Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The funeral for the young man who always wanted to be a Marine will be held three days after what would have been his 20th birthday.
The public memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 6 at St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church, where Centanni attended services for most of his life.
No public memorial services for Cottle, a 27-year veteran Marine and high-ranking SWAT officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, have been announced.
Centanni’s body is expected to arrive at Los Alamitos Joint Force Training Base at 2 p.m. Friday.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Lance Cpl. Randy M. Heck, 20, of Steubenville, Ohio, died March 28 from a non-hostile incident in Djibouti, Africa. He was assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
This incident is under investigation.
Randy M. Heck was born in Tulare, Calif., May 24, 1989, the son of Eugene Heck of Steubenville, Ohio and Teresa A. Black of Amsterdam, Ohio.
He was a 2007 graduate of Harrison High School where he excelled in track and football. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines during his senior year and served his first tour of duty in Iraq.
Survived by his wife Kara J. Bell Heck and daughter Cali of Steubenville.
Funeral services will be held at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Burial at Bloomingdale Cemetery where full military honors will be accorded.
Offer condolences at www.shorac.com
The Santa Ana Police Department has set up an account and Web site for donations
in Centanni's memory, at http://www.rickcentanni.com/
They hope to use the money to set up a scholarship at Esperanza High School in
Centanni's name and have a plaque for him installed at the Yorba Linda Veterans
Santa Ana Police Chief Paul M. Walters said there likely would be a
full departmental turnout for a memorial for Centanni.
"When something like this happens, everybody hurts," Walters said.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Police Chief Charlie Beck and others remembered an LAPD SWAT team
sergeant and killed in Afghanistan. Sgt. Major Robert J. Cottle, a 45-year-old
LAPD veteran, and Lance Cpl. Rick Centanni, 19, were killed Wednesday by the
same roadside improvised explosive device while riding in an armored truck in
southern Helmand Province.
Two other Marines were seriously wounded. Both Marines,
coincidentally, lived in Yorba Linda. Family members and friends there were told
of the casualties late Thursday. Cottle, assigned to the Los Angeles Police
Department's elite Metropolitan Division, was the first active sworn member of
the LAPD killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the Los Angeles Police
Protective League, the police union. Scores of LAPD officers knew Cottle,
including some who graduated with him from the Los Angeles Police Academy, and
said they were devastated when news of his death was reported Thursday. LAPD's
new chief had known Cottle for 20 years. "He was a man of great character; a man
of great ability; a man with a huge heart," Beck said today, as 39 recruits
became police officers at the Police Academy in Elysian Park. "And he
demonstrated the passion in his life, which was protecting others, in everything
he did. He did that as a police officer when he worked for me on the streets of
South Los Angeles; he did that as an officer in Metropolitan Division; and he
did that as a sergeant major in the United States Marine Corps."
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Thursday said Cottle "will eternally
remain a part of this department. His unwavering dedication to public service
will undoubtedly live on as an example to future generations of officers."
Kenneth A. Cottle of Villa Park said his son had been due back from his
tour of duty at the end of May. Cottle's wife, Emily, serves in the Navy in
Hawaii. The two married about a year ago and have an 8-month-old daughter, Kaila
Jane. Kenneth Cottle, an Air Force veteran, recalled his son was so eager to be
a Marine that he tried to enlist when he was 17 but had to wait another year.
Cottle ended his active service in the Marine Corps in 1990, when he joined the
LAPD, but he wanted to fight in Afghanistan, his father said. He had been there
since last August.
Centanni also had local police ties. His father, Sgt. Jon Centanni, serves
in the Santa Ana Police Department's gang unit, said Santa Ana police Detective
Jose Becerra, a family friend. Centanni joined the Marines right out of high
school and aspired to be a cop just like his father, Becerra said. Both Cottle
and Centanni belonged to the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, based
in Camp Pendleton. Becerra, who thought of the young man like a nephew,
recounted that when Centanni was 17, he stayed close to Becerra as his
"honorary" uncle recuperated from surgery. "He wouldn't leave my side," Becerra
said. "I said, `Go, do what you need to do. It's summertime.' But he wouldn't
leave until my wife came home."
