio operator with 3/11, on a security patrol, Aug. 14. The Marines of 3/11 are stepping up security to 24-hours a day having Marines patrol as a precautionary method for the upcoming elections. Photo Lance Cpl. Daniel Flynn

Story Lance Cpl. Daniel Flynn FIRE BASE FIDDLERS GREEN, – Walking through an empty field in the early morning, Aug. 13, the temperatures are already in the high 90's and every Marine is thankful for the relative cool.

These Marines, who usually work behind a computer, have been performing security patrols around Fire Base Fiddlers Green since early July.

"These patrols are to pave the way for the units who will come in here after us and start conducting counterinsurgency operations in the area," said Sgt. Christopher Colt Remington, battalion color sergeant and squad leader with 3/11. "The patrols let the locals get used to coalition forces," added the Fort Worth, Texas., native.

This particular patrol went smoothly. The Marines were able to talk to some of the local villagers and attain an understanding of their concerns. These actions are crucial in a counterinsurgency struggle where the focus is on gaining the peoples' trust.

The patrol, consisting of 11 Marines, one corpsman and one interpreter, started at 6:30 a.m. and lasted about three hours. Pushing farther south than any previous patrol, the Marines were not sure exactly what they would experience.

"It was actually a lot more uneventful than I thought it would be," said Remington. He added that the reaction from the people varies by location.

"These patrols are a good thing," said Pfc. Alexander Gendreau, a mine sweeper with 3/11. The Eloy, Ariz., native added, "We are providing security for all the locals."

In addition to providing security, the Marines of 3/11 are also engaging in a civil affairs effort. Everywhere the patrols travel, they try to interact with the Afghan population. By understanding the needs of the people, the Marines increase their ability to help the community. Simple improvements to villages, such as establishing wells, can help show the locals that the Marines care about them and are committed to gaining the trust of their community.

The Marines also want Afghan citizens to feel safe enough to participate during the Aug. 20 elections. While the Marines may not be taking a direct role in providing security for the elections since Afghan national security forces will be primarily responsible, they will be doing everything they can to support the ANSF in their security effort.

Continuing the patrolling effort here will not only help the Marines develop relationship with the Afghan people, it has the ability to disrupt the insurgents' attempts to create instability, according to Remington.

For some of these Marines, this is the first time they have conducted foot patrols since this deployment began, while many have experience from previous deployments to Iraq. While the terrain may be different, the Marines of 3/11 have shifted into the patrolling effort as if they had been doing them here all along.

Charlie One Five Out for Patrol in Nawa, Afghanistan.

Produced by Sgt. Freddy G Cantu. DVIDS
Typical day for Charlie One Five some incoming fire and a lot of walking

War Pigs Exercise M242 25mm Bushmaster chain gun in Kuwait

DVIDS Story/Photo Cpl. Justin Martinez U.S. Marines with Light Armored

U.S. Marines with Light Armored Reconnaissance, BLT, 3/2 held M242 25mm Bushmaster chain gun live-fire training near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, this month as part of the MEU's training.

LAV tires trench fresh tracks in the road to the first range where rusty, blown-out, double-stacked cars await further destruction.

"It's a very large area that's quite open with a lot of micro-terrain that we can use, and it allows us to actually maneuver as an entire unit," said Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Hall, platoon sergeant for LAR and a native of Phoenix, Ariz. "It's perfectly suited for our mission."

Kevlar helmets poke out of eight-wheeled, armored shells as the platoon prepares to employ a weapon like no other.

"The advantage of having the M242 25mm Bushmaster chain gun is that its 25mm rounds put a lot of fire power down range at a rapid rate," said Hall. "It actually is driven by an electric motor and the bolt itself is rotated on a chain."

Marines wiped the sweat that collected in the bottom of their goggles as they collectively searched the glaring Kuwaiti sand for low mounds with makeshift men clutching wooden weapons.

"We've had time to take the junior Marines out so they can experience what it's like for a platoon to move in a width over six or seven klicks," said Sgt. Andrew C. Wedde, a vehicle commander and a native of Berrien Springs, Mich. "Covering that much area was amazing to them. You can't see the vehicle next to you."

Wedde added that the training provided a great experience for the junior Marines because the range was uniquely suited for vehicle movements that they couldn't conduct at Camp Lejeune.

For three days, the men drenched their uniforms with sweat under the baking sun, learning things that make LAR a more formidable force to reckon with.

"They did very well, I was proud of them. It's been a long time since we've done anything like this," said Capt. Christopher D. Winn, the Platoon Commander and a native of Colorado Springs, Colo. "They exceeded my expectations."

