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[name witheld]
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Hey Guys,

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!! I purchased the below sweatshirt for my 12 year old son this Christmas and he absolutely loved it; he was so excited when he saw it. He has several cousins in the military; 2 rangers, 2 regular army, and 1 marine. The pats on the back he got from everyone when they saw his sweatshirt really made him feel part of something "larger". My wife and I feel blessed with all the real heros in our family.

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[name witheld]

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A Message from Dave


As we bring a close to another year and welcome in the new year I salute you our freedom fighters the United States Military and I say I know you can do it. Hang in there; remember where you come from, who you are, and the honor and fine tradition of your service to our country. Be tough never let anyone get the better of you our soldiers. Hough.

HOUGH (hoo-a)

"Hough" the familiar army sentiment which roughly means; "can do" or "good-job" has its origins with the Second Dragoons in Florida in 1841. In an attempt to end the war with the Seminoles, a meeting was arranged with the Chief Coacoochee. After the meeting a banquet ensued. Officers of the garrison made a variety of toasts such as "here's to luck!" and "the old grudge" before drinking. Coacoochee asked Gopher John, an interpreter the meaning of what they said. The interpreter explained that "It means, How d'ye do!" Whereupon the chief with great dignity lifted his cup, and elevated it above his head exclaimed in a deep, guttural and triumphant voice, "HOUGH".


Lonely by the camp-fire dreaming,
Whilst the stars are o'er me beaming,
Memory and though come streaming
Rainbow-like across by brow.
Scenes that fate cannot deny me
Float upon the night-winds by me,
Whilst the dark cares forgotten fly me,
And in dreams I drink to "hough!"
"Hough!" boys, "hough" – "hough!" boys, "hough!"
Drink beneath the tall palmetto.

Soldier boys should never borrow
Idle troubles for the morrow;
Time enough when comes the sorrow
‘Neath its heavy weight to bow,
Then, whilst stars are shining o'er us,
Let not darker skies before us
In our dreams wake bitter chorus,
Banishing the toast of "hough!"
"Hough!" boys, "hough" – "hough!" boys, "hough!"
Underneath the green palmetto,

Pressing here my mossy pillow,
Forms that moulder ‘neath the willow,
Forms that sleep beneath the billow,
Flit and frolic round me now;
Banishing all though of mourning,
All my dreams with joy adorning.
May they tarry till the morning.
Ere they breath their parting "hough!"
"Hough!" boys, "hough" – "hough!" boys, "hough!"
Let the soldier's toast be ever

From: From Everglades to Canon with the Second Dragoons.
Theo. F. Rodenbough, D. Van Nostrand, New York, 1875.

Dave Thomas

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Voice of the Soldier

This section is designed to give you a voice where you can express opinions or give messages. We encourage you to speak out ! Send us your commentary, stories or articles. Etc.

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Special Operations Warrior Foundation

Special Forces Gear is now hosting a special section for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) provides college scholarship grants, along with financial aid and educational counseling, to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.

All profits from these items go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation

Learn More about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation >>

Christmas in Babylon

Hey Ya ll,
It is 1:30am here, which means it is Christmas morning. We had a small bon fire, and sipped bottles of miniature booze which was in Christmas Stockings for all of us. We had a pretty good time, exchanging Christmas gifts and having a few drinks around the fire, exchanging stories.

Tomorrow, Christmas day, we are going to drive a few miles up the road and tour the ancient city of Babylon. We have drove past several times, but never stopped to take pictures and what have you. General Abbas, is going to have the SWAT unit pull security around the ancient city for us, while we take a tour and take a few pictures. Pretty interesting Christmas day. Hope all of you have a great Christmas too. I miss you all and no regrets visiting one of the cities from the earliest of civilization on Christmas Day. I'm pretty excited about it. Take care and talk to you later


Marines let dog go to slain handlers' family

SAVANNAH, Georgia (AP) -- Marine Cpl. Dustin Jerome Lee and his German shepherd, Lex, scoured Iraq for roadside bombs together, slept next to each other and even posed in Santa hats for a holiday photo.

