22 February 2007

Adapt & Overcome

It's business as usual for US troops as they continue training to overcome various obstacles they may encounter on the path to victory.

Here, Air Crew personel practice the equipment modification procedure for dealing with a "Sudden Catastropic Funding Loss," also know as "The Democrat Drill."

On Walter Reed - The Best of "Major Z"

Major Chuck Ziegenfuss has once again surpassed the bar, one which he himself previously set mighty high, in his post on Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It is quite aptly titled "The Blame Game."
Having had intimate, firsthand experience with Walter Reed, he describes both it's excellent, cutting edge medical treatment as well as it's utter failure in providing a continuum of care once patients have progressed from the "critical" stage to that of convalescence and rehabilitation.
(Which, by the way, ARE critical phases in ensuring a positive outcome for the patient.)
Not content to just describe the problems at WRAM and hope that someone will come along to solve them; just as he did when creating Project Valor IT, he goes on to take responsibility for implementing the solutions as well.

The Blame Game may well be one of Chucks best written posts to date, and that is saying something.

20 February 2007

My adopted Marines in Stars & Stripes

It was pure luck of the draw when I adopted 3 K9 handlers who not only turned out to be from 2/3 Marines, home of my adopted platoon - they're even in the same company. Pictured 1st is one of those three, Sgt. Ray Lemmon and "Cross," as they executed a cordon and search operation in the town of Haditha, located in the infamous Anbar Province. "Cross" is a "bomb dog" trained to detect an impressive number of different explosive compounds. (He's also a big charmer!) You can read the full article about this operation in Stars & Stripes. Since it went so well, it's unlikely you'll read about it in the Times or see it on CNN. Below are some personal photos of the remaining two teams I've adopted, along with one more of "Cross." The faces and names of the handlers have been altered but the dogs are cleared to be shamelessly shown off.
First is "Cisco," also an explosives detection K9, being cradled in the lap of his handler LW.

(Is that a happy puppy if ever you saw one?)

"Gordon," is the gorgeous German Shepherd, posed with his handler LCI. Unlike his fellow K9s, Gordon is a police dog trained to track, guard and attack on command.
I feel in love with him at first sight. (The dog...not the handler!)
Finally, we're back to "Cross" who is barely visible at the feet of Sgt. Lemmon.
As of 13 FEB 2O07, 22 members of 2/3 have been killed during this deployment and that number has already increased by at least four. On their previous tour in Afghanistan, 2/3 suffered one casualty for the entire duration of their deployment.
My adopted platoon is due home near the end of March, while these three K9 teams will be in Iraq until early 2008.
May God keep them safe.

Click to see 2/3 Marines in Action during their 2005 Afghanistan tour.

Click to see Marine Corps K9 teams training in the Anbar Province

Wounded 2/3 Marine Comes Home In Style

The Honolulu Advisor tells the story of wounded 2/3 Marine, Lance Cpl. Steven Eastburn who received the travel upgrade of a lifetime courtesy of General Peter Pace and his C-40B executive jet.
Welcome home Cpl. Eastburn!

19 February 2007

And then there are Sailors...

Posted a "Best of The Best" video montage yesterday showing some of the more creative and hilarious moments of Soldiers with time on their hands. Wanting to give equal time to the Navy so that my squid cousins won't get all sensitive on me from feeling neglected, I went looking for a similar video for them. I found one - Lord did I find one.
Maybe it's from all that salt air or how they speak a language often requiring a translator for the rest of the Military, but Sailors are, well...different. So is this video. Don't get me wrong, it's hysterical and these boys definitely had some time on their hands.
But it is uniquely a maritime creation. I don't think that's a bad thing...
Just a Navy thing.
Enjoy the men of CS-6/USS Enterprise who keep the wolves at bay in dangerous waters.