In early August, elements of the 22nd MEU arrived at Camp Buehring, a U.S. Army Central Command/Area Support Group Kuwait owned training base. The MEU is conducting sustainment training and is currently serving as the theater reserve force for U.S. Central Command.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Patrol Outside Fire Base Fiddlers Green

Staff Sargent William Eddy leads his men on a patrol outside Fire Base Fiddlers Green in the Helmand River valley. These Marines belong to three eleven. Eddy's number two man must be a terp. No weapon, no ammo, no gloves.
USMC PHOTO Christopher R. Rye

Ridge Patrol

Marines from first platoon Alpha Company 1/7 on ridge patrol above Dulab Iraq

USMC PHOTO CPL Shane S. Keller

USS Gonzalez -an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer named after Marine Sgt. Alfredo "Freddy" Gonzalez, VN Medal of Honor

The USS Gonzalez is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer named after Marine Sgt. Alfredo "Freddy" Gonzalez, a Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War. The woman is Dolia Gonzalez, mother of the ship's namesake. It has been said that she makes the trek from her home in Edinburg, Texas, every time the ship leaves and returns from deployment, and for many of the major ceremonies.

Dolia Gonzalez may not know any of these Sailors personally; but she considers each of them as her own. Since the ship's commissioning, the crew has made it their mission to treat Dolia as the ship's mother - writing letters and calling her during deployments and inviting her to special events like today's change of command ceremony.

"It means life in my blood; it's for my boy. This is my life. My son is here with me," said Dolia.

During Cmdr. Brian Fort's last duty as the ship's commanding officer he made it a point to thank Dolia for all that she's done for his crew, by presenting her with a painting by retired Marine Col. Charles Waterhouse.

"She makes our life on board here extremely enjoyable. Knowing she means all this to my Sailors," said Fort.

As the ship's new captain steps in, Cmdr. Lynn Acheson said she's excited about fostering the relationship with Dolia, and getting to know the mother who has been such an integral part of the ship's history. Acheson said, "Dolia is a model of the honor and sacrifice heroes like Sgt. Freddie Gonzalez have made."

"She's got a special relationship with the crew. I hope to continue with my own personal relationship with her, I have a lot of respect for that lady," Acheson said.

Gonzalez was born in Edinburg, in 1946 and raised primarily by his mother. He was an All-District football player at Edinburg High School in spite of his weight of 135 pounds.

Following high school graduation, Gonzalez enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in San Antonio June 3, 1965, and then enlisted in the regular Marine Corps July 6, 1965. He went on to serve in Vietnam at his own request in response to an ambush that took the lives of some of his friends.

He first was assigned to the Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, as a rifleman. On Jan. 1, 1966, Gonzalez was promoted to private first class and transferred to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam as a squad leader.

In October that year he was promoted to lance corporal, and the following December was promoted to corporal. Gonzalez completed his tour of duty in Vietnam and returned to the United States in February 1967. He was stationed with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He became a Marine instructor at Camp Lejeune to prepare Marines for the guerilla warfare.

Though he had not intended to return to war, after learning of an ambush which wiped out an entire platoon, including men who had served under him during his tour of duty, he requested a transfer and another tour in Vietnam.

He spent May and July of 1967 in a staging battalion at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, during which he was promoted to Sergeant. Gonzalez was then assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein) in Vietnam.

In January 1968, Gonzalez' unit was involved in the initial phase of Operation Hue City and deployed by truck convoy to reinforce other units fighting in the city. The convoy was attacked near the village of Lang Van Lrong and drew heavy enemy fire.

Gonzalez immediately positioned his men and directed their fire until the area was free of enemy snipers. The convoy moved on and was attacked again after crossing a river south of Hue. A Marine standing on a tank was wounded and fell to the ground in a position exposed to enemy fire.

Gonzalez ran to him, picked him up and carried him to a protected area. During the rescue, Gonzalez was wounded by fragments of exploding grenades. As the convoy was pinned down by an enemy machine gun bunker up the road, Gonzalez led his platoon to the bunker and destroyed it with hand grenades.

The convoy eventually reached Hue, where Gonzalez and his unit fought against heavy enemy resistance. He was seriously wounded on Feb. 3, but refused medical treatment in order to stay with his men. The following day, his unit was pinned down by a large enemy force and suffered heavy casualties.

Gonzalez used several antitank weapons against heavily fortified enemy positions while exposed to enemy fire. He held back the enemy advance and destroyed an enemy rocket position before he was mortally wounded. Gonzalez was hit by the last rocket fired by the enemy, and died in the Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church, where he had taken cover.

For his actions, while being wounded several times between January 31 and February 4, 1968, Gonzalez was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
His Medal of Honor was presented to his mother on Oct. 31, 1969, by then Vice President Spiro T. Agnew at the White House.

In 1996, the USS Alfredo Gonzalez, a guided missile destroyer, was commissioned in Corpus Christi.

There is a permanent display of his uniform and medals at the Hidalgo County Historical Museum.

Alfredo Gonzalez Hall, Instructor Training Battalion Headquarters Building, The Basic School, Quantico, Va. was dedicated July 13, 2007. Gonzalez was chosen to have the building named after him by the Marines of Instructor Battalion.

Mother Teresa once said, "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

Dolia's son gave his life. Though she lost him, his memory and her love is kept alive through her connection with the USS Gonzalez. They'll undoubtedly be saving her seat at the next ceremony, and she'll make the trip because a mother's job never ends, and the de facto matriarch of the USS Gonzalez wouldn't disappoint her children.

