Thursday, June 30, 2011

"I'll See You Soon"


His final words from Afghanistan to his family were, "I'll see you soon".

Twenty-One year old Marine Lance Cpl. John F. Farias was killed Tuesday, June 28th. He was weeks away from celebrating his 22nd birthday. Farias was an Eagle Scout and then enlisted with the Marines in 2009. He deployed in April.

You can hear this young hero's voice and see his face HERE.

May Almighty God bless this Brave Marine.
May Almighty God comfort those who love him so.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Hero 06/29/2011

Lance Cpl. Matthew Kirkman

U.S.Marine Corps

Lance Cpl. Matthew Kirkman, a radio technician with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, is the newest member of the 2nd MLG Color Guard and currently serves as a rifle bearer. Kirkman is a native of Birmingham, Ala., and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2009.


Photo Courtesy Marines.mil Taken By Sgt. Justin J. Shemanski

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Wednesday Hero Logo


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Special thanks to Christopher Lee who is so dedicated to our heroes!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Marie!



My littlest girl...one year old!



Her sweet personality was shining even at the age of two!



By the time she was thirteen, she knew exactly who she was!



She was a Cheerleader starting at the age of seven...and stuck with it every year through High School.



Marie...Homecoming Queen. Beautiful inside and out!


...and then my Baby Girl was grown and married!


Marie is now a loving Momma and Aunt!




God gave me a beautiful gift named, Marie.


I cherish this girl more than words could share.


Happy Birthday, Marie!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How Do Some People Live With Themselves?

Woman Pleads Guilty in Navy Vets Scam
A woman associated with the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, a group whose fundraising has raised questions in Virginia and elsewhere, pleaded guilty today to corruption, theft and money laundering.

Blanca Contreras entered the pleas in Cuyaghoga County Court of Common Pleas, according to a spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General's Office. She faces a maximum sentence of 25 years.

Last year, Ohio authorities charged Contreras along with a man known as Bobby Thompson, who is accused of using a false identity to raise millions of dollars -- supposedly on the behalf of Navy veterans.

Thompson, who contributed $67,500 to prominent Virginia politicians, has been missing for more than a year. He is wanted in Ohio on charges of theft, fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. Navy Vets -- which had nothing more than a mail drop for a Virginia office -- collected more than $2 million from Virginians who thought they were donating funds to help military veterans, according to an investigation by the state's Office of Consumer Affairs.

The case has been turned over to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who received $55,500 from Thompson in campaign contributions two years ago. Virginia is one of several states that have launched probes of the U.S. Navy Vets, which is also being investigated by federal authorities.

Contreras is scheduled to be sentenced in August.


Source: The Roanoke Times, Va.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Somebody's Son



Lance Cpl. Andy Rivera, a rifleman with 2nd Platoon, Landing Force Company, applies camouflaging paint prior to stepping out for a mock assault. The assault was part of jungle operations training the Malaysians gave to U.S. Marines during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2011.
Source: militaryphotos.net

Friday posts are dedicated to random photos of our Soldiers. We must remember each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor, and Marine has a face. These brave Warriors are Somebody's Son.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

66 Years Later


Her father went missing during his service in World War II, and that’s basically all Carol Ann Sansenbach knew about Marvin J. Steinford.

So when government officials contacted her mother in 2005 to report finding what they believed to be his remains in a Soviet war memorial and grave site in Hungary, Sansenbach was stunned.

“I was in disbelief,” she said after her father’s life and military service were honored Tuesday with a memorial service at Christ Episcopal Church in Cedar Rapids followed by a 21-gun salute and rendition of “Taps” at the Cedar Memorial Cemetery.

A Boeing B-52 also roared over Steinford’s final resting place in honor of the man who friends remembered as an American hero on Tuesday. His family members, some united for the first time, raised their chins and covered their eyes in a pseudo salute to watch the massive aircraft pass over.

“It has been fun finally getting to meet some of his relatives,” Sansenbach said. “I didn’t know them before.”

The discovery of his remains has led Sansenbach to a wealth of information about Steinford, who was known by friends as “Steiney.” Born Aug. 29, 1922, Steinford grew up in Keystone before enlisting in the U.S. Army Corps, now known as the U.S. Air Force, in 1942.