Cottle and Centanni were traveling in an armored vehicle with two
other Marines in Marja, an agricultural community dominated by opium farming in
southwest Afghanistan, when their vehicle struck an IED. Marja was seized from
Taliban rebels in a major offensive last month. The bodies of Cottle and
Centanni will be flown to Delaware and then to the Joint Forces Training Base in
Los Alamitos, probably next week, Kenneth Cottle said.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER NEWS
YORBA LINDA – Flags will be flown at half staff through next week in Yorba Linda, where a community reeling from the loss of two local Marines is searching for ways to show support for the men's families.
Sgt. Major Robert J. Cottle, 45, and Lance Cpl. Rick J. Centanni, 19, were killed early Wednesday by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Afghanistan, relatives and authorities said.
The flags at Yorba Linda City Hall were lowered to half mast following the news that Marine Lance Cpl. Rick J. Centanni, 19, and Sgt. Major Robert J. Cottle, 45, both of Yorba Linda, were killed in action in Afghanistan. Both were riding in a vehicle that was destroyed by an improvised explosive device early Wednesday.
Cottle was a 27-year veteran Marine and high-ranking SWAT officer for the Los Angeles Police Department who was married to a naval officer and had a 9-month-old daughter.
Centanni was a 2008 graduate of Esperanza High School whose love for the Marines inspired four of his best friends to enlist with and convinced each and every one of us to join," Lance Cpl. Joseph Patterson said. "We saw the way he was when he came out of boot camp, the sense of accomplishment and pride he had. We all wanted to serve our country together.
Friday, March 26, 2010
The following Marines died March 24 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan:
Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Cottle, 45, of Whittier, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Rick J. Centanni, 19, of Yorba Linda, Calif.
Cottle and Centanni were assigned to 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion..
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
photo: CPL Jon W. HalinkowskiLocation: TWENTYNINE STUMPS
Amazing. Earthquakes at 10 point seismic scale and homeboy here did not feel a thing.What planet is this boy from? Not the US of A. No Sir. On this planet in 1776, our Founding Fathers set the STANDARD for the world for individual freedom.
Where have you been, homeboy. You have been busy with your pig snot nose buried deep in the trough chopping down. Yead buddy. John Boy...I am talking to you from the heart... John-boy. Time to come home. You need prayer. And more time with your family. Chores at the ranch need tending to...hell fire. John boy is a perfect poster boy for what is wrong with so-called conservatives in the Republican party. Shoot. This morning Limbaugh was calling for a plan to pink slip any thing in Congress with a D after his/her name. John Boy. Your name is going up there. You need to be FIRST. For a so called Republican conservative that does not appreciate the advantages of a Limited Yankee Government AKA as keep your cotton picking fingers off my wallet, my property. John Boy--a limited yankee government is MY guarantee that my freedom, my liberty, my life and my pursuit of happiness will not be diminished by bullshit abstract ideas of property distribution through taxation. Ideas, John Boy, that Europe has already proved DO NOT WORK. It is an illusion! There only so many teats to suck on and after that, guess what, John Boy? You are SO shit out of luck. John Boy come back to the ranch. The stables need to be shoveled out. They are also full of bull shit.
National Republican Senatorial Committee chair John Cornyn (R-Tex.) implicitly acknowledged that Republicans are content with allowing some elements of Obama's reform into law. And they'd generally ignore those elements when taking the fight to their Democrat opponents as November approaches.
"There is non-controversial stuff here like the preexisting conditions exclusion and those sorts of things," the Texas Republican said. "Now we are not interested in repealing that. And that is frankly a distraction."THP
"With the president signing this unwanted and “transformative” government takeover of our health care system today with promises impossible to keep, let’s not get discouraged. Don’t get demoralized.
We’re going to reclaim the power of the people from those who disregarded the will of the people.
We’re going to fire them and send them back to the private sector, which has been shrinking thanks to their destructive government-growing policies.