U.S. Marine Corporal Richard S. Weinmaster-Navy Cross

Navy Cross Citation:The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Private First Class Richard S. Weinmaster, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Automatic Rifleman, 3d Platoon, Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, Marine Corps Forces, Central Command (Forward), in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 8 July 2008. Private First Class Weinmaster's squad was conducting a dismounted patrol down a narrow side street in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces ambushed the squad with machine gun fire and hand grenades. Upon contact, Private First Class Weinmaster immediately began engaging the enemy positions with his squad automatic weapon. As he delivered suppressive fire and assaulted the enemy, encountering a withering volume of fire that passed within meters of his position, Private First Class Weinmaster saw two hand grenades tossed over a wall land in the middle of his patrol. Noting where one of the grenades landed, he quickly placed himself between the grenade and his fire team leader, using his body to shield both his team leader and several other Marines from the blast, which occurred immediately. Private first Class Weinmaster was seriously injured when the grenade detonated, but his valorous actions prevented his fire team leader from receiving any shrapnel. Although he was critically wounded, Private First Class Weinmaster continued to carry on the attack, engaging enemy forces with accurate automatic weapons fire and forcing them to break contact, until he collapsed from the gravity of his wounds. By his outstanding display of decisive action, unlimited courage in the face of extreme danger, and total dedication to duty, Private First Class Weinmaster reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

DVIDS Story by Pfc. Michael Gams

Cpl. Richard S. Weinmaster, a squad automatic weapon gunner with 3rd Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, received Navy Cross medal for his actions as a private first class in Afghanistan's Helmand province and was meritoriously promoted to the rank of corporal in a ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field,

According to his platoon commander, 1st Lt. George Fenton, Weinmaster, a Cozad, Neb., native, was in front of a squad-sized patrol making its way through an eight-foot wide alley bordered on each side by 10-foot tall mud-brick walls, dubbed "ambush alley," when their patrol was attacked by enemy small-arms fire and grenades.

In the midst of the firefight, Weinmaster provided accurate suppressive fire with his SAW until he noticed an incoming grenade land near his team leader, Lance Cpl. Tyler Wilkerson.

Fenton, a Fredericksburg, Va., native, explained how Weinmaster shoved Wilkerson out of the way then jumped toward the grenade to try and smother the blast. As he jumped, the grenade exploded sending the majority of its shrapnel into Weinmaster.

Weinmaster effectively shielded his team leader from the blast and Wilkerson was spared from any shrapnel. Weinmaster, however, received serious wounds, including a piece of shrapnel that entered his left eye socket and traveled halfway into his brain, where it remains to this day.

Despite his grave injuries, Weinmaster re-mounted his SAW and continued to provide effective suppressive fire on the enemy positions 50 yards away.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Lockhart, Weinmaster's former platoon sergeant, said Weinmaster's heroic actions in the heat of battle are a true reflection of his caliber.

"Valor has to come from the heart and soul," said Jim Weinmaster, Cpl. Weinmaster's father. "It has to come from within. Karen [Weinmaster's mother] and I raised him as best as we could, but actions like that go beyond parenting, beyond anything that can be taught."

Weinmaster remained humble throughout the ceremony as well as afterward when he was greeted and thanked by scores of Marines, former Marines and grateful civilians.

"I didn't do anything special," he told everyone. "Everyone on my left and right would have done the same thing. I was just in the right place at the right time."

Fenton and Lockhart agreed, saying that their platoon was full of Marines who would have done the same if given the opportunity, but both also emphasized the fact Weinmaster was given the opportunity and he acted in total disregard for his own safety to save another Marine's life.

His devotion and selflessness earned Weinmaster the Navy Cross, although he maintains he was "just doing his job."

Forgetaboutit--9/11 Rememberance Day -- Obama Celebrates National Day of Service on 9/11

The American Spectator writes that Congress has declared 9/11 a National of Day of Service that will change "9/11 from a day of reflection and remembrance to a day of activism, food banks, and community gardens."

"The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry. "

Just when you thought the Obama Steamroller Express couldn't drive a bigger wedge between the We, the People Of the United States and the administration. Time to show your support for the website of Project 2996 Remembering the Victims of 9/11 by taking a name and write a short remembrance of a life lost.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wafa Sultan Cuts to the Chase Scene

If you have never heard of Wafa Sultan, never ever, than you must be living under a rock at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, aka Challenger Deep, 6.78 miles deep under water the-deepest point on earth. Wafa Sultan is a spell breaker. One of the finest kind. A powerhouse of the first order. Considering that every breath she takes is counted by some very unhappy people, well, you just have to read her speech and understand the incredible courage this woman represents at a time when so many in this nation are busy kowtowing. Wafa Sultan, a US naturalized citizen, gives true meaning to the lyrics from our national anthem"the land of the free and the home of the brave"

MuslimsAgainst Sharia:Text of Wafa Sultan Copenhagen Speech:

Hello everyone. Thank you so much for inviting me to attend this conference. I am so honored to be here today.

Two years ago, in the aftermath of the turbulent times related to the Danish cartoon depiction of Muhammad, I traveled to your beautiful country to express my gratitude for your courage, to stand up and protect our valuable Western attribute to include freedom of speech, expression, and freedom of conscience. As you may remember, I insisted that publishing the cartoons was a very initial step to educate Muslims all over the world to acknowledge criticism and listen respectfully to how others view aspects of their religion.

