11 December 2008

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

10 December 2008

The Sands Of Christmas

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point,
the Dolphins lost by six.
And so with only minutes till my son got home from school,
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.
I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.
A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight, their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.
Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had noChristmas turkey, just a pack of MRE's.
They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn't need an ornament-- they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition,
The only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition".
I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.
There's nothing wrong, my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry about the things in life that really mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering each day if we will be the next to fall.
He looked at me as children do and said it's always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote,
God bless you all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home. Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give, you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can't repay.

26 November 2008

Something to be Thankfull For

November 24th, 2008 at 10:38 pm
Outnumbered Nearly 10:1, Marines Make ‘Em Pay
» by Bill Dupray in: Islamo-fascists, Military, National security, Patriots, War on Terror
Looks like 250 terrorists picked the wrong day to screw with 30 U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. Frankly, is there ever a good day to screw with the Marines?
In the city of Shewan, approximately 250 insurgents ambushed 30 Marines and paid a heavy price for it. . . .
“The day started out with a 10-kilometer patrol with elements mounted and dismounted, so by the time we got to Shewan, we were pretty beat,” said a designated marksman who requested to remain unidentified. “Our vehicles came under a barrage of enemy RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and machine gun fire. One of our ‘humvees’ was disabled from RPG fire, and the Marines inside dismounted and laid down suppression fire so they could evacuate a Marine who was knocked unconscious from the blast.”
The vicious attack that left the humvee destroyed and several of the Marines pinned down in the kill zone sparked an intense eight-hour battle as the platoon desperately fought to recover their comrades. After recovering the Marines trapped in the kill zone, another platoon sergeant personally led numerous attacks on enemy fortified positions while the platoon fought house to house and trench to trench in order to clear through the enemy ambush site.
“The biggest thing to take from that day is what Marines can accomplish when they’re given the opportunity to fight,” the sniper said. “A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they were wrong.”
And of all mistakes the terrorists made that day, the worst one was picking the patrol with this guy in it.
During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn’t miss any shots, despite the enemies’ rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position.
“I was in my own little world,” the young corporal said. “I wasn’t even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on target.”
The most amazing thing about the battle: Not a single Marine was seriously hurt.

20 September 2008

For the Fallen

I feel I should say a word about operation Kingfisher. Forty one years ago or about this week the memories are still there in my mind and the pain of loss is still in my heart.. Since we have Marines in harms ways in Iraq and Afghanistan today this brings great grief to me. Since Vietnam I have been in one other war Bosnia in 1994 as an observer, but my days with 2/4 and operation Kingfisher took my youthful innocence away forever.

For those people who read these posts I want to say Barker and Foster received the Medal of Honor from 2/4, but from what I saw while serving in 2/4 was courage beyond normal courage portrayed in movies. Like on the Iwo Jima memorial courage is a common virtue to Marines. Some if not all of the Marines in the Battle of Bastards Bridge, and September 21 survived that battle only to be killed and wounded in action later on.

Soon thereafter 2/4 Marines won two more Medal of Honors at Dai Do. I am sure 2/4 must be the most decorated grunt battalion as far as CMOH is (in a short period of time) concerned in Marine Corps history, if not close to it.

Marine heroes do not exist in solo. They exist in groups; therefore anyone who served when I was there is a hero. God Bless the souls of our dead who died there and those who died later on. May they rest in peace!