He was deployed oversees in December 1944 and was on a bombing mission from Amendola, Italy to Berlin Germany on March 24, 1945, when he disappeared between Soviet and German lines in Hungary. The then 22-year-old serviceman had bailed out of a B-17 aircraft that had been damaged by German anti-aircraft fire.

He was considered missing in action for decades, until Hungarian authorities notified the United States Defense Attache in Budapest in November 2004 that the remains of what they believed was a U.S. serviceman had been found in the city of Zirc.

Crews were excavating a Soviet memorial and grave site so they could relocate it to the outskirts of town, when they unearthed a wooden coffin that looked different from the other Soviet coffins.


It took years for the government agencies to coordinate an exhumination of the site, and investigators confirmed the remains belonged to Steinford in July 2009. Steinford’s family members had learned in 2005 that his remains might have been found, and Sansenbach said Tuesday that it’s nice to finally give him a proper burial.

While waiting for his remains, Sansenbach said, she read investigative reports about his disappearance and learned a lot about the moments preceding his death. The question that remains, however, is who buried him and how he ended up in the dissimilar coffin.

“How did he end up in that box?” she said.

Sansenbach, who on Tuesday wore her mother’s locket containing a photo of her father, also has learned more about Steinford’s personal life as information has continued to emerge about his time in the military. One friend told her that he was artistic, for example.

“I always liked to draw,” she said. “I wondered where that came from.”

During the memorial service, which was attended by more than 100 people, Ed McGivern, who grew up with Steinford in Keystone, said he feels the discovery of his friend’s remains years later is “almost a miracle.”

“For those of us who believe in a higher being, it’s hard not to believe this his repatriation wasn’t meant to be,” McGivern said.

Sansenbach, who never got to meet her father, said Tuesday provided a lot of closure. Rev. Martha Rogers, who officiated the service, said it also provided encouragement to families still looking for their loved ones.

“This is a day of great hope,” she said.


Source: thegazette.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nothing Quite Like a Good Read!

Husband/Father/Sailor Daily Deployment Journal is a new Blog I have recently happened upon. He is currently in 'Oz', until he returns to 'Kansas'. This Sailor's wife and two children wait for him at home. Please stop by to share words of thanks and encouragement.

Speaking of Good Reads... don't forget to check in on Bug Juice! Bridge had an interview with her Peace Corps recruiter on Monday! Please take a few moments to offer an "Atta Girl".

...and then there is my beloved MudPuppy. He's been home from Afghanistan for over a year and a half...yep, he left Afghanistan, but Afghanistan has not left him. Please drop by to say hello and join me in lifting a prayer for this brave Soldier.

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Wednesday Hero did not properly load... due to my recent bout with the White Screen Blues, I chose to skip posting this week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Talking Tuesday

I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.


Most Americans know these words.
We hold these words in our heart.

...unless you are watching the U.S.Open on NBC.

It appears selected words were omitted, when a group of children recited The Pledge on Sunday afternoon. NBC has apologized (read the article HERE) ... that's nice.

I fear this is a new direction for our Nation...and it makes my heart hurt.

Your turn........................

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Thumbs-Up Kinda Monday



In this photo provided by International Security Assistance Force Regional Command (South), U.S. Army Pfc. Shawn Williams of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, gives the thumbs-up to members of his unit as he is evacuated after being injured by a roadside bomb, Friday, June 17, 2011, in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. Williams was transported to the Role 3 military hospital at Kandahar Airfield for treatment.
source: militaryphotos.net

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May Almighty God bring all our Soldiers home-whole in body and mind.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

White Screen Blues...

Not sure if anyone noticed that I evaporated this past week...

My laptop developed a 'white screen', would not shut down...leaving me no other choice than to donate it to a laptop graveyard. Apparently, there is a wacky virus circulating which my laptop caught. I had the option of removing the virus for a mere two hundred bones, or simply replacing the entire machine. I chose option #2. Sounds easy enough...except taking into account the data on the infected laptop. It all had to be transferred, however this virus was able to hide many files and applications. Transferring the data should have taken several hours...not several days. Long story short...I'm back with a new laptop...not so sure I'm a fan yet of this keyboard. I'll keep you posted.

May Almighty God Bless and protect each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.