Ok Danny Boy, do you and Fredo feel better now?
Miss you - Be Safe

18 February 2007

Gathering Of Eagles

If you are unaware of the need to protect The Vietnam Wall and our other Sacred War Memorials from the likes of Cindy Sheenan, Jane Fonda, and the usual who's who of Treason, Sedition and Cowardice, know this:
They are holding their annual anti-war rally
They have a history of vandalism and desecration of anything they consider to be a symbol of America, including memorials, flags, buildings and even people who represent this country that they hate so much. These are the creatures who have literally spit on our soldiers, protested outside their hospitals to mock their injuries, called them baby killing murderers and think that as such enlightened beings, their actions are justifiable because they pale in comparison to the evil of taking part in something so vile as war.
We can stop them...we must.
We can come from every corner of America and make a stand long overdue. I can think of no better way to honor out Military, than to defend their most hallowed ground, as they have always done for us.
This decision to defend The Wall, and the events leading up to it has been appropriately designated as:

The Gathering of Eagles
Clicking the logo above will take you the Gathering of Eagles website, where you can read the same mission statement posted here. Please go now! This even will occur on March 17, 2006 and even if you can not attend, there are many, many more ways you can help.

Our Mission Statement

1. Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan. While each member has his or her own political beliefs, our common love and respect for America and her heroes is what brings us together.
2. We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds.
3. We believe that the war memorials are sacred ground; as such, we will not allow them to be desecrated, used as props for political statements, or treated with anything less than the solemn and heartfelt respect they–and the heroes they honor–deserve.
4. We are wholly and forever committed to our brothers and sisters in uniform. As veterans, we understand their incredible and noble sacrifices, made of their own accord for a nation they love more than life itself. As family members, we stand by them, and as Americans, we thank God for them.
5. We believe in and would give our lives for the precious freedoms found in our Constitution. We believe that our freedom of speech is one of the greatest things our country espouses, and we absolutely hold that any American citizen has the right to express his or her approval or disapproval with any policy, law, or action of our nation and her government in a peaceful manner as afforded by the laws of our land.
6. However, we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.
7. We vehemently oppose the notion that it is possible to “support the troops but not the war.” We are opposed to those groups who would claim support for the troops yet engage in behavior that is demeaning and abusive to the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform.
8. We believe in freedom at all costs, including our own lives. We served to protect the freedoms Americans enjoy, and we agree with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
9. We will accept nothing less than total, unqualified victory in the current conflict. Surrender is not an option, nor is defeat.10. We stand to challenge any group that seeks the destruction of our nation, its founding precepts of liberty and freedom, or those who have given of themselves to secure those things for another generation.

We will be silent no more.

You won't believe your eyes!


Count every "F" in the following text:




THERE ARE 6 -- no joke.

Really, go Back and Try to find all 6 F's before you scroll down.

The reasoning behind this???

The brain cannot process "OF".

Incredible or what?
Go back and look again!!
Anyone who counts all 6 "F's" on the first go is a genius.
Three is normal, four is quite rare.
Invite your friends to try this.
It will drive them INSANE!
(Which is always fun, right?)

Thanks RobbDog!

You Gotta Love Em!

Soldiers with time on their hands...

17 February 2007

In A Class By Herself

After recently contributing a few terrorists to the world, it's nice to remember the good guys who've come from the Lone Star State.
Of course President Bush comes to mind, but right now I am especially fond of this Lady... Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
I had the privilege of running a 5k with Senator Hutchison 2 years ago, and she is a class act. (Not to mention a hell of a runner-I had to work to keep pace with her.) When I look at some of our other female leaders like Hillary and Nancy I think they would do well to emulate her common sense at the very least and at best her ability to make a decision and stick with it.
(Too much to hope for anything more, I'm afraid.)
She is one of the few remaining Senate members whose stance on Iraq and our troops has never wavered. Our Nation and the state of Texas are blessed to have a leader who actually knows how to lead.

16 February 2007

"I'll just hit the brakes, and he'll fly right by..."