Lex, the bomb-sniffing dog, is going to live with the family of Marine Cpl. Dustin Jerome Lee, who was killed in Iraq.

When a mortar attack killed the 20-year-old Marine in Falluja a few months later, Lex, whimpering from his own injuries, had to be pulled away, Lee's father was told.

That strong bond compelled the slain Marine's family to adopt 8-year-old Lex even though the military said he still had two years of service.

The family lobbied the military for months, launched an Internet petition and enlisted the aid of a North Carolina congressman who took their case straight to the Marine Corps' top general.

On Wednesday, the Marine Corps finally announced Lex could go home to Lee's family. It is the first time the military has granted a dog early retirement to be adopted by someone other than a former handler.

"We knew that's what Dustin would have wanted out of this," said Jerome Lee, the slain Marine's father. "He knew that we would take care of Lex and love him, just like our own."

Lee's family from Quitman, Mississippi, is scheduled to pick up Lex from the Albany base December 21, exactly nine months after the fatal attack.

Word of Truth

The Word of Truth - Alive and Powerful

The Word of Truth

New Year

By Rev G.J. Rako
LTC (Ret)


I wish a Happy New Year to you and yours. As I reflect, on the past year, I cannot help but think of the sacrifices so many of you are making on behalf of the entire nation. Freedom is not free; it comes at a very high cost. All of you are acutely aware of that cost. The price is not money but something of intrinsic value, the blood of American warriors. The best and brightest this country has to offer. None of us can ever repay this debt. We can however express our gratitude to you and for you and your many sacrifices. Thank you for your service to this great nation. You are in our prayers and thoughts.

I cannot think of the sacrifices of those who serve (military, police, firefighters and others) without thinking of the greatest sacrifice of all time. The sacrifice of the unique person of the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, He died so that we may live. My wish for the New Year is that all of you would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:9; The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance [a change of mind about Christ].

The scripture says that anyone who believes in Christ shall be saved (Acts 16:31, John 3:15-18, 3:36, I John 5:11-12). The way of salvation is always "faith alone in Christ alone." His completed efficacious, substitutionary work on the cross is sufficient for our salvation. He did the work we receive the benefit. The gift of eternal life is ours by no work of our own.

Eph 2:8-9; For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Many of the politicians vying for power in this election year are promising to end the war in Iraq (apologies to those of you deployed in Afghanistan and all over the world, I guess they forgot about you). Moreover, they are demanding an immediate withdrawal. Correct me if I am wrong, but the war against Iraq has been over for a few years. We are fighting Islamic terrorists, many of whom are coming in from other countries. Much of their weapons and explosives are smuggled into Iraq from bordering states. I wonder why after more than sixty years we are still in Germany. Why are the politicians not clamoring for an immediate withdrawal from Germany, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea to name a few?

The important thing to remember is that these weasel politicians do not control as much as they would have you believe. Jesus Christ controls history.

Hebrews 1:3; And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

If you are a Christian then you are at this moment, exactly where God wants you. You may be having the time of your life, or you may be bored out of your wits, or scared, hungry, lonely, or going through some other type of hardship.

Romans 8:28; And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

God has a perfect plan for your life. This is an individual personal plan designed just for you. God’s plan for your life includes everything you need both spiritually and in temporal life.

Isaiah 64:4; For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

1 Corinthians 2:9; but just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him."

The living God, creator of all things will make His plan for you evident as you fulfill the many commands in scripture to grow to spiritual maturity.

II Peter 3:18; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:2; And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ephesians 4:13; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:14; As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of [false] doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.

1 Corinthians 2:6; Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away.

1 Corinthians 14:20; Instruction for the Church Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.

For Christians testing is a surety, we will be tested. Adversity or suffering is a guarantee in our lives; happiness and prosperity are only potentialities. Do not let this be a source of discouragement.

1 Corinthians 10:13; No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

The Word of God is the answer to any problem in this life (Isaiah 28:10, Heb 4:12, II Tim 2:15).