Maybe when they join the millions of unemployed, they’ll understand why Americans wanted them to focus on job creation and an invigorated private sector.
Come November, we’re going to print pink slips for members of Congress as fast as they’ve been printing money.
We’re paying particular attention to those House members who voted in favor of Obamacare and represent districts that Senator John McCain and I carried during the 2008 election. Three of these House members are retiring – from Arkansas’s 2nd district, Indiana’s 8th district, and Tennessee’s 6th district – but we’ll be working to make sure that those who replace them are Commonsense Conservatives.
The others are running for re-election, and we’re going to hold them accountable for this disastrous Obamacare vote.
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1), Harry E. Mitchell (AZ-5), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8), John Salazar (CO-3), Betsy Markey (CO-4). Allen Boyd (FL-2), Suzanne M. Kosmas (FL-24), Baron P. Hill (IN-9), Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL), Charlie Wilson (OH-6), John Boccieri (OH-16), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3), Christopher Carney (PA-10), John M. Spratt, Jr. (SC-5), Tom Perriello (VA-5), Alan B. Mollohan (WV-1), and Nick J. Rahall II (WV-3).
We’ll aim for these races and many others. This is just the first salvo in a fight to elect people across the nation who will bring common sense to Washington. Please go to sarahpac.com and join me in the fight. Stand tall, America. Real change is coming! " - Sarah Palin
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Story/photo Photo by Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson
Lance Corporals Kloyce E. Dennard and Nicholas P. Dennard, have stuck together as Marines all the way through boot camp to reserve drill weekends to deploying with their company.
Delta Co. is a reserve light armored reconnaissance element attached to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"It's inevitable that when he's there, I'm there," said Nicholas.n"We've always ended up doing everything together, whether it was deploying or spending time at home."
Kloyce, 22 and Nicholas, 20 were born on different sides of the international dateline while raised in a Marine family by their father, Lt. Col. Ronald K. Dennard, and mother, Ruby. Moving from station to station, in places like Hawaii and Okinawa, they kept their bond throughout their childhood.
"When we were younger, times were tough with the moving, but me and Nick stuck together through it all," said Kloyce. "During my childhood, I didn't always have friends, but I always had my brother."
After Kloyce graduated high school, the brothers' relationship became distant for the first time in their lives. While Kloyce was attending junior college, he was faced with hardships, forcing him to drop classes and work full time.
Kloyce was working his way through a dead end job until hearing his brother was joining the Marine Corps Reserve. He decided then that he wanted to join the service he was meant for, along with his brother.
"When my brother was talking about the Marine Corps, I knew it was time for me to join," said Kloyce. "I always knew I was going to join, I just didn't know when."
"The Marine Corps was everything I knew," said Nicholas. "I always wanted to be able to say 'I'm a Marine.'"
In December 2005 the brothers signed up together at the recruiting station in Richmond, Va. Only a month after they enlisted, they were on their way to Parris Island, S.C. They arrived and were greeted with an awakening that would change their lives forever.
During their term at boot camp, the brothers were in separate platoons but ran into each other on many occasions. They rallied in events, from performing a physical fitness test to throwing down in a contest of pugil sticks.
"When my brother and I fought in pugil sticks, it was not like fighting [just] any person because it was a grudge match," said Nicholas said while laughing with Kloyce. "I won from a jab to the face."
"I remember during the PFT, Nick gave me a high-five during the run portion," said Kloyce. "It made me laugh and I got my butt chewed by my drill instructor for smiling."
The new Marines continued serving together through the school of infantry, and they checked into Bravo Company, 4th LAR, at the same time. They transferred to Delta Co. to volunteer to deploy to Iraq, where they would become closer than ever.
"How brothers are back at home are a lot different than how we are," said Nicholas. "We constantly are there to look out for each other and because of this deployment, it has made us really close."
Now deployed with Delta Co., they are regarded by their fellow Marines as great Marines and are always ready for the mission despite the costs.
"The Dennard brothers display a great positive energy for the other Marines in the company and are highly respected amongst their peers," said 1st Sgt. Kevin J. Gilligan, company first sergeant of Delta Co. "As brothers they are always looking out for their other brothers: their fellow Marines and sailors."