Servicemembers killed in action are frequent and easy targets of identity theft, officials with the Internal Revenue Service told Military.com, adding a potential financial nightmare to the lives of the grief-stricken families of the fallen.

Erica Paci, whose husband -- Army Sgt. Anthony Paci -- was killed in Afghanistan in March of 2010, discovered in early June that his identity had been stolen when her accountant received a notice from the IRS rejecting her 2010 joint tax return. The IRS said that a return had already been filed under her husband’s social security number and that Paci had to wait up to six months to get her tax refund while they investigated the incident.

“Mostly it makes me angry,” Erica Paci said. “It just makes me angry that there are people out there that would target people that are suffering and try to make money off it.”

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that tax-related identity theft has increased nearly five-fold since 2008. And thanks to a free, searchable online database of social security numbers and death information, deceased persons are easy targets, said John Sileo, an identity theft expert who deals regularly with the military.

“It’s basically a list of people whose identities you can steal,” Sileo said.

The Social Security Administration is required under the Freedom of Information Act to release the social security numbers of deceased persons. The data base, known as the Social Security Death Index, is available for purchase through the Commerce Department. The listing was originally intended to be used by businesses to ensure that employees were not using stolen IDs, Sileo said. But it is also available to thieves via a free search engine on websites specializing in genealogical information.

Learn how you can avoid identity theft.

The identities of KIA servicemembers may be even easier targets than most deceased Americans because their deaths and surrounding information, such as mother’s maiden name, are often featured in media reports, Sileo said. And unless the thief seeks to use the information to access health care or other military benefits, families likely won’t notice the serivcemember’s identity was stolen until tax time, if ever, he said.

“There’s no one there to notice it when it happens,” Sileo said. “Because there aren’t measures in place to stop the theft of the identity, why not take somebody who is never going to protest?”

John Robertson, Erica Paci’s accountant, said he has advised her to contact the credit bureaus and other financial institutions about the theft to avoid any more harm. So far, he said, it appears the only financial damage has been to her pending tax return.

But because Sgt. Paci was military, both Robertson and Erica Paci are concerned that the theft could have even greater implications. All of her military death benefits, including healthcare for their three children, are linked to Sgt. Paci’s social security number.

Sgt. Paci’s information could also be used to access sensitive military data similar to a New Zealand case in which Sileo was involved.

“There was a case I worked on ... where a bunch of New Zealand military members’ IDs were used to generate passwords and military documents for [Israeli spy agency] Mossad,” Sileo said. “These were all dead Kiwis who were all ‘working’ for the Israeli spy agency. I have no question that there are many deceased still walking around in some other form -- it’s infuriating and it’s really sad.”

After mourning her husband for more than a year, knowing that someone today may be maliciously using his identity is sickening, Erica Paci said.

“If that is the case and there is someone taking it to the next level, that actually makes me feel like someone kicked me in the stomach,” she said. “Just the thought of a person walking around and saying they are him and going into a bank and spending money -- it literally is a cross of anger and a pain of sadness. It brings back the grief pain.”

The Paci case is not an isolated incident, an IRS official confirmed. Although the IRS is not the cause of the identity theft, they are often the first to detect it and end up inheriting the problem. And while an agency official said they have caught over $929 million in fraudulent refunds before payout, the problem continues to grow.

Amanda Hand, whose husband Spc. Andrew Hand was killed in Afghanistan in July, 2010, has been trying to get her tax refund since February when she was told by the IRS that her husband’s identity had been stolen. With her husband’s death benefit and life insurance in a trust fund for her children, she was planning to live in part off the refund.

“My refund is supposed to be almost $8,000,” Hand said. “It’s just everything all at once just hitting us, and I just don’t know what to do about this IRS thing anymore. ... There’s somebody out there that’s taking money from a Soldier who died, taking that away from his family and that’s wrong, really wrong.”

Hand said she feels like the IRS has given her a runaround, refusing to answer questions about the investigation or give her information about when her refund will come through.

The IRS, which runs a hotline for identity theft victims, also has a separate partnership with DoD. providing military members free tax filing help through on base tax centers. They do not, however, have a specific office or phone number dedicated to helping families of the fallen sort through identity theft.

