Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I found this news from Army News Service quite interesting:
National Guard begins exchange with Israeli forces. TEL AVIV, Israel (Army News Service, Nov. 29, 2005) – National Guard leaders visited Israel last week to forge a new relationship with that country’s Home Front Command – to help keep both countries safe.

Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, led a 25-member delegation to Israel that included two state adjutants general.

The six-day visit ended Nov. 22 when Blum and Maj. Gen. Yitzshak (Jerry) Gershon, Israel’s Home Front commander, signed two letters proposing to exchange ideas, to train in each other’s country and to expand their expertise about responding to natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Looks like we aren't planning on leaving the Middle East anytime soon. Good news in my opinion. Too much at stake to cut skirts and run.

Something wicked this way comes

PT day fast approaches. Saturday is "D" day. I have no qualms about passing the push-ups and the sit-ups. My running is another story. I can do 20 push-ups and 50 sit-ups. Not bad for an old lady. I will really push myself on the run but... I just can't seem to get my speed up.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sad, sad, sad

Soldier's little girl murdered by step-father and mother's neglect and abuse. Read this sad story here.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thank You to the Families left behind....

Recently, I began seeing all the thank-you’s pouring in for our guys in serving in the Middle East, and rightfully so. Yet… I feel that the women and children holding down the home front are being neglected. Not by everybody…but I realize the sacrifices these women and the children are making. Well I want to say thank you. More than that, I want to post some of their stories here:

(27), mother of three, National Guard Husband (and high school sweet heart) in the SB (Sand Box)

Crystal, 26- Married 1 yr (been together for 4 yrs.), Army Husband stationed in Korea. Haven't had the chance to live together since married.

Charmaine mother of three, Army husband in Boot Camp. She is selling their home, leaving all family to follow him to Texas. They have never spent a night apart since marrying seven years ago, until he shipped off to Boot.

Kasie (20) mother of 22 month old son, Army husband soon to deploy.

Helene from Sweden, Army Fiance, in Iraq. They have been engaged for little more than a year now and together for almost 18 months. He has been gone 11 months now and he hasn't gotten any leave but will be home soon. This has been the hardest year she has ever experienced but would do it again without even thinking about it because she knows it is worth it.

Amy (34) Army Husband is stationed at Ft. McPherson in Atlanta doing rotations in Kuwait. AMy lives in Alabama, she is trying to seel their home to be closer to Ft. McPherson (Atlanta).

Stephanie (22) mother of 10 month old son, Army Husband served two deployments and to be deployed again soon.

(21) mother of 5 month old son, Air Force Husband in SB since Sept.

, Army Son in the SB.

Haley (20), Army fiance in SB...They plan on getting married when he gets home. Have been together 4 years. Her future mother-in-law is Shelley (see above).

Megan (20) mother of 5 month old daughter, Army Husband in SB 11 months so far.

(19), Army Husband getting ready to deploy.

Stephnie L.
, mother of three, National Guard Husband in Kuwait.

Loan (pronounced lahn) Army Husband in Iraq, she has cancer. She lives in base housing in a state completely removed from her family and her husband's family.

Laura (36), mother to six children (not a typo, SIX children), Husband in the Navy and deployed all the time. I used to be Navy so I know they leave home their whole career, peace time and war time. Laura works nights at Walmart to help supplement the income.

Heidi, mom of three-13, 10, and 6, National Guard Husband in SB. She has to handle a Teen and Pre-teen (both GIRLS!) alone.

Michelle, mother of four, Army husband, in the SB for 10 months.

Lori, children are grown, National Guard husband on second deployment. Hers has been a struggle much more on an emotional level,
the part about being alone day after day (no kids) without my best friend. I work full time in law enforcement, which takes most of my energy, and what's left goes to taking care of the house, paying the bills and all the other chores.

Sherita (27) mother of four, National Guard Husband in the SB. This is the second Thanksgiving without him.