Despite confidence in the combat readiness they've gained while training with their unit, they still can't help but worry about each other. Although it can be stressful worrying about one another, they feel normal serving together in Iraq at the same time.
"It was like he and I were going on a little trip to a far away place," said Nicholas. Kloyce added, "The only difference is that I'm worried that something might happen to him if we receive contact."
Nick and Kloyce plan to return to the States and pursue careers in either fire fighting or police work around Mechanicsville, Va., where they currently reside. The Marines say they're going to remain close no matter what the future may hold.
"Joining the Marine Corps made us better friends and we became as close as brothers could get," said Kloyce. "The first time he and I went outside the wire together, it was exciting to have him there."
Saturday, March 20, 2010
WHAT: Jeremy Kane Benefit Run
WHEN: April 25, 2010
WHERE: Cherry Hill, NJ
GOAL: OIF/OEF Monument at Rutgers New Brunswick
"Veterans for Education will be coordinating a 2 mile run in the interest of raising money for a memorial commemorating Jeremy Kane. "
"With the brave sacrifice of Jeremy Kane-USMC in the interest of our freedom, Veterans for Education has come to the sad realization that there is no memorial at Rutgers University to commemorate those warriors who have fallen after 9/11. With this benefit run in Jeremy Kane's honor, we will raise the money to finally honor all those brave students/graduates who have given all, so we might be free."
"The run will begin at 10:00 am sharp at Cherry Hill East High School. Once the run begins, we will have Cherry Hill police/fire vehicles leading the run and blocking off traffic. The run will end at M'Kor Shalom Synagogue where a ceremony for Jeremy, as well as other students/graduates of Rutgers who have fallen will take place. Water will be provided, as well as an ambulance on standby. At the end of the run, a shuttle bus will be provided to transport participants conveniently back to their vehicles at Cherry Hill East High School parking lot.So come on! Get back into great shape this summer for an awesome cause. Run with us! " DETAILS HERE
Brown One is now in AFG for his third trip abroad and I am astonished he managed to find time to read the CSquare. There you go. Made my day that he is ok and communicating. WoooWhoo!!! Will be trudging through the archives to find relevant War Pig articles."Stars and Stripes online: Oct and Nov 2009- pix and articles from Bravo here at Khan Neshin Castle. Not sure about Dec-Feb. Hope all is well in TX. The site looks great."
Ok. First one. I am going to list the entire chapter and verse as I'm not sure how stable the link will be. Page 3 vol. 7# 251/Thursday Dec 17, 2009 "Undermanned Marines Police Border" by Sebastian Abbot, AP. Mentioned in the story are Lt. Col. Michael Martin, CO 4th LAR and Capt. Timothy Newkirk, XO.
Two:"Afghan Drug Problem Vexes Americans" Picture of Cpl. Joseph Kelly. News Story how 4th LAR is throwing a monkey wrench into the Taliban plans for global domination. page 3, Tuesday, January 10, 2010 vol 7 #268
Friday, March 19, 2010
Story/photo LCpl. Michael Nerl
The RPG-7 was a war trophy recovered in 2003 during the battalion's first deployment in support of OIF, said Lt. Col. Ken Kassner, the battalion commander, and a native of Coupland, Texas.
"We recovered the RPG during the battalion's first OIF deployment in 2003," said Kassner. "It was displayed to honor all the Marines and sailors who so valiantly served this battalion during all the OIF deployments."
Kassner said the unveiling was special for multiple reasons.
Luckily, the former battalion and company commanders who recovered the RPG were both aboard the Combat Center at the same time. Brig. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, then a lieutenant colonel, was the 'Wolfpack' commander, while Maj. Jon Custis, then a captain, was the company commander. Custis is now the executive officer of 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Kassner said it was an honor for him to be involved in the unveiling.
"I have made three of the battalion's five deployments," he said. "I know first hand the many heroic contributions made by all the Wolfpack Marines and sailors to the war effort."