Ever since, I have been closely watching Arabic media, and assure you that publication of those cartoons has played a major role in making a positive change. And if that crisis, Islamic ideology emblazoned in hatred, violence, and intolerance, had not been questioned or challenged by outsiders in such a strong manner, the cartoon episode changed the paradigm and so was a turning point from which there is no way back.

However, Muslims still find it difficult to accept responsibility for their actions, and the question is why. Muslims have been hostages to their belief system for 1400 years. They simply have not been exposed to the world outside their Islamic restricted prison. They follow blindly their dogma and aren’t at all capable of critically reflecting and self-criticizing.

For Muslims, self-evaluating and challenging their religion is a pure taboo. According to Bernard Lewis, and I confirm it, Muslims reject newness. On the other hand, Western political correctness, triggered by fear, under the umbrella of multicultural creed, has played a major supportive role in Muslims on [unintelligible] following their beliefs and behaviors without need to reform.

Islamists interpret Western society’s silence and soft approach as capitulation of their demands are therefore under the impression that they hold the upper hand on their path to submission of all others under Islam and sharia law. I recently read an article entitled “In the Casbah of Rotterdam” by Julio Mittu [or Mutti (sp?)] hopefully, I’m pronouncing his name the right way — an article which shockingly describes how Rotterdam, the second largest city in Holland, is becoming the first Muslim city in Europe.

The newspaper article included a quote made a year ago in form of a letter written by [unintelligible] Ismaili, a Rotterdam city councilman, where Ismaili stated: “Listen, up, crazy freaks, we’re here to stay. You’re the foreigners here. With Allah on my side, I am not afraid of anything. Take my advice. Convert to Islam and you will find peace.”
It is obvious to me that Mr. Ismaili’s insult would not have been allowed to be printed 15 or even 10 years ago. This is because in the past Muslims like Ismaili felt too weak and outnumbered to publicly make such an appalling statement — or announcement. Now their populations have increased substantially, gaining Islamists power and muscle to openly express their true intention.

The majority in the West have easily taken their freedom for granted. They forget the history of European struggle to advance into the age of Enlightenment, to establish secular liberal democracy. Therefore, the general public is reluctant to protect these treasured values. At the same token [sic], they lack basic understanding of the nature, focus, and underlying principles that drive Muslims.

In Western culture, violence is a last resort. For Muslims, it’s culturally instinctive reaction. As a result, in the face of barbaric acts like honor killings, raping of non-Muslims, and organized vandalism by Muslims in European cities, government officials and law-abiding citizens, liberal academic elite, the liberal media, and the proponents of interfaith dialogue legitimize sharia-approved doctrines by ignoring them, or worse, by approving those doctrines to be woven in Western social fabric, thus creating a harmful, syncretic relationship.

On one hand, young Muslims are taught in mosques, schools, and at home that non-Muslims are kafr, infidels, and not respected, that Muslims must never assimilate into Western society, that death is valued over life, that Jews are pigs and monkeys, and that raping non-Muslim women is not a crime, that it is allowed to beat wives to discipline them, and I could go on and on listing unacceptable Muslim activities permitted by sharia law. At the same time, we hear entirely unreasonable messages of tolerance from many European leaders, including high-level government officials, such as a lawsuit pursued by a Dutch court against Geert Wilders for hate speech.

Hence, instead of defending his right to free speech, Wilders has been punished by [sic] exposing the struggle between Islamization of the West and the need to protect the free world. Instead of protecting Wilders’ rights to prefer true liberal values, he’s silenced and viewed as a racist Islamophobe. I believe that the Dutch case against Wilders is an expression of the powerful influence of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference over European institutions.

As you may know, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, an association of 57 Islamic states, promotes a United Nations resolution to suppress voices of critical dissent against Islam. This initiative is a most destructive and dangerous proposal. I strongly urge its defeat.

Just like in the case of Mr. Wilders, the liberal establishment, cheered by the growing Muslim population, is successfully able to portray anyone who criticizes Islam as warmonger, anti-peace, right-wing extremist, racist, and Islamophobe. By now, this atmosphere of multiculturalism has been strident, consequently, the superficial political correctness tone adopted by the West has failed to recognize the danger of letting weeds creep into the Western garden to eventually destroy its humane beauty.

Fortunately, after September 11, and more specifically after the Danish cartoons riot, some courageous individuals in the West have realized the enormous aspect of the Islamic culture and boldly spoken up against it. Mr. Wilders is with us today. He is among these brave leaders. He is a true hero who has in spite of numerous obstacles risked his well-being to secure us all. By producing the documentary film Fitna, Mr. Wilders allowed the audience to question links between Islamic teachings and Muslims’ manifestations of their texts, letting viewers reach their own conclusion.

As an Arab, I am convinced that as people in the West learn the truth about Islam, many more would follow Geert Wilders’ footsteps. I therefore call upon Western government officials to study Islamic principles from their original Arabic textbooks without distortion or sugarcoating.

One of the principles is a very dangerous Islamic concept called in Arabic al-taqiyya. It allows and even commands Muslims to lie and deceive in order to achieve their defined objective, submitting the world to Islam and the sharia law.

