Happy Birthday to me!
I wore an easy smile all day yesterday...my co-workers sang Happy Birthday to me, and there were two cakes! One a cupcake-cake, the other a La Leche from the Chicago Bakery. Rube was off work yesterday, yet drove to the bakery and brought it into work. The GM of our shop showed up for the party, along with a former worker! I even had a visit at work, from a cutie-pie college girl who works with us during the summer! When I got home last night, Hubster and I shared a piece of cake then took off to run a few errands...we ended the evening with a Guiseppe's Pizza! (not too bad for Maryland Pizza) Truly, I woke this morning with a happy heart, ready to enjoy my birthday! Hubster and I are going to take a drive along Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains, stopping for a hike here and there! It's a picture-perfect Autumn day, so it should be lots of fun!
...and then I turned on the news.
Nine die when their helicopter crashes
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Nine American service members died in a helicopter crash Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, where an international coalition has stepped up efforts against the Taliban, according to a Western defense source.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity when revealing the nationalities of the nine, who've added to the grim toll for Operation Enduring Freedom.
According to a CNN tally last updated Monday, 517 coalition troops had been killed in Afghanistan this year, including 341 Americans.
Even without the inclusion of the latest numbers, the figures make 2010 the deadliest year for Operation Enduring Freedom since it began nine years ago.
The International Security Assistance Force, as the coalition is known, did not release the nationalities of Tuesday's crash victims.
Two other service members, along with an Afghan National Army soldier and an American civilian, sustained injuries in the crash. They were taken to a NATO medical facility.
ISAF has ruled out enemy involvement in the crash, said Jan Rasuli, spokesman for Zabul Province's governor, Mohammad Jan Rasuli.
Earlier, the force had said that there were no reports of enemy fire in the area.
ISAF was formed under a U.N. mandate to bolster a secure environment and support the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
NATO took command in 2003.
The force comprises about troops from more than 40 countries, according to the organization.
U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the deployment of 30,000 extra U.S. forces to Afghanistan this year, increasing the total American troop commitment to almost 100,000, while at least 25 other countries pledged an additional 7,000 troops.
Unpopularity with the war in Afghanistan reached an all-time high in CNN polling in August, with 62 percent saying they oppose it. Moreover, confidence in the Afghan government is low. Seven in 10 Americans are not confident that Hamid Karzai's government can handle the situation there.
The Obama administration says it will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in August 2011, depending on conditions on the ground.
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May Almighty God Bless these brave Soldiers. May Almighty God comfort the families, who have aching hearts. May Almighty God protect each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.