Sherita continues:
DH just returned home from a 2 yr in-state deployment December 2004. This is the 2nd yr we’ve been without him on Thanksgiving but the 1st Christmas without him. My main struggle while hubby is gone is trying to deal with 4 rambunctious kids, one with severe breathing problems and trying to keep a clean house to keep the breathing troubles at bay and remember when all the bills are due. The baby has had breathing troubles since birth and just as we think they are getting better he plunges again. He is under constant watch by a lung specialist trying to figure out what causing his ails. They are doing a sleep study soon to test him for sleep apnea. He has a dark area in his lungs they just don’t know what it is. Just gets so frustrating having to deal with it alone. Then trying to pay all the bills when the military messes up the pay. The days I don’t have time to think about him not being here unless things get so crazy and I just burst into tears. But the nights they are the hardest. We’ve been married for 12 yrs now since I was 15 so I’m so used to him being there it’s hard sleeping alone....

I have had the privilege of conversing with these women and sitting in on their struggles. They don't talk about what is in the back of their minds. They never mention facing the risk of death their beloved faces everyday. They can't watch the news without worrying themselves sick. They deal with every problem alone and try to conjure up what would their husband say or do. They wait by the phone hoping against hope that he will call. If he is late calling they fall apart only to pull themselves back together again so he won't worry when he does call. They fight with a Military bureaucracy that defies comprehension to get problems with insurance, housing, and pay etc., resolved. They face unbelievably thoughtless comments from family "Who has he made beneficiary??" and friends "I hope he doesn't get shot listening to the MP3 player you bought him..." and struggle to regain the thread of sanity they had held onto.

Some days they fall apart. They can melt into a mass of blubbering tears and the next minute be a solid granite wall so the kids don't see Mommy lose it and worry. Some days they spend crying for no reason at all. Then the next day they are helping a sister in arms through the same emotions. They are nothing short of incredible. They are awe inspiring and I have learned a lot from them. I am a better person just knowing them.

These gals are sharp, bold, strong, resilient, weak, flustered, and scared all at the same time. They are deeply in love with their Soldier and willing to do anything for him while he is away doing everything for his country. To them, and every single wife/husband/mom/father/child of a Soldier, I have a deep sense of gratitude and I owe a hearty thank you. So, to the families left behind..... Thank You!

Happy Thanksgiving

Instead of posting all of the things I am thankful for (and I have too many to count) I wanted to post a letter from LTC Wesley serving in Iraq that was posted on Foxnews today. I am reminded of the troops fighting hard so that we have a peaceful fearless Thanksgiving. Without further comment:

I haven’t done as well staying in touch during this deployment. I suppose I am victim of the same thing that I tell journalists. That is, as challenging as this war is to fight, it is, in many ways, an even harder story to tell. But I was speaking last night to the parents of a soldier of mine who was wounded just yesterday. In the course of this discussion — mind you, their son had just been seriously wounded by a roadside bomb — they asked ME how WE were doing; in the midst of their anguish at the news of the insurgents' drawing blood from their son, they were concerned about ME… about OUR mission… about our calling as a nation! God bless this fine family — and yes, the honor of their son — for having the noble understanding that what we fight for is far beyond the self-serving motivations of many of our critics. After speaking to his wife and his mother and father — and doing my best to describe our progress — "David's" mother said, "We need to HEAR this… we don't hear these things on the news!"

The conviction of hearing this "appeal" from the mother of one of my soldiers is what inspires me to write this letter. My gosh, it is the least I could do to honor the sacrifice of a soldier, a wife, a dad… a young man’s mom.

Two days ago, there was a suicide car bomb that exploded on the streets in a small village in my area. This car bomb was driven by a woman. She attempted to target, among other things, one of our coalition patrols. It exploded right in front of a girls’ school as classes were being adjourned. The net outcome: a minor wound to the arm of an American soldier, miraculously none of the Iraqi students were wounded, and she blew herself to smithereens.