Your understanding becomes enlightened when you make the Word of God a priority in your life. Study the Word of God. A little today, tomorrow, the next day, and your thinking will be renovated (Rom 12:2). God knows all the things you need and all the things that you desire; seek Him first and His Righteousness and He will give them to you (Matt 6:25-34).

When you face hardship or adversity in your life, claim a promise and rest in that promise confidently knowing that what God promised He is also able to deliver.

Rom 4:20-21; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

God always delivers on His promises. Learn them, use them, make it a habit and you will be amazed at how learning to trust God even for the most insignificant things in your life will accelerate your spiritual growth and bring you closer to Him.

In conclusion, I congratulate you on a job well done in the Middle East! The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are grateful for what you have done for them and you see it in their eyes everyday. Only those involved in Islamic fascism seek to undermine your efforts and enslave the people that you have freed from a demonic tyranny. I am proud to have served and proud to know that you still fight the good fight.

Click here to contact Reverend Rako >>

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Message to Our Troops

A Message to Our Troops

To the best soldiers in the entire world, the soldiers of the United States
of America:
A good soldier is honorable; a good soldier is steadfast; a good soldier is resolute; a good soldier is always ready to make the ultimate sacrifice; a good soldier is honest; a good soldier always gives full measure; a good soldier is strong of body and mind; a good soldier gladly suffers for the greater good; a good soldier puts his nation ahead of himself; and, above all, a good soldier fervently wishes his military career were utterly unnecessary, and always fights for the cause of peace and honor. This coming year, let all the soldiers of the United States of America prove that we are the best soldiers in the world!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to my brothers and sisters downrange. You go about your day, manning your posts, advising your counterparts, rolling out the gate and waiting for that C-17 ride in the night to take you home.
Thank you for all youre doing. When we gather with our families in our safe homes to celebrate Christs birth, our prayers will go out to you and the families you have left in the Defense of our Freedom.
May God Keep you in His Safe embrace and protect you for a safe return home.

A Soldier

There is discipline in A Soldier
you can see it when he walks,
There is honor in A Soldier
you hear it when he talks.
There is courage in A Soldier
you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in A Soldier
that he will not compromise.
There is something in A Soldier
that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in A Soldier
that beats from his heart.
A Soldier isnt a title any man
can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man
buried deep inside of you.
A Soldiers job isnt finished after
an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always A Soldier
even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first
and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what
comes first in a civilians mind.
If you are civilian -
I am saying this to you.....
next time you see A Soldier
remember what they do.
A Soldier is the reason our land
is Home of the free,
A Soldier is the one that is brave
protecting you and me.
If you are A Soldier -
I am saying this to you.....
Thank God for what YOU do!

By Angela Goodwin
This Poem is the attitude that everyone should have towards a Soldier!!!!

Thank You for Fighting the Good Fight. As an Iraq War Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient, I understand the importance of "Protecting our Great Nation". What some people fail to remember is that "We Volunteered to Defend our Country against all enemies Foriegn and Domestic". I am Honored to Stand Beside all of You and appreciate the sacrifice you have made to continue what we began. God Bless all of you and Keep your heads down and your eyes open.

With the New Year coming it means changes are coming. As a soldier who has spent 3 New Years in Iraq know that with each year a change for better occurs. A change that brings us one step closer to turning these combat zones into a place of freedom. No can know what you see or where you have been all they know is what they see. So celebrate this New Year knowing that you have made a difference and the changes that come are because of the sacrafices that you have made.
Very Respectfully
SSG Joshua Callow
1-25 SBCT

hold your head high. regardless of the politics, you do the best job you can and it will be a comfort for the rest of your life.
semper fi
larry burch
viet nam 68-69