Clardy, now the Combat Center's commanding general, told those in attendance why the war trophy was chosen.
"All the companies at the time suggested different weapons," said the former battalion commander, and native of Pawleys Island, S. C. "We chose it over the RPK, mortar and other weapons to take home because it was the most dangerous one.
"We faced its capabilities throughout the entire deployment," he said.
Clardy also thanked the Marines and sailors both past and present who have made 3rd LAR the outstanding unit it is today.
"The battalion is as good, or better, than it was when I was here," he said.
Cpl. Robert Ray, an optics mechanic with the battalion's Headquarters and Service Company, said the RPG will serve as a good historical link for current and future unit members.
"It's really important to remember where you came from," said the Kenton, Ohio native. "Marines have been earning names like 'Devil Dog' because of what we've done.
"Marines have built a reputation and trust for doing what we do and doing it well," he said. "It's only fitting that we pay tribute to those who went before us."
CPL GREGORY A. RUSSELL, USMC
Thursday, March 18, 2010
PHOTO: MSGT HOWARD J. FARRELL
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Hello, I’m United States Sen. Scott Brown from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
When the people of my state elected me in January, they sent more than a senator to Washington – they sent a message. Across party lines, the voters told politicians in Washington to get its priorities right.
And from my travels and conversation with people throughout this country, they told me that they want their president and Congress to focus on creating jobs and reviving America’s economy. Instead, for more than a year now, we have seen a bitter, destructive and endless drive to completely transform America’s healthcare system.
In January of last year, unemployment hit 7.2% and our economy was hurting badly. But, early in President Obama’s term, he and the Democratic leadership of Congress made takeover of healthcare their first priority.
Today, times are even tougher across our nation when it comes to our economy. Nearly one in 10 Americans are still out of work. And still, the president and Congress are focused on ramming through their healthcare bill, whatever it takes, whatever the cost.
Maybe you remember what President Obama promised in his State of the Union address. He said....
...he was going to finally focus on jobs and the economy for the remainder of this year. I applauded him for that. Well, here it is, it’s almost spring. And what is he out there talking about again? That same 2,700-page, multi-trillion dollar healthcare legislation.
So, an entire year has gone to waste. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and many more jobs are in danger. Even now, the president still hasn't gotten the message.
Somehow, the greater the public opposition to the healthcare bill, the more determined they seem to force it on us anyway. Their attitude shows Washington at its very worst – the presumption that they know best, and they’re going to get their way whether the American people like it or not.
And, when politicians start thinking like that, they don’t let anything get in their way – not public opinion, not the rules of fair play, not even their own promises.
They pledged transparency. Instead, we have a healthcare bill tainted by secrecy, concealed cost, and full of backroom deals – and that’s just not right. They should do better. The American people expect more.
They pledged a true bipartisan effort. Instead, they have resorted to bending the rules, and they now intend to seize control of healthcare in America on a strict party-line vote.
In speech after speech on his healthcare plan, the president has tried to convince us that what he is proposing will be good for America. But, how can it be good for America if it raises taxes by a half-trillion dollars and costs a trillion dollars or more to implement? In addition, how can it be good if it takes another half a trillion dollars away from seniors on Medicare, and still includes all the backroom deals you have been hearing about for months?
Well, for the past year or more, the new establishment in Washington has tried again and again to sell this plan to the American people. But the Americans aren't buying it, and for good reason.
And now, what’s going on is a last, desperate power play. They actually tell us that passing the bill is necessary, if only to prove that something can get done in Washington.
Well, I haven’t been here very long, but I can tell you this much already: Nothing has distracted the attention and energy of the nation’s capital more than this disastrous detour. And, the surest way to return to the people’s business is to listen to the people themselves:
We need to drop this whole scheme of federally controlled healthcare, start over, and work together on real reforms at the state level that will contain costs and won’t leave America trillions of dollars deeper in debt.
This, above all, was the message that the people of my state sent to the president and the Congress in the election over a month ago.
You know some of my Democratic colleagues, you know, are being leaned on mighty hard right now. Speaker Pelosi and others are handing down their marching orders, telling them to vote for this bill no matter what.