This attack is a typical story you hear about in the news, I am sure. And it beats on Americans' consciences like a steady drip of carnage that seems to achieve little more than more tragedy. And the American citizen asks, "Why… what are we doing there?" There are nuances to this, and other things about which you don’t hear, that are instructive to what we ARE doing here.

Are we making progress? "Sure," some critics would say, "The election on 15 October was a success, but the attacks continue… the carnage of useless violence is prevalent." Are we really making progress?

This car bomb is important to look at for a moment before I answer that. This was by no means the first such attack I have seen. But, at the expense of forcing you to read more of the macabre, I must tell you that as I surveyed this site I was disgusted by the grotesque nature of someone blowing themselves literally to bits — over 100 square meters — and for no tactical end. There was hardly a political "end" to this in that there was not even a morsel of media attention paid to it other than to strike a note of terror into the community. And as I walked around this site I was struck by the fact that there is nothing our soldiers — nothing our nation — has done that could drive someone to do such a thing to their own "gift of life" bestowed by our creator… other than unadulterated evil. Make no mistake, this was not some frustrated Iraqi tired of American presence. This was a "third country national" import, likely from a middle class community who was recruited from outside Iraq. It was only evil, fostered in the heart of this "martyr," that drove this behavior. Furthermore, as I surveyed this scene, it was apparent to me that a lack of action — that is had we NOT been involved in Iraq — would not attenuate such evil. After all, let's be clear. The attacks on our nation on 9/11 — four moderately filled civilian aircraft flying into our cities — were nothing more than four gigantic suicide car bombs!

So what does attenuate such evil? Interestingly, the answer to that question is the same answer to the question, "Are we making progress?"

As I told many of you before, I am the commander of an area in and around the town of Tami — a fairly hardcore conservative Sunni area that is a northern suburb of Baghdad characterized by former regime members, former military officers, and Wahabi/religious Sunnis. Just prior to my arrival here in February, on this my second tour in Iraq, you recall that the first election was held on 30 January. By all accounts this was a success. Interestingly, the Sunni people in my area attempted to disrupt and (as they hoped) invalidate the election by not voting. And they did just that. No one in my zone voted on 30 January.

Not long after my arrival I spoke to the leaders here and made a passionate argument explaining to them that it was not in their interest to disrupt the progressive efforts to move their country toward a democratic process… that it was in their interest to compete politically. If for no other reason, they HAD to compete because interest groups that they feared WERE in fact making great progress politically, all of which was to their disadvantage. I told them that their fight was not with coalition forces, but rather their fight was FOR their future.

By April of this year, these Sunni leaders admitted that they made a mistake by abdicating their right to vote. Yet attacks continued. By May they were strongly vowing to participate in the next election. And attacks continued. By summer, they and their leaders were actively pursuing electoral means to get polling stations in their area to enable their vote. By the end of summer, the election commission here in Iraq told them that they would NOT be allowed to have polling stations in their area due to the fact that their area was so dangerous. And yes, attacks continued. Not to be discouraged, they didn’t quit. With the help of American soldier involvement and coaching, they fought hard to involve themselves in the political process and argued their case for polling stations. Finally, the election commission relented and said, "Fine, if you want polling stations, you run them, you hire the election workers, you ensure security, and you administer them." And that, they did. By 15 October, they put in place an election plan that resulted in nearly 90 percent participation throughout the area. And get this: They had their ballots and materials collected and turned in before any other "precinct" in Baghdad. This is progress.

Now some critics would say, "Well, they overwhelmingly voted 'no' to the referendum on the constitution... and also attacks continue." This is true. But the fact is, THEY VOTED. They admitted their January 30 mistake, they took action to rectify it in the political realm, they invested in it themselves, and they VOTED. Furthermore, after losing their referendum objective (to deny the constitution), they have not quit. No, instead they are now fighting hard to have several of the local leaders run in the 15 December election. Their goal: To get elected officials into the government with the charter to modify the constitution through the amendment process. God bless them! Do you know what this is called? Yes, it is called DEMOCRACY. It is the obvious means to leverage influence and interests NOT by the end of the barrel of a gun (or car bomb as it were), but rather through the political democratic process!