Archie Haase
Echo 2/4

They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

~Laurence Binyon, "For the Fallen"

08 June 2008

What "The Wall" means to me

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the moving wall. This was the first time that I had seen the wall in person and it was an emotional experience for me. With some help I was able to find the panel with the names of all the men we lost on Sept. 21st, 1967. I took pictures and made impressions of all the names and for a few minutes I was back there with them. But I was also back there when we lost them. Maybe it was a flashback, I don't know, but that's what I was thinking of as I was leaving.
There was a lady there from the local television station, and she stopped me and asked if I would do an interview on camera for her. I told her that I would if I could have some time to think about it. She said that she was leaving soon and needed to do it now. I asked her if we could do it in the morning because I really wasn't in the mood to talk about it at that time. She said she wouldn't be there in the morning, so she got someone else to do it. So I missed my chance to tell my little corner of the world what "The Wall" means to me. So I want to tell you now what it means to me.
What I should have said was that the wall is a symbol of many things to different people. It means many things to me also. It takes me back to be with my friends, my brothers in arms, some of whom I came to love as a brother. Their death hit just as hard as if they were a part of my family back home. And so when I stand back and look at the wall with it's over 58,000 names, I think of what might have been. Just as each Mother, Father, Husband, Wife, Sister or Brother must think of what might have been if their loved one had made it home. They all had dreams and plans, just as each person represented on the wall had their own dreams and plans of what they would do when they got back to "The World". So the wall represents what might have been. The dreams and plans unfulfilled, the children and grandchildren never born. Unknown generations lost, their contributions to family and our country never realized. So in one sense, the wall represents not only the loss of the over 58,000 men and women, but the loss of untold numbers of generations that might have been and all the dreams, plans and hopes that go with them.
But ultimately, I think "The Wall" is a symbol of love. The Bible says " For no greater love hath a man than to give his life for his friend". We, who were in combat, were ready at any time to risk our lives for the man next to us. And why were we there in the first place? Because we loved our country, and our families and our way of life. We went and served for these reasons. And over 58,000 died for these reasons and to help make the world a better place for those that come after us. So, I wish I had taken the opportunity to tell the world these things and that each of you that reads this will look at the Wall in a new light, the light of love.

26 May 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Please click on the link below for a special Memorial Day Tribute
Semper Fi,