Yesterday I had one of my Afghan interpreters approach me and ask if I could spare a moment of my time to discuss an important matter with him. Gladdly, I stepped out of my tent and asked him what I could do for him. "Maam," he stated "I need your help. I want to enlist in the Army." "Really," I replied, "you want to join the Afghan National Army (ANA)? Good for you!" "No!" He explaimed, "I was to enlist in the US Army. You see Maam after going on over 1,000 combat patrols through the mountains of Nuristan and deserts of Nangarhar with US forces I know what it takes to be a good Soldier. You Americans leave your homes and families to fight for our country and because of that I feel that it is my duty to fight along side of you. Thats why I want to join your Army, to thank you and fight with you to help establish peace and goverance!"...
What do you say to a request like this? No matter how many people believe that we should not be here, there ae so many more that understand the good that is being accomplished. I live it on a daily basis and see the new roads, health clinics, schools and academys being built for these people. Never before have I been so proud to serve side by side with Afghan Soldiers.
1LT Amanda Newsom
173D STB, HHC, Airborne Brigade Combat Team!

To all my Comrades in harms way:
That includes those who may think they are not in harms way.
As one who sat on the brink of nuclear war from years past, I can attest to the mental strain that duty brings no matter where you may be. And as one who served in places such as Fallujah, Ramadi and Tikrit during tenuous times, again I can relate to what it means to sacrifice, endure and persevere in the face of adversity and an enemy unseen.
Finally, as a father of sons who have sacrificed, are now disabled for life and one still serving proudly, I can appreciate your devotion to duty albeit sometimes unclear in mission or purpose.
Having said that, your service does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Rather, yours is but a vital element in this heirarchy of life that we have come to enjoy and relish with a sense of appreciation the average American will never fully understand. We dont expect them to.
We serve with a sense of purpose and pride that all too often, cannot be described by words alone. Yours is no different regardless of your position, rank or duty. It all matters deeply. It all serves to perpetuate our existance as free Americans that have spanned the generations long before us.
It will endure so long as there is one American left to stand and take up our colors. We will not fail nor even take a step backwards. Not now. Not ever.

As we enter our new year in this millenium, take pride and stock in knowing that your service is a kind that can not be bought or bartered for by any tangible means. It is priceless, unwaivering and without end.
And most of all, it is deeply appreciated by more than you could ever begin to imagine. I found this out after 26 years of service to our nation and so will you.
May you find peace and happiness in this year to come that will sustain your efforts and bring comfort to your family both near and from afar.
May God bless you and all that is great with America.
Very Respectfully,
Paul A. Joseph
Master Sergeant (ret)
Combat Engineer - Essayons!

Your sacrifice is appreciated by all, but shown by few. My new years resolution is to be one of the few, as you, and answer the call to continue the fight, to do whats right. This new years just remember that all though few stand and support, all look upon you with silent eyes, appreciate your sacrifice, and pray for a safe return back to the fort. -America, then , now , forever. HOOAH!

Merry Christmas and happy New Year from Croatia

Thanks Ladies and Gents. Your the best, we support you. You are the ones who are the pawns in this but the American people got your back guys.I am a cop and your my HEROES. Again thanks for you do. We can never do enough to repay for serve to America. But the govt should do all that it can. I try too. It is not much,but it is from the heart!

To influnance the hearts and mind of those we are helping remember this:
You never know what you do or say may influance the hearts and minds of others tommorow. A candle never loses light by sharing with another candle.
- B J Palmer

There are many of us now in the private sector watching our amazing troops overseas doing the jobs we did for years, and we want to pass on the message the regardless of the outcome, regardless of the driving force or the reasons behind the fight, each one of you is doing an incredible job and making an amazing difference. God bless each one of you for the job, the effort, and the devotion you give to your mission every day.

We are approaching the end of the year 2007, but let us remember, this is not THE end yet. Year 2008 is at dawn! As we fought against all types of terrorism in the past, let us continue to strive for it in this coming year.
Let us keep each man in uniform, at home or in foreign land, in our prayers! They are giving their lives, their all, in the front lines and in the battle fields; let us also give our time in uplifting them in the hands of the Almighty through our prayers!
MEN IN UNIFORMS, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! Our "Ultimate Commander-In-Chief" will keep you all in HIS loving hands!
May you all have a fruitful and bountiful New Year ahead!