I will admit to you that we do get discouraged. The attacks do continue. I am appalled at the culture of insidious violence that seeks universal power and, where power comes up short, terror, to impose selfish, extremist views on others. This culture will take a long time to change. But the culture of terrorism didn't start yesterday, nor did it start in March of 2003. We as a nation have been experiencing this for nearly 30 years. And it might just take a generation to incrementally change the nature of this culture to embrace a system of governing that surrenders power not to the dictator or the narrow few of extremism, but to the broad power of an electorate, thus disenfranchising and overwhelming the few.

I told a journalist a few weeks ago that the key word in this process is incremental improvement. There is no silver bullet solution that will satisfy our desires in short order. We will, in the months and years ahead, claim cultural increments of change and improvement, while those that attack seek to preclude that change. The people that attack us in Iraq today were likely not terrorists in March 2003. But let’s be clear: The authors of this insurgency have a lot to lose. The third country involvement flowing through the borders want no part of a democracy on their flanks. The religious extremists want nothing but theocratic influence over their "flocks." And former regime members would prefer their old, dictatorial powers to an objective ballot. But these groups, by achieving their ends would thus be the same groups financing and supporting future attacks against our way of life — democratic, free peoples pursuing liberty — that we have been experiencing for a generation.

On the other hand, a successful process in Iraq will put those on the borders and those who would seek the influence of theocratic dogma on notice — a notice that challenges universal power and/or terror in favor of broad democratic influence by people that moderate extremist behavior.

But, it is incremental and it will take a long time — perhaps a generation.

We are making progress. My "Sunni friends" are running in this next election. "They" frankly are also still trying to kill me and my soldiers as they have not completely changed their entire culture nor those that would finance evil. But we are making progress.

And for what? President Bush, regardless of what you may think of him, chose bold action after nearly 30 years of this insidious dynamic called terrorism. He did not pursue a semi-tolerant, business as usual approach to terrorism. He sought to remove the potential threat of a WMD-empowered enemy (loudly proved incorrect) AND (not so loudly recognized) to initiate, through a democratic driven cultural change, an "antidote" to terror that has the potential for a more thorough solution to the steady onslaught of the carnage… an antidote that has the potential to provide people the means to disenfranchise evil extremists through democratic reform (not disproved, and rarely noted).

Is there a cost? YES. I see it everyday! Every time I attend a memorial service for one of our heroes, the emotion inside makes me painfully aware of the investment we, as a nation are making in the form of America's sons and daughters. But God bless those who are willing to make an investment in the pursuit of liberty and to counter evil.

I observed three groups of women in the last two days. One, the car bomb driver, is dead for a cause of evil and carnage. She was a failure. David's mom invested the honor of her son, and she felt the pain of the cost in the damage done to his 23-year-old body. Strangely she did so for another group of women. She did so, in a way, for the future opportunity of young Iraqi girls getting out of school the other day… girls who watched both the horror of evil explode before their eyes, and the activity of noble American men enduring that evil while they seek to instill an antidote that, over the course of a generation, might just preclude attacks that we all watched on September 11, 2001.

So, what do we do now? One more story about my soldier: As "David" lay in some pain on the gurney in the emergency room at the hospital, the doctor was explaining to him his condition and that he would need emergency surgery that would require months to heal. As he grimaced somewhat in discomfort, he said, "OK, sir. So I guess I will have to suck it up for the next several months. OK, I got it. Let’s get to it!" And with that they began to prepare him for surgery. We as a nation must do the same. It will take much longer than several months. It will likely take many years. We must be steadfast and resolute as we proceed through these incremental steps. I pray that we can be just that.