07 May 2008

The Battle Of Bastard's Bridge

In the second week of October 1967 the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, relieved BLT 2/3 as the defense force for the recently built bridge north of Strongpoint C-2. The construction of the bridge had permitted the reopening of the vital road to Con Thien washed out by the heavy September rains. The battalion defended the bridge because the 3rd Marine Division was concerned that if the enemy destroyed the bridge they would cut the only supply line to Con Thien.
The defense of the bridge was no easy task for Lieutenant Colonel Hammond's battalion. Since its move north from Camp Evans on 11 September, constant combat around Con Thien had worn the battalion down from a "foxhole strength" of 952 to about 462. The 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines had great difficulty in manning all the defensive positions prepared by the departed full-strength BLT-2/3.
The defensive position around the bridge was divided into quadrants by virtue of the road, which ran roughly north and south, and the stream, which ran east and west. Golf Company had the northwest quadrant; Hotel Company was on the same side of the road but across the stream in the southwest quadrant. Fox Company was in the northeast; Echo Company in the southeast. The battalion command group set up beside the stream in Golf Company's area and near the center of the position.
At 0125 on 14 October, 25 artillery rounds, rockets, and 135-150 mortar rounds hit Hotel Company. An ambush squad posted in front of the company reported an enemy force moving toward it, and immediately took the advancing enemy under fire. The Marine squad leader notified his company that he had three casualties and that the enemy seriously outnumbered his squad. The company commander, Captain Arthur P. Brill, Jr., ordered the squad to pull back and, at the same time, called for night defensive fires to block the avenues of approach to his position. The battalion requested flare ships to illuminate the area. Using starlight scopes, sniper teams watched the enemy as they massed only 50 meters in front of the company. The snipers and two tanks attached to the company opened fire, forcing the North Vietnamese to start their assault prematurely. The rest of the Hotel Company held fire until the NVA troops reached a clearing 20 meters from the wire. Of the entire attacking unit, only two NVA soldiers reached the wire and Marines killed both as they tried to breach that obstacle.
The enemy withdrew, leaving bodies behind, but they were far from finished. At 0230, enemy mortars shelled Golf Company. Direct hits by RPGs destroyed a machine gun emplacement and several backup positions on the primary avenue of approach into the company position. The NVA force attacked through this break, overran the company command post, and killed the company commander, Captain Jack W. Phillips, and his forward observer. Three platoon leaders, two of whom had just arrived in Vietnam that morning, also died. The battalion sent its S-3A, Captain James W. McCarter, Jr., to replace Phillips, but enemy fire killed him before he reached Golf Company. During the confused, hand-to-hand combat some of the North Vietnamese fought their way within grenade range of the battalion command post in the center of the position.
In the command post, although wounded by a grenade, Sergeant Paul H. Foster, a member of the fire support coordination center, continued to direct mortar and artillery fire upon the enemy. Another grenade landed among a group of six Marines. Sergeant Foster threw his flak jacket over the grenade and jumped on top of the jacket. The grenade blast mortally wounded him, but this action saved his fellow Marines. Before the melee ended, the North Vietnamese killed or wounded the entire forward air control team. The enemy also killed the battalion medical chief, and wounded the fire support coordinator, headquarters commandant, and battalion sergeant major.
Lieutenant Colonel Hammond moved what was left of his command group to a better location within Hotel Company's position. He ordered Fox Company to move to Golf Company's right flank and counterattack to push the NVA forces out of the perimeter. Illumination and automatic weapons fire from "Puff," the AC-47 requested at the beginning of the fight and which arrived about 0330, aided the counterattack. By 0430, the enemy began retreating out of the position, pursued by Echo Company.
The next morning the 2nd Battalion reconsolidated and evacuated casualties. There were twenty-one dead (18 from 2/4 Marines) and two dozen or more wounded. The NVA lost at least 24 killed. That afternoon, Lieutenant General Cushman and Major General Hochmuth visited the bridge site. They granted a request from Lieutenant Colonel Hammond that the new bridge be named "Bastard's Bridge" to honor the 18 Marines of the 2nd Battalion who gave their lives in its defense. At 1400, Hammond's battalion turned over the bridge to Lieutenant Colonel Needham's 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines and then moved to Dong Ha where it assumed the mission of regimental reserve after 42 days of close combat.
The men killed in action at Bastard's Bridge were
H Btry, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines
1stLt William F. Mullins, Short Hills, NJ
Sgt Paul H. Foster, San Francisco, CA (Medal of Honor)
Pfc Robert J. Araujo, New York, NY
G Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
Capt Jack W. Phillips, Mission, KS (Silver Star)
1stLt Charles Yaghoobian, Pawtucket, RI
2ndLt Eric C. Egge, Hopkins, MN
LCpl John P. Avery, Elizabethton, TN
LCpl Duane J. Foss, Hastings, MN
LCpl Frank Foster, Meridian, MS
LCpl Phillip S. France, Baltimore, MD (Silver Star)
LCpl Donald A. Gehling, Grand Meadow, MN
LCpl Morris J. Sensat, Egan, LA
Pfc Robert D. Buchanan, Bristol, VA
Pfc Gary C. Griswold, Bethel, CT
Pfc David A. Hamilton, Springfield, OH (Silver Star)
Pfc William I. White, North Vandergrift, PA
Pfc Stephen R. Worley, West Monroe, LA
H&S Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
Capt James W. McCarter, New Orleans, LA (Silver Star)
HM2 Robert E. Bardach, Arlington Heights, IL
HN John I. Higgins, Chula Vista, CA
HN Doyle G. King, Vinemont, AL (Bronze Star "V")

29 March 2008

As we decide who to vote for

This is a departure from the purpose of this blog, but I feel it important enough at this point in our country's history to share it with you.
As we consider who will occupy the White House for the next four years, it is important to consider the impact that person could have on the future of Western Civilization as we know it.

The following is an EXCELLENT essay; well thought out and presented by Raymond S. Kraft, a writer living in Northern California who has studied the Middle Eastern culture and religion.