Said Mavrick to Goose waaaaaaaaay back in 1980-something.
Not my favorite line from Top Gun, but not a bad plan at all...even works on hijackers in 2007.
Check out Ace of Spades for the Sweet story of how the pilot used this techineque to stop the Mauritanian hijacker and how everyone on the flight got to play too.
Ace of Spades & Jules Crittenden

Just An Okie from...Islamabad.

I'd drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma to buy this Man a beer today if his religious beliefs allowed it.
Then again, Jamal Miftah has proven to me that there is such a thing as a moderate Muslim and that he's one of them, so maybe I'll get to buy him that beer someday.
I hope so...I truly do.
His chose a very pubic approach to let the Emperor know that he's naked...and added that hiding behind Mosques and innocent people to shield this fact just makes him a morally corrupt coward who is, of course, still naked.
Unfortunately, this is not sitting well with his more zealous Muslim breathren. In fact, they declared him anti-islamic and kicked him out of the local Mosque for life. And that's just the non-threatening stuff.
Welcome to America Jamal! You are welcome in my Church and my Watering Hole anytime.

Long Live The King!

"If the Infantry is the Queen of Battle then who's the King?"


I was 5 or 6 the first time I posed this question to my Dad and thus continued my education in the Military Sciences including some live fire artillery exercises that I begged for months to watch.
As a kid, it was the most incredible thing I'd ever seen felt or heard and it's still pretty high up on that list.
Mom did NOT approve at all and I'm sure she was starting to wonder if someone gave her the wrong baby when they adopted me. She had specifically waited for a baby girl to take home and I wanted nothing to do with that plan.
Dad, meanwhile, had more than a wannabe son. He had a little girl who hero-worshiped him as only a daughter can who also liked to watch (or assist) things blowing up.
Father and son soap box races? That's nice.
We made father and daughter daisy chains...out of trainer claymores.
Which is probably why I nearly fell out of my chair when NOTAR at ROFASIX made this suggestion for that extra edge in residntial security. Good thing I also have a dog as he also suggested, because once the idea was there - I couldn't stop mentally re-arranging my mine field.
Sick and twisted? Perhaps...
With that in mind, here's the King himself doing some of his best work for the camera and the idiots holding it...Enjoy!

US Artiliary Up Close & Personal!

15 February 2007

Stupid Women Piss Me Off

Hate to break it to you, Miss Frequent Flyer, but you don't get a new jet for such stupid proclamations as this: "President Bush lacks authority to invade."
The Commander In Chief doesn't NEED authority to invade your space let alone Iran.
That's how that whole CIC thing works.
Yes, he has to get to congress within a certain period of time after ordering military action.
That is NOT the same as needing your permission or anyone else's.
And since announcing to your next door neighbor that you can't defend yourself is nothing shy of galactically stupid, I have to ask just what the Hell was going through your estrogen-depleted brain when you held a press conference to announce the same thing to the world?
Sweet Jesus...I knew you were a self-absorbed female, but even I hadn't realized that you really ARE a stupid b**** until today.
Thanks for setting our gender back 25 years WHILE acting as a living, breathing National Security Risk - most impressive!
Ever hear that joke about women as life-support systems?
I wouldn't even trust you with that one.

14 February 2007

Remembering a Friend...

Valentine's Day has never quite been the same for me and a lot of the people in my little world since the morning of February 14, 2000. In that pre-September 11th era of innocence, I had never been touched personally by a line of duty death. It hadn't happened in my department...ever, and it hadn't happened to anyone in the bigger municipal department bordering mine since 1977. But that morning, what became known as "The McDonalds Fire," changed everything when Firefighter Kim Smith and Captain Lewis Mayo were killed in a fire that was deliberately set at a local McDonald's resteraunt to cover up a burglery.
I first met Kim on a mutual aid call where she and I were the only two women in a sea of men. She was small, like me, but strong enough to be part of a ladder company and she had four years more experience than I did. She had competed in the National Firefighter Combat Challenge, loved to run and had two dogs she adored.
I had found someone to emulate.
Seven years later, that's something I still try to do.
Miss you, Gal.