God Bless all of you.
"It Shall Be Done!"
Eric J. Wesley
Cdr, 1-13 AR

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Rip your heart out post

Get the tissue, here is a rip your heart out Thanksgiving post by Sgt Hook.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Conscientious Objector: 1. One who refuses to serve in the armed forces on grounds of conscience - CO (Dictionary) 2. A conscientious objector is an individual whose personal beliefs are incompatible with military service, perhaps with any role in the armed forces or just with a particular war. This constitutes a conflict in the case of conscription.

Conscientious objectors may distinguish between wars of offensive aggression and defensive wars. The opposition to war need not be absolute and total, but may depend on circumstance. The only real criterion that defines a conscientious objector is that they be sincerely following the dictates of their conscience.

The legal status of conscientious objectors has varied over the years and from nation to nation. Many conscientious objectors have been imprisoned or executed for refusing to participate in wars. In the United States, the Supreme Court ruled in 1970 that it is not necessary for a conscientious objector to have a religious basis for their beliefs. From Wikipedia encyclopedia

Well I just read this article in the Army Times about a female Army Cook who is objecting to the war in Iraq and Afganistan. Basically, by the definitions I posted you don't have to have any reason to be a C.O., other than you object. I say let her out. Let out anybody else who doesn't want to serve. Why would I want to go to Iraq along side a coward??

My running time still bites

I have been fighting a cold on and off for about a week. I took a few days off from running. I ran today on a cold rainy windy day. 27 minutes to run/walk two miles. Oh that just bites. Oh well. I will be back at it hard on Wednesday. I plan on going to a track to time myself.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I am not the only one

I am not the only one who notices that the real story in Iraq is not getting into the mainstream media. One Marine's View has a post about it. What is scary is that not only is the story not being told, but the WRONG story (lie) is being told.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Anyone else notice...

or is it just me? Has anyone else noticed that the more we talk of pulling out of Iraq, the bolder the insurgents get?? If it wasn't costing so many lives it would almost be comical.

Army Girl Point of Veiw

This is one of the milblogs I visit. She is in the Army and writes about the war in Iraq and other stuff. I read her personal commentary on the Letter from a Soldier posted on Sgt Hook's milblog.

As I read Phoenix's take on the wavering support in our country for the Iraqi war, I was reminded of my own upbringing. I, too, am an Army Brat. I have lived overseas and lived in countries not so fortunate as ours. I have two vivid memories that have shaped my views as an adult. The first was visiting a family in Mexico and seeing the abject poverty they lived in everyday. No running, water, no toilet, no kitchen, no windows in their mud hut and a cloth for a door. I realized that day in my tender 10th year that we, in America, are wealthy beyond imagination to most peoples of the earth.

The second incident occurred when I was 14. We were stationed in Germany at the time and I was a member of a softball team. I was a lousy softball player. I could pitch but could not catch or bat. I struck out every time I came to bat. However our team was pretty good and we had an opportunity to play in the West Berlin. Now for those of you that are youngin's Germany was split for a while after World War II and until October 1990. There was the free West Germany and the Communist controlled East Germany. Berlin, likewise, was split east and west.

The trip to West Berlin was scary. In those days you could only travel by train and only by night. No planes, cars or other travel was authorized. So we traveled to Frankfurt, boarded a sleeper car on a train bound for West Berlin. When we arrived at the border of East Germany East German troops boarded the train with us to ensure that no one left the train on the passage through East Germany. We were instructed to stay in our sleepers and not walk the hallways. We were also instructed that we were not allowed to open the curtains and look out the windows. And under NO circumstances were we to photograph anything.

As the East German Troops boarded the train we were scared out of our wits. They were dressed in uniforms very similar to the Russians and looked very fierce. Of course, as little girls, we did not obey orders and peeked out our windows. For most of the trip nothing was visible as people of this land either had no electricity or were not allowed to have lights on after certain hours of the night. When we approached a train stop during the night we saw a different sight. It was like seeing something out of a movie. Guards were every where in Jack Boots and long coats. Dobermans and German Shepherds on leashes were everywhere. All the Guards carried machine guns. These guys were serious. I was frightened and rightly so. I could live in this desolate lightless land.