Historical Significance-Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat. The Nazis had sunk more than 400 British ships in their convoys between England and America taking food and war materials.At that time the US was in an isolationist, pacifist mood, and most Americans wanted nothing to do with the European or the Asian war.Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan, and the following day on Germany, who had not yet attacked us. It was a dicey thing. We had few allies.France was not an ally, as the Vichy government of France quickly aligned itself with its German occupiers. Germany was certainly not an ally, as Hitler was intent on setting up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, as it was well on its way to owning and controlling all of Asia.Together, Japan and Germany had long-range plans of invading Canada and Mexico, as launching pads to get into the United States over our northern and southern borders, after they finished gaining control of Asia and Europe.America's only allies then were England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and Russia. That was about it. All of Europe, from Norway to Italy (except Russia in the East) was already under the Nazi heel.The US was certainly not prepared for war. The US had drastically downgraded most of its military forces after WW I because of the depression, so that at the outbreak of WW II, Army units were training with broomsticks because they didn't have guns, and cars with 'tank' painted on the doors because they didn't have real tanks. A huge chunk of our Navy had just been sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor.Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England (that was actually! the property of Belgium) given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler (a little known fact).Actually, Belgium surrendered in one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day just to prove they could.Britain had already been holding out for two years in the face of staggering losses and the near decimation of its Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later.

Hitler first turned his attention to Russia, in the late summer of 1940 at a time when England was on the verge of collapse.Ironically, Russia saved America's butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years, until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany.Russia lost something like 24,000,000 people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone, 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than a 1,000,000 soldiers.Had Russia surrendered, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire war effort against the Brits, then America. If that had happened, the Nazis could possibly have won the war.All of this has been brought out to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things.

Now, we find ourselves at another one of those key moments in history.There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants, and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world.The Jihadis, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs. They believe that Islam, a radically conservative form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world. To them, all who do not bow to their way of thinking should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated. They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel, and purge the world of Jews. This is their mantra (goal).There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East. It is, for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation, but it is not yet known which side will win, the Inquisitors, or the Reformationists.If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihadis, will control the Middle East, the OPEC oil, and the US, European, and Asian economies.The techno-industrial economies will be at the mercy of OPEC. Not an OPEC dominated by the educated, rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominatedby the Jihadis. Do you want gas in your car? Do you want heating oil next winter? Do you want the dollar to be worth anything? You had better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins. If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th century into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away. A moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Islamic terrorist movements. We have to do it somewhere. We can't do it everywhere at once. We have created a focal point for the battle at a time and place of our choosing… in Iraq. Not in New York, not in London or Paris or Berlin, but in Iraq, where we are doing two important things.
(1) We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack or not, it is undisputed that Saddam has been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades; Saddam was a terrorist! Saddam was a weapon of mass destruction, responsible for the deaths of probably more than a 1,000,000 Iraqis and 2,000,000 Iranians.(2) We created a battle, a confrontation, and a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq. We have focused the battle. We are killing bad people, and the ones we get there won't have to be killed here. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq, which will b e a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed.WW II, the war with the Japanese and German Nazis, really began with a whimper' in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China. It was a war for fourteen years before the US joined it. It officially ended in 1945, a 17-year war, and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own again--a 27 year war.WW II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP, adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars. WW II cost America more than 400,000 soldiers killed in action and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.The Iraq war has, so far, cost the United States about $160,000,000,000, which is roughly what the 9/11 terrorist attack cost New York. It has also cost more than 3,600 American lives, which is roughly equivalent to lives that the Jihad killed (within the United States) in the 9/11 terrorist attack.

The cost of not fighting and winning WW II would have been unimaginably greater - a world dominated by Japanese Imperialism and German Nazism.This is not a 60-Minutes TV show, or a 2-hour movie in which everything comes out okay. The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. It always has been, and probably always will be.The bottom line is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away if we ignore it!If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an ally, like England, in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates to conquer the world.The Iraq War is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. Now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons, unless some body prevents them from getting them.We have four options:
1. We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons
.2. We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).
3. We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East now; in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.
OR4. We can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and possibly most of the rest of Europe. It will, of course, be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier.