To be sure, Islamists who follow the political ideology of subverting non-Muslims under Islam do use the concept of al-taqiyya. I believe that Muslims’ al-taqiyya and the West’s ignorance about the true intentions of Islamists both violate our right to know the truth, regardless of how evil or unintentional their objective is. The relationship between the two is the recipe for irreversible damage to liberal democracy and values of freedom, the foundation of European Union.

It is obvious that people in the West and especially those in position of leadership who live by Western moral code on which they were nurtured refuse to judge individuals on the basis of their religious affiliation, and that’s their right. But they don’t have the right to be ignorant or to disregard the fact that Islam is not only a religion, it is also a political doctrine that imposes itself by force.

That’s precisely what Mr. Wilders has been trying so hard to convey and that is exactly what the Saudi flag represents.

Would you please take a look at the Saudi flag. The writing on the flag translates, No God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. Underneath that religious statement there is the large sword. It represents the superiority of Islam and its desire to impose it by force on the non-Muslim. This statement is the underlying foundation of Islam.

You may be familiar with the saying that it takes an entire village to raise a well adjusted, healthy child. In that spirit, I call anew, as a community of people, countries, and nations, caring to preserve that eternal child, our treasured freedom and liberty, to be bold and fully support Mr. Wilders [unintelligible] to preserve liberal democracy as your highest priority.

I call on you to please keep in mind that they who forget their history are doomed to repeat it, and they who don’t know their enemy will never be able to defeat it. As the wise said, Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or abridging the freedom of speech. There is no freedom without the freedom to criticize and exercise reasonable civil discussion; there is no values [sic] without mutual respect.

The threat of violence is the [unintelligible] of criminals, not civilization. As for you the Danish people, you are well known for your historical record as fighters against evil. I believe the Danish people indeed deserve credit for demolishing [sic] the first break in the Islamic prison wall. By doing that, I am certain, you opened the door and granted a sense of confidence to others in the European Union to get involved in fighting this predicament, which threatens our way of life and our core values. For that, I salute you.

Lastly, the great Thomas Paine, one of the founding fathers of the United States, stated: “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so that my child may live in peace.” So, let’s deal with this trouble now, right now, so our future generation may live in peace.

Look At The Saudi Flag...and the SWORD and The "religion of peace"

WAFA SULTAN"Would you please take a look at the Saudi flag. The writing on the flag translates, "No God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." Underneath that religious statement there is the large sword.

It represents the superiority of Islam and its desire to impose it by force on the non-Muslim.

This statement is the underlying foundation of Islam.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Search for Bombs

Combat engineers and explosive ordnance disposal specialists with Bravo Company, one five search for improvised explosive devices and weapons caches in the Helmand province. photo by Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg

Friday, August 21, 2009

President Obama Leaves on 10-day vacation Martha's Vineyard-OMB says revise budget deficit from $7.1 trillion to $9 trillion OH! CACA!

Officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) confirmed the enormous debt revision late Friday afternoon, hours after President Obama left for a 10-day vacation. Can we unleash the bedwetters now? WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama puzzled people when he said Washington "gets all wee-weed up." The White House offered a translation Friday: Folks are wetting the bed over the health care debate.

MK-19 ORC Ready

Patrol Base Jaker post with a MK-19 automatic grenade launcher mounted LOCK AND LOAD READY, for ORC contact. The Mk 19 fires 40mm grenades. This bad boy can make poison arrows fall from the sky and the pillars of Heaven shake at a rate of 60 grenades per minute. YOU Got a Problem with that? The MK19 has minimum kickback. In fact, Its a pussy cat. You know what that means? Do you? It means this can Hold perfectly STILL and KILL from any flat surface you happen to have. Any. Anywhere. Boat. Whatever. How can it do that? I hear you say. Well, boys and girls, this ORC CHILD KILLER uses the blowback effect from the chamber pressure from each round fired to reload and re-cock (just like your old DI explained about your M-14) ahh, but that's not all, you too can have a more exciting life as you learn that this beauty can lob grenades at ORC CHILD KILLERS 1,500 meters away. Maybe even further? Humm. USMC photo Staff Sgt. William Greeson

All Female Team In Farah Province

Marine Lt. Johanna Shaffer, a watch officer with Combat Logistics Battalion 3,shares a cookie with an Afghan child during the first mission of her all-female team in the Farah province.

Story/photo Lance Cpl. Monty Burton
The Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Afghanistan- all female Marine team-- is talking with the Afghan female population in southern Afghanistan -- a task considered culturally unacceptable for the male Marines. Marine Corps Capt. Mike Hoffman, commanding officer of 3/8’s Company I, said the all-female team is an important asset for his Marines.

“[The team] provides us access to half of the population that we normally do not have access to,” Hoffman said. “They did extremely well interacting with the female villagers.”

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Johanna Shaffer, the team leader, said their first mission, a cordon-and-search operation in support of Operation Pathfinder, was very successful.

“We were accepted by both the men and women villagers and were able to obtain valuable information about the way they lived and what they thought about the Marine Corps operating in the area,” Shaffer said.