“We do want to work with the victims of this and help with this as much as we possibly can,” said Julianne Fisher Breitbeil, an IRS spokesperson. “We’re very well aware that this is an incredibly stressful time for them.”


Source: military.com

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love Those F-16's!














F-16 fighters of the Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, perform during a Romanian - U.S. airshow at Kogalniceanu airport, 250 km east of Bucharest June 8, 2011.
Source: militaryphotos.net

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Baby is Twenty-Two!



It feels like only yesterday.

It feels like only yesterday, I met my baby boy... a sweet gift from God.

It feels like only yesterday, he smiled at me for the first time.

It feels like only yesterday, I cried as I watched him climb into the school bus.

It feels like only yesterday, he came into the house covered in mud from playing in the creek.

It feels like only yesterday, he went on his first camping trip.

It feels like only yesterday, he ran his first Cross Country Meet.

It feels like only yesterday, I watched him walk across the stage and receive his diploma.

It feels like only yesterday, I hugged him as he boarded the plane for Air Force Basic Training.

It feels like only yesterday, we danced at his wedding.

It feels like only yesterday.





John, I wish you the Happiest Birthday ever! May this new year of your life be filled with many Blessings.
I am so deeply proud of you.
I love you so very much.

Boy, don't you worry... you'll find yourself.
Follow you heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try.
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So Much More Than a Transfer Case! (Part II)

I was able to find the name of the fifth Soldier killed in Iraq on Monday. His name is Robert Hartwick...and here is his story and his face.



COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Hocking County solder was among the two Ohioans and five Americans who were killed Monday in Iraq.

Army Spc. Robert P. Hartwick, 20, of Rockbridge, Ohio, died when insurgents launched an attack on his base, according to the Pentagon. Hartwick was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment.

Hartwick graduated from Logan High School in 2009.

Killed were Spc. Emilio Campo, Pfc. Michael Cook, Pfc. Christopher Fishbeck, Spc. Robert Hartwick, and Pfc. Michael Olivieri.

The soldiers deployed to Iraq in November 2010. They were part of the 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, supporting the development of Iraq forces and the improvement of civilian life in central Iraq.

Each of the soldiers had served less than two years and were on their first deployment.

Cook, 27, was from Middletown, Ohio, the Pentagon announced.


Source: 10tv.com

So Much More Than a Transfer Case!


A U.S. Air Force C-5 cargo plane arrives at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, with the transfer cases containing the remains of Army Pfc. Micahel C. Olivieri of Chicago, Pfc. Christopher B. Fishbeck of Victorville, CA, Pfc. Michael B. Cook of Middletown, Ohio and Emilio J. Campo of Madelia, MN. Our soldiers were killed in Iraq. These transfer cases contain the remains of our heroes. I am posting photos of their faces (unable to find all faces, yet!) and stories of their lives, so they are remembered and never forgotten!

May Almighty God Bless these brave Warriors!
May Almighty God comfort the families who love them so!

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MADELIA, Minn. -- 20-year-old Sgt. Emilio Campo, Jr. has been killed in Iraq. Campo, an army medic from Madelia in Southern Minnesota, was killed Monday in combat.

His community is feeling the loss.

It's the last week of school at Madelia High School, where teachers and students say they can't stop thinking about Campo.

"It's been heartbreaking," said Samantha Dawn Bestick, a classmate of Campo's. "He would just make friends where ever he went. He was really happy. I don't think I've ever seen him mad."

Campo was in the Class of 2009 at Madelia. His choice to train as an army medic surpriced no one.

"He was always just helping people. I mean no matter what," said classmate Dustin Van Hale. "It didn't matter who you were or what you were doing, he was always helping you. He was always looking out for everybody."

When word came that Emilio had been killed, his city put up the 4th of July flags in his honor, as his classmates hung yellow ribbons.

Campo's heart was still very much in Madelia.

Madelia High School Principal Allan Beyer said Emilio came to visit his old school when he was home on leave.

"He'd stop and say hi to us in the office and visit. He would visit with teachers. He would go around visit with students," said Beyer.

His picture seems to be on every page of his high school yearbook.

Campo played varsity football, basketball, ran track, was a member of the Business Professionals of America, and sang in the choir.

Madelia Athletic Director Paul Carpenter said he will be missed.