All I can say is Thank You for protecting our freedom. As the year becomes new your that much closer to being back home for good. Keep up th good work and stay safe

Warriors & Heros,
Have a happy new year knowing that there are many more of us back home than not that are proud of you guys and thank god you are there fighting the good fight against the evil that lurks outside our borders.
Ignore the media, ignore the liberals, ignore the nay-sayers. What you do there everyday is real and more important than can be measured. You honor all of those who have gone before you and paid for our freedom with thier blood and lives and it is tuly appreciated.
I am honered to have been a contractor working on MCRD San Diego for the last several months and well up with pride every Friday when I see new Companies of recruits become Marines to the cheers of thier families and thier proud DIs on that historic parade deck where millions of past marines have stood and heard "Today, here and now, you become a Marine."
Semper Fi, and god bless you all.

have a happy christmas and a good new year from all back in the home front

God Bless you for sacrifcing your own agendas for the better of our country and what you believe in. At this point in the war, it is no matter who got us there, but it is a matter of self respect to give your all to the country in which we live in. I believe it is a true calling to serve your country, and people who make that choice, dont do it lightly or with no regard. You can never make someone join the military, they either feel it, or they dont. That feeling comes from deep within, and lights up with pride and patriotism when the calling is made.
Keep the faith, be proud and continue to fight the fight, you will never know in your time of honor, how proud of you we are back here. You have given us the reason to be proud of where we come from and how we got there. Thank you and god speed home. May your New Year be blessed with all you wish for.
Prior U.S. Air Force, active duty,
Debra Maquet.

I just want to thank yall for everything you do for our country! Both my grandfathers went in on d-day during world war II, my great uncle got shot down over germany and was a P.O.W. I know what kind of sacrifice you are giving for me and other Americans. I made a promise to my self to pray for each troop overseas until we pull out. I want to again thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service. I dont have the words to express my deep love and appreciation for the troops over seas. Have a very Happy New Year. And just know that Millions of Americans care for you and are praying for your safetey! GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR TROOPS!

You did great in 2007 and youll keep kicking ass in 2008
Jim (ret)USN

Hello troops! Thank you very much for all your service and i am proud to be a soon member of the armed forces. I feel for you guys as you are away for the holidays, i know whats its like for i have just had my first holiday away from home. I have been attending a military prep school. I look forward to serving with you all soon! Take care and press on! I am honored to be a part of a country with soldiers like you.


merry Xmass to all troops fighting to bring peace & democracy

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Jobs perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:11

Although the dream of home seems so far away, as this year draws to a close, you are another year closer to your goals.

We believe in you, pray for you, and thank you more than we can express!

I wanted to let you know that you are not forgotten and that this and every year hereon. I will vote pro-soldier in every election. I am not talking about for or against any war, I am talking about for you these five promises.
1. I vote that you always get paid a decent fair wage.
2. That your family will be guarnteed not to have to live in poverty or fear while you serve.
3. That you and your families health care coverage is never in question.
4. That when you are honorably discharged or retired that you are allowed to make a decent living and not lag behind your peers who did not choose to serve.
5. That the people placed in charge are never allowed to mislead or corrupt the cause that we all understand we as the people have committed serve.

Thank you for doing the right thing by protecting our freedoms. Your courage is what heros are made of. Fight the good fight and know you are in our thoughts and prayers

All I ask is that you,take care of business and come home.
Semper Fi

Thank You to Our Troops

A Thank You to Our Troops

When I awake in the morning from a night of peaceful sleep.
I thank you
When I kiss my wife and kids good buy to go to work.
I thank you
When I drive to work down a road free from IEDs.
I thank you
When I work my 10 hr days and think of your countless hours of tireless work with no time clock.
I thank you
When I think of my everyday freedoms !!!!!!!!!!!
I THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your unconditional devotion to our country. Stay dilligant. My family prays for your safe return.