Rarely have elected leaders been so intent on defying the public will. For many members of Congress, the time for choosing is near – do what the party leadership demands, or do what the people have asked you to do. If my colleagues don’t mind some advice from a newcomer, I’d suggest going with the will of the people.
After all, from the very beginning of this debate, the American people have called it correctly. In every part of the country, Republicans and Democrats have agreed on serious, straightforward, commonsense healthcare reform. They expect us in Washington to do the same – working together, acting fairly and by the rules, and staying focused on the need to make the American economy as strong as it can be.
That is the business that brought me here on an unexpected journey to Washington. And, it’s the responsibility of everyone sent here to serve our country. We can do better – and I challenge my colleagues and the president to do just that. I’m Sen. Scott Brown and thank you very much for listening. ###
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
The Salt Lake Tribune:
The Utah County Commission is asking residents to fly their flags at half-staff this week in honor of two county residents killed in Afghanistan.
Lance Cpl. Carlos Aragon of Orem, was killed March 1 in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan's Helmand province. Two days later, Lance Cpl. Nigel Olsen, a Salem resident, was killed when he stepped on a homemade land mine in the same region.
Both men were graduates of Mountain View High School in Orem and were members of the same Marine company.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Seven years ago, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Leventhal embedded with LAR War Pig units on the run for Baghdad. I never missed a single broadcast. It was a surreal experience. Everyday rushing to work, my heart and mind thousands of miles away, rushing home at night to hunker down in front of the TV to watch what the DVD recorder had captured of that day's war advance. I even caught a glimpse of my son, once, when the War Pigs paused to refuel. B4LAR stopped advancing to Baghdad at this stadium. The name now escapes me. Rick Leventhal continued on to Baghdad with a grunt line company and in one of his first televised broadcasts walking the streets of Baghdad, I recall, he said he felt naked without a War Pig. HEH. Armor will do that to you. Today Rick is at the Live Fire Range at 29 stumps. I could not get the video to lock on so I copied the link. We WIN. The Bastards Lose.
exclusive: Marines Live Fire Training « Liveshots
By Rick Leventhal| Liveshots
… to a combat zone gets 30 days of live fire training at 29 Palms Air Ground Combat Center in the California desert, roughly ..... conditions in the middle east. At 932 square miles, 29 Palms is the largest live-fire training base in the world …
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, 08 March 2010
Yesterday, an American involved in the war effort handed me a document. It was an email from a Lieutenant Colonel in the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan. His unit is in combat seven days a week. To be clear, I did not get the email from the officer and I have never met him.
The email is about the abysmal, unsafe conditions which some of our most dedicated troops are living in, at a remote base run by the Spanish military in Afghanistan. All deletions [xxx] are by me. I have the entire email. The serious and disturbing allegations are found in the second and third paragraphs.
Please note, that the failure to support permanent US troops at this Spanish base constitutes real negligence about their ultimate safety. And that comes on top of a degree of harassment that is shocking among allies.
The message begins:
I just finished spending a couple days with TF [xxx] at [xxx] and visiting all of our sites that we have troopers located at. Great progress continues to be made in the [xxx], but several items need some help ASAP:
[Para 1 deleted]
2) Qal E Naw: The Spanish are not interested in helping in anyway, and are trying to make us decide to leave based on their unacceptable treatment of Americans. Our refuelers [soldiers who refuel helicopters] that are living there have to run out, unroll the hoses, pull security, and roll everything back up. They have asked for gravel along the FLS as it is currently calf deep mud, but the Spanish refuse to make any improvements. They asked for a T barrier (just one) to put at a 45 degree angle outside the fence where the FARP [Forward Arming and Refueling Point; where helicopters land for ammo and gas] has to be set up so they can run for cover in case there is small arms fire, the Spanish say no and refuse to make any improvements. They asked for a small gate where their billets are located so they can access the FARP directly rather than going a half mile loop to get out the gate, but the Spanish said no and refuse to make any improvements. They [sic] guys are living hard (we understand that) but have to do laundry by hand as all of their stuff is stolen if they turn it into the laundry, they discussed this with the Spanish, but they refuse to many any improvements.