During the mission, the female Marines donned brightly colored head and neck scarves as a sign of cultural respect to the Afghan women.

“The scarves showed the Afghan women that we were women too, and we respect their culture,” Shaffer said. “They automatically felt more comfortable with us. They showed us their homes, and even though they didn’t have much, they were still very generous to us. They accepted us as sisters, and we’re glad that we were here to help them.”

Although Afghan women tend to be more reserved than Afghan men, they still have a large influence on their children, Shaffer said, so engaging with them is important.

“If the women know we are here to help them, they will likely pass that on to their children,” she said. “If the children have a positive perspective of alliance forces, they will be less likely to join insurgent groups or participate in insurgent activities.”

Hoffman said the female Marines also were accepted by the village men.

“They were not opposed by the villagers,” Hoffman said. “They had no problem allowing [the team] the chance to interact with their women.”

The concept employed by her team varies greatly from the program in Iraq because of differences in Afghan culture, Shaffer said.

“The cultural background here is completely different than that of Iraq,” Shaffer said. “Women here are more timid than in Iraq. There is less of a chance that an Afghan women would try to harm us, because they understand that we are here to help them.

“We also do not know much about the daily life of Afghan women,” she continued. “This provides us not only the opportunity to learn about the women, but also to build and maintain faith and trust of the Afghan women.”

Lance Cpl. Leopold F. Damas, death of a Marine

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Leopold F. Damas, 26, of Floral Park, N.Y., died Aug. 17 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Knocking Down the Mud Walls of Herati

Marines from Echo 2/8 tear down the mud walls of Herati. The walls had been used for cover by the enemy to launch attacks against Marines. photo 1stLt Kurt Stahl

Tearing Down The Wall

1stLt Kurt Stahl,Marines with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines Regiment, exchanged fire with Taliban militants and drove them from a a giant wall on the outskirts of an area called Herati – one of the same positions used to fire the initial volley during the last major fight here.

“Every time we go down to that area, we take contact,” said 1st Lt. Josh Faucett, a forward observer and joint terminal attack controller.

The insurgents engaged the patrol with small arms and a few rocket propelled grenades as anticipated, and the Marines responded with a heavy volley of their own combined with 60mm and 81mm mortars lobbing onto the objective.

“We made the enemy react to us with our fires and maneuver,” said 2nd Lt. Pat Bragan of Abington, Mass., 3rd platoon commander.

The location the enemy fired from was a giant wall on the outskirts of an area called Herati – one of the same positions used to fire the initial volley during the last major fight here. Additionally, the wall has been one of the insurgents’ favorite places from which to launch attacks over the last month.

“They have used the wall since we’ve been here. They have fired at us from all corners,” said Faucett, who is from Elwood, Ind. “The whole mission was terrain denial, and the secondary mission was tearing down the wall so that it could not be used as a fighting position.”

The compound was nothing more than a sturdy wall surrounding a grape orchard in the shape of a rectangle. However, it also provided a temporary safe haven for insurgents to observe Marines and fire on them.

During the firefight two days prior, mortars and heavy ordnance from aircraft and high-mobility artillery rocket systems, or HIMARS as they are called, had been called in on the fortified position. The wall was hit with 81mm mortars and HIMARS again in this second firefight. Even with these explosives detonating along the wall, much of it still stood when the Marines finally made their way to it. Initially, they thought they might have to use explosives to demolish the wall because it was very thick and had withstood repeated shelling. However, it didn’t take long for them to figure out an easier way.

“I bet if we get a bunch of guys on it, we can push most of the wall down,” said Staff Sgt. James Simmons, a platoon sergeant from Winter Park, Fla. “I was just able to break off a small piece when I kicked it.”

Immediately, a group of Marines got up while the rest posted security and started pushing on the wall. Piece by piece, the wall fell, providing a direct line of sight through the compound. They were successful in taking down about 30 to 40 meters of it by hand.

The wall on the front side was stronger and could not be pushed down. Therefore, the company’s explosive ordnance technicians leveled the rest of that side with a series of controlled detonations.

By mid-afternoon, the majority of the wall was no longer a position the enemy could use to fire at Marines from. The patrol remained in position into the late evening in case the insurgents tried to move back into their comfort zone.

“We definitely denied the enemy freedom of movement in that area,” Bragan said. “I am sure they will have to think hard before trying to return.”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Firefight in Garmsir

U.S. Marines and Afghan national army soldiers return fire after insurgents ambushed their patrol in the Garmsir district in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2009.
USMC photo by 1st Lt. Kurt Stahl

by 1st Lt. Kurt Stahl
The Marines of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, waged an intense six-hour battle with Taliban insurgents who opened fire on the patrol just after 8 a.m.

After moving only about one mile from their combat outpost, the Marines received a heavy volley of enemy gunfire from multiple directions. Without hesitation, the Marines and ANA returned fire to suppress the enemy positions, began to maneuver on the insurgents and call for fire support.

“We sent out the combat patrol anticipating contact,” said Capt. E.A. Meador from Laurel, Miss., the company commander. “They always try to hit us in that area.”