Inevitably, I had to use the restroom during the night. My small bladder is the brunt of many jokes. I held it for as long as I could but the screaming of my bladder overruled the fear of my wits. I sneaked my way to the bathroom and was astonished to find a GUARD inside the ladies room, machine gun and all! I relieved myself as quickly as possible and ran as fast as I could back to my sleeper. I don't think I slept a wink that night.

It was a wake-up call both literally and figuratively. Nothing so concisely distilled for me in my mind the difference between freedom and a controlled state as traveling through East Germany all that night. It brought home to me how much liberty I enjoyed and almost without valuing it. I had taken for granted the lifestyle that many men had died for right there on those lands. Prior to that night I had no clue about the sacrifices made and why they were made. I had thought that everyone enjoyed the freedom I had by birthright. All it took was one night peeking out a train window to make me realize that freedom is not free.

Getting a little irritated.

Not irrational, just ticked. I get sick of finger pointing, name calling politicians. The same people who called for a war are now wanting to cut skirts and run with their tails between their legs. I got this in my email today. It is a video about politicians being dishonest about their stand on Iraq.

Breif History of a Long War (Iraq 1990 - 2003)

Mudville Gazette has a composite of facts about the Iraqi war without the media bias. In light of the noise coming out of Congress to quit before the job is done, I think it would prove wise to review the facts.

Write Best Buy a letter

An online acquaintance of mine recently bought a 20 GB MP3 player for her soon-to-be-deploying husband as an early Christmas present. She purchased it at Best Buy. She went ahead and gave it to her husband now and he was very excited and pleased. Bad news: the MP3 player was not working correctly and says it is "docking" even though it is not hooked up to a computer. She and her husband took it back to Best Buy to have it replaced.

As luck would have it, the store is out of 20GB MP3 players. The Best Buy store Manager asks the couple to downgrade to a lower memory amount, but since the husband/soldier is deploying he really needs to have as much memory as they can afford and anything more than 20GB is out of their budget. The wife tells her husband "you have never seen me lose it in a store before but you might be about to..." The manager asks why and the wife calmly explains that her husband was deploying to Iraq in 2 short weeks. The manager quickly pulls out a 40GB MP3 player, lowers the price and hands it to the soldier! This is the Best Buy on Wilma Rudolph Blvd., Clarksville Tennessee. Too often people are quick to complain and slow to praise. I plan on writing a thank you letter to their corporate office.

YOU can send an email here or write to them at the following address:
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Corporate Headquarters
P.O. Box 9312
Minneapolis, MN 55440-9312
Calling them is not as effective, but you can call them at 612-291-1000

Friday, November 18, 2005

Letter from a Soldier; A Taste of Freedom

A must read letter from a soldier posted on Sgt Hook's website. A Taste of Freedom says it all, we must finish the mission.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

No One was Beheaded or Killed

GOOD POINT! Iraq's Interior Minister says here (quote) "Nobody was beheaded or killed," a defiant Bayan Jabr told a news conference Thursday, saying that only seven of 170 detainees showed marks of torture.

"Those detainees, those criminal killers inside the bunker were not Indians or Pakistanis or Iranians," he said, waving a stack of passports in the air. "Those are your Arab brothers that came here to kill your sons." (end quote)

I find it ironic that the same monsters who kidnap, hold prinsoner and then behead civilian contractors ON TAPE are outraged that there MIGHT be some hint of punishment doled out to known terrorists.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sgt Sledge Hammer

I guess I need to do some splaining about the domain name for this blog...

Once upon a time when I was very young and cute and single, I was in the Navy. I worked with a Joint Command Center that from time to time went on deployments. As an Electronics Tech I was responsible for communications equipment maintenance and repair. I worked with 2 other Petty Officers to ensure 24 hour round the clock secure communications.

During one deployment we were working with an elite group of Special Forces guys. It was very exciting and pretty cool seeing all the neat little "toys" they got to use. It was really like a James Bond movie. The other sailors and I were like kids in a candy store.