If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic-America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.The history of the world is the history of civilization clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win.Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win the pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.Remember, perspective is every thing, and! America's schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.The Cold War lasted from about 1947 at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989; forty-two years!Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany!World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan. World War II resulted in the death of more than 50,000,000 people, maybe more than 100,000,000 people, depending on which estimates you accept.

The US has taken more than 3,500 killed in action in Iraq. The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6, 1944, the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism.In WW II the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week for four years. Most of the individual battles of WW II lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far.The stakes are at least as high. A world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms . . . or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law).It's difficult to understand why the average American does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis.'Peace Activists' always seem to demonstrate here in America, where it's safe.Why don't we see Peace Activist demonstrating in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, in the places that really need peace activism the most? I'll tell you why! They would be killed!The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc., but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc.Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy!

21 March 2008

John Wayne's Tribute to America

a Click On The A to view and listen to the tribute

01 March 2008

A Tribute To WWII Veterans

Before You Go Click to view tribute

A Reminder From 9/11

If God is sovereign, then why do these things happen? I will tell you what I think from this attack. God is saying: Wake-up Christians!!!! For whatever reason, the US for centuries has been protected from an attack like this. Alexander De Tourquville said it best, “America is great because America is good and when America ceases to be good, it will cease to be great.” I have a prayer that was actually prayed before the Kansas State Legislature, which has circulated around email for a while. I checked it out to make sure it was legitimate. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was passionately calling our country to repentance and righteousness.
Commentator Paul Harvey aired the prayer on the rest of the story on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.
Here is the prayer:
Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know your word says: Woe on those who call evil good, but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We confess that:
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of your word and called it pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn children and called it a choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it political savvy.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of your will. I ask it in the name of your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ.

07 February 2008

Healing The Wounds

Most generations of American warriors returned from foreign soil victors. These brave young men returned to a hero’s welcome and the gratitude of an attentive public. Their sacrifices and the lost innocence of youth were rewarded with caring and recognition by a grateful nation. Did the Vietnam veteran deserve any less?

Upon return, the parades offered to the Vietnam veteran were the war protest marches of the 1960s and 70s that many of us joined after release from active duty. It was a bitter irony that we became “soldiers” in the antiwar machine that fed our neglect.

The wounds, both psychic and physical were often hidden from sight, covered by a thin veneer. Recognition and acknowledgment upon our return would have made easier the loss---our lost innocence, the lost war, and the loss of so many futures.

For some to heal, an understanding spouse, friends, or family may be enough. A spiritual awakening may refocus a life. But more often it’s something far more solitary. A visit to the Vietnam Memorial alone to finally mourn. Discovering comrades-in-arms with whom you shared the experience, reliving it with those that truly understand. For some it’s even a return to Vietnam, replacing the old memory with a new, more pleasant reality.

But make no mistake, every combat veteran carries wounds, wounds that must heal. In conversations with friends who served, many talk about “just getting on with it” upon their return and not looking back. But each time I pursue the topic with them there is always a wound, still healing, but hidden from view. The great betrayal of our nation was the refusal to offer the healing salve of care and recognition for the pain and sacrifice of the young men who fought and returned with memories rather than victory.

The emotional scars were borne by every combat veteran but those severely wounded in action had scars that would never completely heal. Former United States Senator Max Cleland left Georgia for his sought after tour as a gung ho Second Lieutenant and returned without legs and one arm.

In his book, Strong at the Broken Places, Cleland writes, “The putting together of the smashed parts took years, and the strengthening process still continues. But through my crises and defeats I have learned that it is possible to become strong at the broken places.”

The healing process for such devastating and life altering wounds is unfathomable to anyone not themselves victims. But for those of us who only bore emotional scars, a grateful nation heralding our return would have set in place a therapeutic reentry, perhaps saving an entire generation of veterans from unnecessary struggle.