"When he graduated from school there was a big piece of our school missing and leaving when he graduated," Carpenter said.
Emilio's younger brother Hugo is a member of the junior class at Madelia.

His older brother Hector also joined the military after graduating from Madelia.

Friends say his parents have traveled to the east coast to greet their son's body when it arrives back in America.

The army has release no specifics of how Sgt. Campo died, though his death coincides with a rocket attack that killed five American servicemen earlier this week.

Source: kare11.com



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A former Butler County resident is one of five American soldiers who were killed in a Monday rocket attack in central Iraq.

On Tuesday, the Air Force listed Pfc. Michael B. Cook Jr. as one of several soldiers whose bodies were to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Cook, who lived in Liberty
Twp. from July 2003 to June 2010, was killed on his 27th birthday. He had been stationed in Iraq since November, and his wife, Samantha, is in Fort Riley, Kan. They have two children, Hailee, 7, and Michael B. Cook III, 3.

A 2003 graduate of Salem High School in New Hampshire, Cook’s father and mother — Michael B. and Patti Cook — live in Salem, as do his siblings, Lucas and Kimberly Cook.

The rocket attack was the deadliest attack on U.S. troops in a year, according to the Los Angeles Times wire service. The five had been serving as advisers for Iraqi national police at a base in eastern Baghdad.

“There was just this certain spark about him,” said David Conte, who was in Cook’s wedding party in 2004. “You couldn’t quite put a finger on it. It’s hitting me pretty hard right now.”

“Mike left behind a lot,” said Susan Bahrakis, the wife of a cousin of Cook’s father. “He was a very devoted father and a loving brother and he loved his parents so much.”

Cook enlisted in the Army about a year ago, said Bahrakis, who said the young family lived in New Hampshire and Ohio before moving to Kansas.

Source: Middletown Journal


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Army Pfc. Christopher B. Fishbeck graduated from the Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist Advanced Individual Training course at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla.As members of the Army's field artillery team, the course is designed to train soldiers as specialists to operate the advanced field artillery tactical data systems for both cannon and multiple launch rocket systems. The specialists play a critical role in the safe, accurate, and lethal delivery of the field artillery's various fire support systems used to support infantry and tank units in combat. Skills training included methods of computing target locations using computers or manual calculations, ammunition handling techniques, and operating and performing maintenance on related equipment, vehicles, generators, and artillery tactical and data systems.He is the son of Gary D. Fishbeck and Toni Kay of Clovis St., Victorville, Calif.The private is a 2005 graduate of Kennedy High School, La Palma, Calif.
Source: Armed Forces News Services

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Pfc. Michael C. Olivieri of Chicago was also killed. I tried to find a photo and a story of this soldier and was unable to locate anything other than a photo of his transfer case. If any of you are able to find information, please pass it along. So far the name of the fifth soldier killed has not been released.


****Special thanks to Pax for passing along information regarding Pfc. Olivieri and Pfc. Cook...we now have their faces!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Hero 06/08/2011

Fort Carson Soldiers

U.S. Army

Soldiers render salutes through a rendition of taps during a ceremony May 26 at the Mountain Post Warrior Memorial. Fort Carson honors the lives lost in support of Overseas Contingency Operations by adding names to the memorial stones.


Photo Courtesy Army.mil Taken By Dustin Senger

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Wednesday Hero Logo


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Special thanks to Christopher Lee for keeping our Heroes on our hearts and in our minds.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talking Tuesday


Rolling Thunder was an awesome experience! Truly, there is nothing like the roar of 400,000 motorcycles through the streets of Washington, DC. If you have yet to experience this, I encourage you to do so...one day! The photos, the news clips dont't touch the emotional side of being among so many Vietnam Veterans.

Rolling Thunder's Mission is simple: Incorporated in 1995, Rolling Thunder, Inc. is a class 501(c)(4) non-profit organization with over 90 chartered chapters throughout the United States and members abroad. While many members of Rolling Thunder are veterans and many ride motorcycles, neither qualification is a prerequisite. Rolling Thunder members are old and young, men and women, veterans and non-veterans. All are united in the cause to bring full accountability for Prisoners Of War (POW) and Missing In Action (MIA) of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by our watchwords: “We Will Not Forget.”