Now, being young, pretty, single and one of the VERY few females around...I got quite a bit of attention. I brushed it off and didn't let it deter me from doing my job. I had grown pretty good at letting everyone know I was NOT interested. Much to the amusement of my fellow Sailors.

Later, back at our shop, we were rehashing the events of the deployment and one of my buddies starts in on how I got hit on. I just shook my head. He said "She was like a HAMMER, man. She just came down like a hammer on those dudes!" ... Well it stuck. From then on they called me Sledge, Hammer or Sledge-hammer.

Not very glamorous or exciting...but there it is. Sgt Sledge Hammer at your service.

Green Again

I have read this a million times. This Marine puts into words, perfectly, why I want to serve my country once again.

.... to answer a question many people have asked, including the worshipful Red State Rant blogmaster and my life-long friend, Lance: Why? After all, I’ve already served my country, “paid my dues,” or “done my time,” as some say.

To that, I have this to say: Serving my country is not a 4 year contract. It is a life-long commitment. Nor is it a “due” to be paid like some cheap membership fee. It is a deeply personal obligation. And it is certainly not “time” that has to be “done” like some felony prison sentence. It is nothing short of an honor that I hold in the highest regard, an honor that I must prove worthy of, an honor that must be earned every single day.
End Quote.

I highly encourage you to go read the entire blog entry. Brought me to tears.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Get the tissue

THIS is why we must continue the fight. Michael Yon has a story about a soldier and a little girl; it is a must read.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Not Your Mother's War

The AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution) published a huge article in Sunday's paper. They have it online today here. Women are in combat. Here is a quote:
From the gunner’s turret in the trail vehicle, Spc. Gitanja Williams could see the approach into Forward Operating Base Mahmudiyah. Behind her, she could see a suspicious car, out in violation of the curfew. It was heading toward her convoy of supply trucks.

Her heart pounded. Adrenaline pumped.
This ain’t no joke anymore, she thought.
She spoke into her radio: “I see a vehicle approaching.”
Her commanding officers spoke back: “Don’t hesitate. Do what you need to do.”

Williams steadied her hands on the .50-caliber machine gun and fired a series of thundering shots into the night air. The car heeded the warning, turned around and drove away.

“Whoa, Williams,” her fellow soldiers told her. “You go, girl.” end quote.

Great story.

Women can't/don't serve in Combat positions??

Women are not allowed to occupy "combat MOS" such as infantry that are listed as a combat position. Women ALREADY are in combat postions. Let's give them the training they deserve to fully carry out their responsiblities!

Take a look here as Maj. Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth of the Illinois Army National Guard relates her combat experiences.

"Being in the military is an honor," said Maj. Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth of the Illinois Army National Guard, who lost her leg when an insurgent's rocket-propelled grenade slammed into her Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq. Doctors managed to save part of her right leg.......She received a standing ovation when she said she wouldn't hesitate to strap on her new, titanium legs and return to Iraq. "I, along with the rest of the soldiers at Walter Reed (Army Medical Center) would strap on our new limbs, pick up our weapons and go right back, if we could," she said.

Command Sergeant Major Praises Women's Service

Command Sgt. Maj. Michele S. Jones, the first woman command sergeant major of the Army Reserve, praised women's service in the armed forces during a Veterans Day observance of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Nov. 11. Women -- daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, wives, friends and even grandmothers -- are serving in every state, U.S. territory and in more than 100 countries worldwide

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Veteran's Day

Have a great veteran's day!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Ironman Soldier Races Through Iraq

Ironman Soldier Races through Iraq
Army captain runs, bikes, swims course west of Baghdad while
wife competes in Hawaii’s Ironman Triathlon.
Great story!


please go read this story Recruit loses 230 pounds to enlist in Army

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Physical Torture.