Dear Troops, Soldiers, Airmen, and Seamen,
Without you defending our country still today, I would not be able to sit here and get ready for church. Yes, I said church. I would not be able to have the freedom to say thank you for all the hard work, the sleepless nights, the dedication, and the tenacity that you folks have to make our lives easier to live in the country we want to live in. Your bravery is hard to find these days. Thank you for defending our country and helping us to keep it truly free. Your friends and families are in our hearts and prayers. Thank you once again for everything you do!

The Gift from Afar...
Im sitting here thinking of the difference between your holidays and mine.
Thanksgiving has just passed I hope yours was fine.
Not the traditional one I am sure you would have wanted; family, football, and left over turkey that night. I do hope as families were taking the time to be thankful they were also grateful acknowledging your plight.
Christmas is near, and Im sure your families wish you were here.
As darkness falls I embrace the beauty of the Christmas lights, knowing that quite possibly what you see are explosions at night.
I wondered today the silliest thing if you worry about buying and sending gifts and what they should be, but then I realized the most incredible thing you even give a gift to me.
No its not wrapped in pretty paper, or even tied with a bow, its nothing you can see its more of what we should all know.
The gift you give isnt small its actually the greatest of all.
Your gift is the freedom of which our children sing, or if any church at all we choose to attend the churchs bell can ring.
All the famous documents we are taught in school, only are able to hold their meaning because of this gift from you.
The Statue of Liberty oh how she stands so proud, and without saying a word she also thanks you out loud.
You give this gift never asking if its fair or complaining with despair any bad that comes about you just stand tall and bare.
The protection and security from what other countries could and would do, is part of this glorious gift from you.
Your gift makes our cherished never running colors of red, white and blue stand out ever so true.
I could continue to list more things, for there are so much your gift does bring.
This gift you give will forever like candles burn and you never ask any thing for in return.
I may not know your name as mine you do not know the same, or in my thank you know just what to say but know I am grateful and thinking of you each and every day.
So as the New Year approaches I wish you safe from harm and back in your loved ones arms.
Know now its not just your familys love but know Ive sent mine to linger from up above.
I need not know you to be thankful for who you are, for you will always be the one who sent your gift from afar.
Vanessa Combs


Brothers and Sisters:
Today, as was yesterday, and will also be tomorrow is a blessed day. Heroes we stand, written in the pages of our great history. I, a fellow soldier commend your service; one that has been, and will once again deploy among the ranks. Take solace in the fact that there are many among us that respect and hold in reverence your service and sacrifice. In my short time home I can disassociate myself from the front line knowing that you are there. Take care of not only yourself, but the soldier to your left and right. Your time to return home is close, and Im looking forward to take your place. I just became a proud father of a new baby boy. He will have endless stories to hear regarding the soldiers that stood beside his father and defended this great country of ours. Thank you for your service, thank you for making our country safe for my son and family.
SGT Rock

thank you for your continued sacrifice on our behalf! MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!

For all you have done, for all you will do, i thank-you, from the bottom of my heart, to be free to have the freedom to do and to say, to live life to our fullest dreams you couldnt have done it any other way with out our armed forces protecting us all the way, from sea to shining sea, im glad im free.....
thank-you for all you have done

All soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, coast guardsmen:
As a veteran of Vietnam in special ops, I am wishing you all of gods blessings during this holiday season. You are all patriots and great americans. All americans should honor you for your service and sacrifice for the country. I remember during my service to take everyday, day by day. Hold your heads high and always remember that you are not forgotten. I only wish I could be there with you as I remember the bonding and friendship that occurs while in combat. I wish you all to return without wounds and suffering. Keep your heads down and return to your loved ones. I will pray for all of you and always remeber, you are great people. You are what makes america great!
Don Corp, U.S. Army 1972-1981

Dear Men and woman now serving our country in this time of need, being a
military veteran myself, i just wanted to thank each one of you for a job
well done

Guys and gals: when you read of all the popular dissent (deja vu) back home over the war, remember that, even after Pearl Harbor, most Americans opposed our entry into WWII. However, history recorded Franklin Roosevelt as having done the right thing DESPITE public opposition. Keep the faith; Bob

Thank you for your sacrifice, leaving your life and family behind to defend this country and our freedom.