06 February 2008

Parasite Warning

I am writing to inform all Vietnam veterans about a potential health risk that they may have been exposed to while serving in Vietnam : the little-known danger from parasites.

My husband, who was otherwise healthy, passed away on January 20, 2006, from cholangiocarcinoma, cancer of the bile duct of the liver. It is very rare in the United States , but it is very prevalent in Vietnam and surrounding countries. There are two (2) known causes of this type of cancer: from contracting hepatitis C and from ingesting a parasite from the water supply in Vietnam . My husband did not have hepatitis C; therefore, it was determined that his cancer derived from a parasite. I have received official notification from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that his death was service related, which is not something the VA determines without an overwhelming amount of evidence.This cancer does not manifest itself until later in life, when you are between 60 and 70 years old. Once the symptoms occur, which usually include jaundice, it is very difficult to treat or beat. My husband was 58 years old when he passed away. If he had been informed that there was a possibility that he could have ingested a parasite while serving in Vietnam , he would have taken precautions to have his bile ducts examined, possibly extending his life. The parasite is long gone, but it left behind damaged cells, which developed into cancerous tumors in the bile ducts.If you spent time in Southeast Asia and are having gastrointestinal issues for no apparent reason, please have your physician check for damage within the bile ducts. It may save your life.
Mrs. Edward S. (Pete) Harrison
Horseheads, New York

20 January 2008

A Note From Bob Bliss

Greetings all,

Just wanted you guys, and anyone wanting to contact me, especially the family of our lost brother Marine, Gary Schaefer, (9-21-67) that I have a new email address: namgrunt67@gmail.com . So many thanks to Bill Sellers, my buddy from Golf, 2/4, who continues to work very hard trying to uncover the truth about September 21, 1967. His detective work, and dedication to this blog, has done much to bring the real story out about what happened that day when so many Marines lost their lives, were badly wounded, or were simply left behind for weeks before being recovered. Remember this: Truth Lives! And it will be found. But we still need more information from those of you who were there. Where are you Officers now that we need you again? Please come forward and contact Bill Sellers or me for an interview, or just send us an email, or you can call us as well. My phone is: 508-209-2323. We owe it to those brave Marines and Corpsmen who never came home...

Semper Fidelis,
Bob Bliss

07 January 2008

The Homecoming

The Homecoming

The thump of the landing gear locking into place jarred me awake as the jet made its final approach to El Toro Marine Air Base. After a short taxi from the runway we deplaned and took our first look in over a year at the land we fought to protect, or so we believed.

I tossed my seabag over my shoulder and walked off the tarmak, alone. No crowds, no bands, no signs, no hands to shake--just the night.

Welcome home Marine!

Slipping Back into the World

Just twenty-four hours prior to my homecoming I’d been lying in a ditch in Dong Ha listening to the sound of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) artillery trying for one last time to end my impending homecoming. And now I’d arrived back in “the world”--- more nervous than I was in that ditch. I began to ask myself the questions it would take years to answer.

It was early spring, 1968. Many back home were beginning to see the war as an ugly period in America’s history and for those who served there it was an effort without honor, an almost shameful exercise in misplaced patriotism.

My homecoming was the way most Vietnam veterans returned. Unlike prior wars, we were sent to Vietnam, not as cohesive units with shared experiences, but as individuals. Upon arrival in-country we were dispersed throughout the country as replacements, strangers in a strange hostile land and even strangers to the combat units we joined. We arrived back home the same way, as individuals, alone with our experiences in an ungrateful nation.

Although protesters waving signs and spitting in the faces of returning soldiers happened to some, it’s largely a popular myth. Most of us just quietly slipped back into the world we left--without fanfare, without recognition and without gratitude. The silence that greeted us left open our wounds and delayed our healing far longer than any other returning war veterans---just one more distinction of the Vietnam war.

By: Charles Atkins