Within minutes, an AH-1W Super Cobra and a UH-1N Huey were on station overhead to help suppress and engage enemy targets. The Cobra fired several five-inch Zuni rockets into one of the compounds from which the patrol was receiving sustained fire.

The friendly forces maneuvered through thick corn fields with slippery mud while enduring temperatures that exceeded 120 degrees in the afternoon. The muggy heat rose from the corn fields as if it were a sauna, and the Marines sunk into the mud with each step making it feel like weights were attached to their ankles.

“I didn’t think it was possible to move so fast through mud like that,” said Lance Cpl. Timothy Daughtry, a squad automatic weapon gunner.

In addition to those already challenging conditions, each Marine carried no less than a 60-pound combat load to include body armor, ammunition and water at a minimum. Despite the potential distractions offered by these extreme conditions while under fire, the Marines executed sound judgment calls and made rational decisions without hesitation.

“At the squad and platoon level, the Marines are out there every day and do a phenomenal job,” said Meador. “They come back beat and tired, but they are always ready to do it again the next day.”

During the engagement, the squad leaders were encouraging and directing their Marines to ensure they were doing everything they could to stay effective and in the fight. No matter how tired they became as time wore on, the voice of experience could be heard across the battlefield.

“Push forward. Keep your dispersion,” called out Sgt. Jonathon Delgado, a squad leader from Kissimmee, Fla., as his Marines pressed through the corn field to maneuver on one of the compounds hiding the enemy.

By 1 p.m. – five hours into the engagement – many of the Marines had run out of water. So, water and ammunition redistribution began from those who still had a reserve and continued throughout the remainder of the day as needed.

During the firefight, the Marines were successful in calling in several types of precision ordnance on the insurgent fighting positions, which included rockets fired by the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems based at Camp Dwyer 15 miles away; 81mm and 60mm mortars; and a 500-pound bomb from a U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber.

“We caught them by surprise with our indirect fire assets and inflicted heavier casualties than in the past,” said 1st Lt. Kyle Kurtz from Greensboro, N.C., the company’s executive officer.

The Marines and ANA eventually maneuvered up to and cleared the insurgent positions initially used to launch the ambush. One moment they were fighting in open fields, and the next they were clearing rooms the insurgents had used as fighting positions – two very different and challenging combat techniques. One squad, expecting to encounter some resistance, went to clear the western compound where the patrol had initially taken heavy fire. As they entered the compound, the only thing that was they found were brass casings and links from the enemy’s machine guns.

“It was tense going through the compound,” Daughtry commented. “You never know exactly what is coming around the corner.”

Between the sprints across the corn fields under fire to clearing compounds, the Marines felt lucky to have made it through the day unscathed.

“I definitely think I have had an angel watching out for me at times,” said Lance Cpl. Josh Vance, a team leader from Raleigh, N.C.

In past firefights here, insurgents have kept their distance when engaging the Marines, but things were different during this battle.

“This was the first time in a while that we were able to close with the enemy so effectively,” Kurtz said. “We were within 50-75 meters – right on top of them.”

The platoon-sized element that took the initial contact was only one surprise Company E had for the insurgents this day. When they started to run, a second platoon was sent out to meet them.

The Taliban militants displaced to another location they had used to launch attacks from in the past – a large wall. During the follow-on fight, the Marines were able to cut off the insurgents’ escape route and deny them the ability to use the wall for effective future attacks.

3rd "Greywolf" Meets with 3rd "Wolfpack"

Lt. Col. Kenneth Kassner, commander of Task Force 3rd 'Wolfpack' Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, meets with Col. Gary Volesky, commander of 3rd 'Greywolf' Heavy Brigade Combat Team, during a visit Monday to the LAR area of operations. Kassner and his Marines are coordinating hand over operations in the western part of Ninewah province to Volesky and his Soldiers. The "Greywolf" brigade will assume control of western Ninewah from another "Wolfpack" in October. The "Wolfpack", 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, which took control of western Ninewah in early 2009, will redeploy to Twentynine Palms, Calif., in mid-October, leaving their area of operations to the 3rd Bde. DVIDS Christopher Kozloski

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

Lance Corporal Joshua M. Bernard, rifleman, of New Portland, Maine, died Friday, Aug. 14, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province. This was LCpl. Bernard second deployment. In January 2008 he was in Iraq with Two Three. No further details were provided in the circumstances of the death of this Marine by the DOD.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lloyd Marcus"American Tea Party Anthem"

Writer and singer of the Tea Party Anthem Lloyd Marcus describes himself as "Proud Black Conservative Entertainer/Speaker" born in poverty, grew up in the projects and knows all about the dangers of government ministrations and is standing up for a conservative Win in 2010.

Isrealis Understand There Is No Middle Ground...