USFOR-A needs to energize someone to develop a viable, enduring plan for this FARP that isn’t reliant on the Spanish. This is a key hub for fuel (since we can’t get trucks to [xxx] or [xxx]) so let’s improve this location to better support those guys living out there on the edge by themselves. They refused to allow a Marine detachment that was dropped there to come into the wire or feed them overnight. Our refuelers had to fight the Spanish to bring them in and squeeze them into the two small tents that they have and give them MREs as they [sic] Spanish wouldn’t feed them. Is this how we allow our Coalition partners to treat Americans?
3) BmG: Who ever briefed that they have gravel there has never been there. We arrived during a TIC [fighting] and a MEDEVAC mission. The aircraft have to land/park in a field that has no gravel and then they sink into the ground. They have to be moved everyday to pull them back out of the mud. If we can’t get gravel, how about putting some AM2 matting, stakes and a couple of Red Horse guys on a CH-47 and fly them in to build a couple of pads just big enough to park an individual UH-60 on? We’ve been pushing the gravel issues since last fall and are no closer to a solution. Those guys are living in fighting positions. When it begins to warm up in the next month, that field will be untenable without gravel or AM2 matting. We don’t want to lose MEDEVAC capability there because we couldn’t put in two pads. We did a MEDEVAC [troop(s) wounded] and Hero [troop(s) killed] mission while I was there and the next day as well, let’s not forget that they are on the tip of the spear, we owe them more.
I would like to discuss these Saturday to see what the way ahead is going to be.
On that note, the email closes.
So, our soldiers and Marines, living in rough conditions at the far tip of the spear, apparently are being treated with contempt, with all basic support denied, from laundry to the conditions of the field on which our troops do their thankless job. If this report is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, the Spanish are endangering the lives of our warriors by failing to provide basic safety.
To the extent that there is an international dimension to this potential problem, requiring a diplomatic solution, it deserves the immediate attention of our civilian leadership. Our able Secretary of Defense will likely wish to investigate, and bring it up with our Spanish allies for any corrective measures that might be in order. I will personally see that this gets to Secretary Gates. When Secretary Gates gets wind, we can rest easy that proper attention is forthcoming.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Lance Cpl. Nigel K. Olsen, 21, of Orem, Utah, died March 4 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
DESERET NEWS: Orem, Utah Marine Killed in Afghanistan
Second Orem Marine killed this week. "On Monday, Lance Cpl. Carlos Aragon, 19, was killed when he triggered an improvised explosive device while on a foot patrol in the same area."
These brave warriors belong in combat, not in the courthouse. They captured the most wanted terrorist in Iraq. We may never know how many other heroic missions they undertook on behalf of our country. The charges should be dropped, and they should be returned to their unit – with our gratitude for their service.
Stand up for the SEALs who are standing up for us!
- Sarah Palin
Friday, March 05, 2010
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Utah Daily Herald: Orem Marine
CA. Governor Issues Statement:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding the death of Lance Cpl. Carlos A. Aragon of Orem, UT:
"The state of Utah will never forget this young Marine, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country in Afghanistan. His selfless and faithful service is an example to all of us."
Jeanette and I offer our deepest gratitude for Lance Corporal Aragon's sacrifice on behalf of the people of Utah, and we extend our prayers to this young man's family."
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
The Department of Defense announced today the death Lance Cpl. Carlos A. Aragon, 19, of Orem, Utah, died March 1 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Just when you start to think you have seen everything:
Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri said his 600-page fatwa, or religious ruling, was an "absolute" condemnation of terrorism without "any excuses or pretexts".
"Good intentions cannot convert a wrong into good, they cannot convert an evil into good," he said.
"Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it, or any kind of excuses or ifs or buts."
Delta Company (D CO), 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (1LARB), 1st Marine Division (1MARDIV) preparing and moving Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs) and weapons to Live Fire Range 407A, at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 18, 2009.