09 February 2007

How I Came To Be & More

As promised, here's the modified version of a comment I left at Froggy Ruminations that explains not only how I became who I am; it gives my take on why supporting our troops is so important. I posted it here, in it's original version just about a year ago when I first began this blog, along with a post about my Dad right after it, but some things are worth repeating, especially my feelings on this subject and those for my Dad, the very first Hero I ever knew.

1. December, 1970:
The Man I proudly call "Dad" wanted a son when he and my mother set out to adopt a child. He learned that a baby girl awaiting adoption lost her biological father while fighting with the 101st AIRBORNE in Vietnam three months after she was born. He tells me to this day that the idea of "His" son fell easily to the idea of ANY soldier's daughter growing up not knowing a soldier's love. "Dad" was in Korea, in a different division and from different place in history - but because soldiers love each other, I've been able to love two of them as only a daughter can for 35 years.
2. September 11th, 2001:
I was rolling 1 3/4" hose line after a "normal" bread & butter structure fire when I heard about the attacks. That is my job. When 343 of my brothers died doing their jobs that day, the men and women of the US military did far more than demand a reckoning. They set out to ensure a future where our professions cross over only on our terms and no one else’s. They have delivered on both counts.
3. Fast forward to August 24th, 2005:
I have “adopted” many individual service members and entire platoons over the last two years and to a man their gratitude for the smallest thought is overwhelming. But on this day I sat in tears reading the most touching thank you note I have ever received in my lifetime. What merited a personal letter of that caliber?

A few pounds of Starbucks Coffee and a card.

I sent those simple things to a group of men who volunteer for training & tours in Hell just to earn the right to demonstrate their intense love of this country. Unlike the folks who sparked this rare rant of mine, their protests signs are written in their *own* blood and no one else’s. They shed it willingly because that is how men of this breed express outrage against terrorism – they act. And in their darkest hour of grief, their commanding officer did not seek public platforms to complain. He shared private moments of hope and pride and gratitude by taking the time to personally thank people like me for a decent cup of coffee, a piece of printed cardboard, and a few words of prayers and appreciation that were woefully shy of honoring him and his fallen brothers as fully as they deserve.
You may have read about this particular group of men at Froggy’s Blog. Froggy held our hands while we prayed for them, rejoiced with us as the “ONE” came home, and granted us the privilege, worthy of it or not, to say goodbye to them at their memorial services.

So, you see, for me, this is so very simple and all the debate in the world can’t change it – I love my defenders. I support their mission, their Commander In Chief and in my eyes, there simply is no other way to support THEM.

I have no doubt that my opinion is biased on supporting our troops. But I can take away any of the factors that make it so and one final unifying factor remains...I am an American. I know many, many people who do not have the ties to these men and women that I do. To them, it makes no difference. I know many whose ties are much closer and more personal. They do not need them. They all love our troops. They honor and support them just as fiercely as I do. They are Americans...and that is all they need.

And that is how this Angel came to be, how she came to love the military and how she is blessed to be surrounded by heroes in her life.

When Your Parents Need You

This photo is of my Dad in Korea in 1953.

While I've manged to leave a few comments here and there, I really haven't had time to post since his surgery. He IS doing very well, especially considering that he's 77 years old, but he still needs a lot of medical care and since that's part of what I what I do for a living, I am his primary care giver. I don't mind it one bit - in fact, I consider it an honor.
Still, it takes up a lot of my time; hence my lack of posting recently.
On a comment I once left, I explained that Dad adopted me after my biological Father was killed in Vietnam. When I have my emotions under control, I'll post about how that came to be.
Till' then, I ask all of you for your prayers so that I can find the strength to carry on, and that he, my Hero, will make a full recovery.
Many Thanks,


Shut Up & Jump!