Today, the great majority of Israelis understand they have no "peace partner." They understand the agenda of Hamas, which explicitly declares in its charter, in its media, in its mosques, in its schools, its dedication not only to the annihilation of Israel but to the murder of all Jews, and daily seeks to translate its words into acts. They understand that so-called "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas, while talking at times of peace, makes clear to his own people and to those in the West who will listen that he and his Fatah movement will likewise not reconcile themselves to Israel’s existence. Rather, they will refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Jewish self-determination and a Jewish state, will continue to insist on a "right of return" intended to overwhelm Israel and render it part of yet another Arab entity, will continue to praise murderers of Jews as heroes to be emulated, and will continue to educate Palestinian children on their obligation to dedicate themselves to Israel’s destruction.
Kenneth Levin, Frontpage Interview. author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Over Watch on the Helmand River

Cpl. David Sperling, a military policeman attached to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, provides security while other Marines attempt to rescue a stranded Humvee from the Helmand River during a resupply mission in the Nawa district of Helmand province photo Staff Sgt. William Greeson

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yale Intellectual Castrati-No Balls Dons Burgas To Censor Cartoon BK

Yale academics are now singing their perennial favorite "Yes, We Have No Balls" when it comes to defending research against "possible" Islamic terrorism" decided against printing the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a book by Jytte Klausen:“The Cartoons That Shook the World,” Yale University Press about the cartoons that set off Muslim riots not so long ago. Rather than run the risk of offending any possible donors to the Yale treasury our intrepid Yale Castrati has preempted that unnecessary development and simply censored the book. Clearly, these CRAVEN nimrods will not be found fighting at the walls defending the American Constitution and the Right to Free Speech. Your Money Is More Important To Us Than The Constitution say these cowards. PJ Media:The Plot thickens. Yes, these intellectual cowards can do that---Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue and all American Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force. Hey Yale, we'll put a boot up your ass courtesy of the red, white and blue.

Charlie Co 4th LAR Exercising the War Pig M242 Chain Gun

MARINES from 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion, 4th Marine Division fire their M242 25mm Bushmaster chain gun from their Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-25) down range 407 on Camp Pendleton, 3/18/03.PHOTO

Goggle Voice Offers---The FOREVER Phone Number for Military Careers

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2009 – Google is tinkering with a new service that could transform the way troops on the frontlines communicate with their families on the homefront.

Google Voice assigns users a single U.S. phone number that can ring at phones in multiple locations like the home, office or on a cellular device -- all at the same time. Coupled with a feature that stores and transcribes voicemail in e-mail form, Google Voice can relieve some of the technical hassles that come with staying connected.

“Google Voice can help keep people connected, can help servicemembers worry less about missing a call or not getting in touch with people they need to, and focus more on getting the mission done,” said Army Sgt. Dale Sweetnam, who the U.S. Army is loaning to Google for a year to help the company coordinate its military outreach efforts.

Sweetnam, who spent 13 months deployed in Iraq with Task Force 49, provides Google a window into servicemembers’ experiences downrange where keeping contact with family and friends back home competes with the demands of daily military objectives.

“With the operation tempo of the military and the intense nature of accomplishing a mission, to make communication just one less thing you have to worry about is a great tool,” he said in an interview.

As Google puts the final touches on Google Voice, the service is available in limited capacity and only by requesting an invitation from the company. But given its recognition that military deployments are often fraught with communication lags, Google is giving priority invites to active members of the military.

Earlier this month, the company announced that troops with a .mil e-mail address can visit to sign up for a free Google Voice account.

While the service has real-world applicability for many people, Google Voice is an especially useful tool for servicemembers, both deployed and at home.

“It is often hard or near impossible to receive calls when deployed abroad, due to limited access to phones and time zone differences,” Sweetnam said in an e-mail. “With Google Voice, you can listen to and read voicemail online, so you can hear messages from family members more often and keep up with what is going on back home.”

Having one, unchanging phone number could also be a welcome constant in a military career filled with frequent moves. Keeping a single phone number that travels with servicemembers amid permanent changes of station means no more need for new numbers or missed calls to old numbers along the way.

An additional kicker is that because Google Voice is free, phone calls between friends and family who live overseas or in another state won’t cost a small fortune.

“Military servicemembers often don't live in the same states and countries as their friends and family or other buddies they met in the military,” Sweetnam said. “Google Voice helps save money by offering free calls in the continental U.S. and low-priced international calls.”

Friday, August 14, 2009

death of a MARINE announced today

DODThe Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. William J. Cahir, 40, of Washington D.C., died Aug. 13 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 4th Civil Affairs Group, Marine Forces Reserve, based out of Washington D.C.

WAPO Sgt. William J. Cahir, 40, of Washington D.C., died Aug. 13 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 4th Civil Affairs Group, Marine Forces Reserve, based out of Washington D.C. He worked for Newhouse News Service in Washington as a regional reporter for small dailies

Sgt. Cahir (care) joined the Marine Corps as a reservist in 2003. After serving tours in western Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and 2006 to 2007, Sgt. Cahir returned to Newhouse. He resigned in January 2008 to run for Congress in Pennsylvania's 5th District; he lost in the Democratic primary. He had spent the past year working for Booz Allen Hamilton.

William John Cahir was born in Bellefonte, Pa. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in English in 1990.

Michael Scott Speicher Returns Home.....

Members of a Navy honor guard carry the remains of U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Scott Speicher to All Saints Chapel on Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Fla., Aug. 13, 2009. Speicher was killed when his F/A-18 Hornet was shot down over Anbar province, Iraq, on the first day of offensive operations during Desert Storm on Jan. 17, 1991. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Leah Stiles