Well I knew it was coming. I knew it was inevitable. My PT test is coming up in December. Am I in shape? Let me put it this way: I am a 46 year old mother of two who has had an office job sitting on her can for over 4 years! Can we say flabby? I see the ads for cosmetic surgery and I pay ATTENTION! Tummy tuck anyone? GEE now I KNOW what to spend my enlistment bonus on! LOL.

Joking aside, I am out of shape and badly need to get to the point where I can have a halfway decent score on the PT test. So I looked up the standards online for my age: At my age I need to run two miles in 23 minutes, 42 seconds.

So, I think to myself, PEICE OF CAKE! I can WALK 2 miles in 20 minutes. To just make sure this is the case, I map out two miles close to my home and I decide to time myself "walking". 30 minutes later I finished my speed-walked 2 miles. I got back home and my legs felt like Jell-O. I drank 20 ounces of water and about 30 minutes later I had an attack of diarrhea! My body was in full revolt against this sudden change of habit. I will have to admit that it felt good to be "cleansed"! :-)

Today I woke pleasantly surprised that my legs did not hurt. I got out there again and I pushed HARD, walking and running when I could. This time, I was more keenly aware of my body. The slapping together of my thighs had a rhythmic sound and was in harmony with the jiggling of my belly. However, I shaved 4 minutes off my time. I am still not in passing range! So now it has become a challenge. I will not only get into passing range but I am determined to get a 100 score on the run. This means I need to run two miles in 17 minutes 24 seconds. I CAN DO THIS!

I am not terribly overweight. I am 5'5" and 140 pounds. I am guessing; but I bet my body fat is 30% or more. I am resolved that I can lose 20 pounds and get my body fat down to 15%. I don't think running alone will do it so I will add some bodyweight exercises. I particularly like John Peterson, Author of the Miracle Seven. I had built up to 200 Atlas push-ups a day but.... that fell to the wayside. Now I need to pick it up again.

Going AGR

My husband and I discussed this at length when I first joined the National Guard...going full-time in the Guard or AGR. Friday I completed my packet for submission and mailed it off to personnel. I have no idea how long it will take to find out if I am selected but I hope it is soon.

I want to serve full-time. I admire those who are "weekend warriors" but I would prefer to serve in the Military 24/7. I miss being active duty and it will be great if I can serve as an Active Guard Reserve or AGR.

Tribute to the Troops

I went to Florida this past weekend to attend a wedding. On Sunday after the Saturday wedding I took the kids to Sea World. I had gone to prior to the trip to see if I could score some discounts. I found out that Anheuser Busch is hosting "Here's to the Heroes" tribute and that Busch Gardens and Sea World is FREE to the Military and 3 dependants. Nice.

Of course one of the first "shows" we attended at Sea World was Shamu the Killer Whale. Prior to the show they have a five minute video tribute to the troops. The whole auditorium erupted in applause. It felt great. I encourage everyone to try and take advantage of this discount. The normal price of admission was $70 per adult and $50 per child, so it was VERY nice to get in free.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween happened!

After my rant about Halloween, we all went trick-or-treating last night. Josh went as a Ninja. His outfit was from a seasonal Halloween store so it was pricey and should have been a little more substantial (in my opinion). Instead it looked like a white pair of pajamas. I guess it was white because it was a child's costume? He liked it but he looked like he was getting ready for bed and not getting ready to kill someone. Maybe it was the added accessory of SLIPPERS that he insisted on wearing. :-) Grace was Princess Grace and was the cutest little thing you ever want to see.

One year I made Joshua's costume and he went as Moses. He had a long flowing beard and we jokingly started calling him Osama out of his earshot. It was hysterical. Last night it occurred to us that he looked like he was wearing a veil and joked that next year we would put him in a burka. He was happily running around doing what boy Ninja's do.

We started trick-or-treating in my brother-in-law's neighborhood. We got a late start and most of the houses were out of candy but walking around with our children was fun. Boy Ninja and Princess Grace had a blast and by the end of the evening Grace was snuggled in daddy's arms. So for all my ranting, Halloween really is worth it!