Next year is the 25th Anniversary of Rolling Thunder, I believe it will be a day not soon forgotten! Please read more about Rolling Thunder HERE!




Motorcycles from all across the Nation rally in the Pentagon Parking Lot.










Hubster and his Escort.








The Lone Marine. SSgt. Tim Chambers has held a salute while every single motorcycle passes him, for the past six Rolling Thunders! Look at the crowds!!! Pure awesomeness!!!




AirmanMom with WingSis, ShaysMa. We met a few years ago in a Yahoo BlueStar Chat, became Blogging Buddies and for the 2nd year in a row have shared good memories at Rolling Thunder. This is now our tradition; Ride in Rolling Thunder, grab some lunch and visit The Wall. Love her!





What do you feel are our top Vietnam Veterans concerns? How can we as everyday citizens make this a better place for those who have so bravely served our Nation?

Your turn.......................

Monday, June 6, 2011

D-Day June 6, 1944

"You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to
Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
and noble undertaking."
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

U.S. Troops Killed Today in Iraq

Five U.S. servicemembers were killed Monday in central Iraq, the U.S. military said in a written statement.

The deaths are the single largest loss of life among U.S. troops in Iraq since 2009, and they come as Iraq debates whether to request U.S. troops stay beyond a January 1, 2012, deadline that requires 46,000 American forces out of the country.

The U.S. military did not say how or where the five died.

But two Iraqi security officials told CNN Monday that the servicemembers were killed during an early morning mortar attack at a U.S. military base in southeastern Baghdad.

Five servicemembers also were wounded in the attack, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

The two officials said some of those killed and wounded were sleeping in trailers when the base was attacked.

U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Anishka J. Calder, a spokeswoman in Baghdad, declined to comment on details surrounding the deaths.

The names of the servicemembers were being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the military said in the statement.

The deaths follow warnings by the U.S. military that attacks against American troops in Iraq by armed militias are on the rise, an attempt to demonstrate their power ahead of an anticipated U.S. withdrawal at the end of the year.

U.S. troops have increasingly been targeted by roadside bombings and mortar attacks, largely in Baghdad and southern Iraq, Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, spokesman for U.S. Forces-Iraq, recently told CNN.

While al Qaeda in Iraq -- predominantly Iraqi Sunni insurgents -- continue to launch strikes, Buchanan has said the militia attacks against the U.S. are "designed for power and they want to claim credit for our redeploying, for us leaving."


-cnn.com

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May Almighty God Bless these brave Warriors.
May Almighty God comfort the families who loves them so.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Dad


Six years ago today, I said one last "Good Night" to My Dad.

Oh God, how I miss him.

Everyday.

Love you, Dad.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Somebody's Son...



SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - Cpl. Matthew T. Woodall, a squad leader for 3rd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, moves between the elements of his squad during Operation Zapoonki Guzaroona in the Upper Sangin Valley, Afghanistan, May 23. Woodall was made the squad leader of 3rd squad when his squad leader was injured the first day of the operation. This forced Woodall to assume the role of squad leader and make critical decisions that directly affected and ensured his Marines safety. Woodall, 26, is from Paducah, Ky., and a 2003 graduate of Heath High School.

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Friday Posts are dedicated to random photos of those brave men and women who serve our Nation... we must remember they are Somebody's Son.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday Hero 06/01/2011

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Pet

Col. Van T. Barfoot
Col. Van T. Barfoot
91 years old from Henrico County, Virginia
157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division
U.S. Army

In December 2009 Van T. Barfoot made national headlines when he wanted to fly his American flag in his yard but was told to take it down by his homeowners association. It's still flying proudly today. But that's just one small event in the life of Mr. Barfoot. Long before he decided to fly that flag he defended it during W.W.II.

Barfoot joined the Army in 1940 and was shipped to Italy in 1943 where distinguished himself in 1944 when, in the course of a single day, he advanced alone through a minefield, took out a German machine gun with a hand grenade, single handily killed eight German soldiers, captured seventeen, disabled a tank with a bazooka and then returned to his own lines and helped two of his own wounded squad members. All which earned him the Medal Of Honor. So it comes as no surprise that when he wanted to fly the American fly he wasn't going to take no for an answer.


You can read more about Col. Barfoot here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Special Thanks to Christopher Lee for his dedication to our Troops!