We owe our every freedom to what you on the front line are doing for us.
Thank you

Thanks for all you do. Keep up the good work, and come home safe. God Bless the U.S.A.

On our money it says In God We Trust. For our military men and women, In God I Trust! you are my heroes and i thank you all. OO-Rah!

"For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor that the protected will never know" Thank you for your steady dedication to duty, honor and country. History should not forget your achievements or your sacrifices. Thank you for being the tip of the spear.

From me and my family, everyone of you in the field are in our prayers. Be first and hit hard!

Heres to all of you men and women who put yourselves out there every day for our wonderful country! God Bless you all and may you all come home soon! FINISH THE FIGHT!!!!

Thank you so much for risking your lives to protect the freedoms that too many Americans take for granted!

Its so easy to take our freedom for granted. Most of us living in this great country were born into the experience of freedom. Many dont even realize what a privilege it is. Most dont really appreciate the price that was paid time and time again to protect that freedom. Men and women were injured or gave their very lives so that each of us could enjoy the benefits of freedom. Freedom will never happen by accident, and it will never be maintained through complacency. The price of freedom is so high because the privilege of freedom is so great.
The brave, selfless men and women who have served, fought, and died for our freedom deserve our undying respect and appreciation no matter what side of what fence we happen to live. There is no place for naive platitudes, or self-righteous indignation, or self-serving politicizing when it comes to our troops. With one voice every citizen of the United States of America should daily thank God for the sacrifice of our troops, daily pray for their safety, and daily shout at the top of their lungs, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

A crisp AIRBORNE salute and heart felt thank you for giving your time, extreme effort, and risking your safety for the service and our country. It may seem like it will never end, but trust me, I did two tours in Viet Nam... at the time it seemed endless, now its ancient history... and dont worry about those jelly spine democrats pulling the rug out from under you, weve got your back!
Be Safe, Be Home Soon.

From my family to all of you serving our country on all fronts I appreciate all that you do and are doing to preserve the freedoms this country has to offer its citizens.

To all of the men and women of the US Armed Forces:
At this time of the year I wish to thank all of you for the continuing sacrifices that you are making to provide a safer and hopefully saner world for all of us to live in. Your contirbutions to the establishment of true "peace on Earth" are real and concrete an truly appreciated by those of us that you serve. Once again thanks and Merry Christmas.

During this holiday season, when you are far from home, I thank you for the sacrifice of being apart from your family in the service of mine. During this time when we celebrate the birth of a man who said "their is no greater love than to give your life for another", I thank you for risking your life to protect your countrymen. During this holiday season, as we exchange gifts, thank you for the gift of freedom that you ensure for us. As the mother of a soldier, I send my love and respect to all of you, a mothers love. I pray for your safety and pray for peace so that you can return to us here and enjoy the freedoms that you have made possible for all of us. God bless you and God bless America.

Happy Holidays to our proud and brave service men and women.

To all of our service men and women, thank you for stepping up and helping to protect our country both here and abroad. Your commitment to saving our way of life, our freedoms, and our values shows us how much you care about our Nation. It is far easier for anyone to speak their mind using the right to free speech, but you have all taken on the much harder burden to serve, thus using that freedom through your actions. May God protect you and comfort you while being away from your family, friends, and home. And may God bless you during this Christmas season, for your duty to serve does not go unnoticed. We wont forget you and come home safe!

Tactical Gear H.Q. - The Latest in Tactical Gear

MTCQC-11-SFS - UTCOM, Black G-10 Handle, Satin Chrome, Serrated

UTCOM, Black G-10 Handle, Satin Chrome, Serrated
Only $265.95!


  • Overall Length (inches): 9.28
  • Blade Length (inches): 4.10
  • Blade Material: 154CM, Satin
  • Blade Detail: ComboEdge
  • Handle Material: G10
  • Lock Style: Liner Lock
  • Carry System: Pocket Clip

    The Emerson UTCOM CQC-11 tactical knife is one of those "perfect designs". What was already hailed as one of the finest utility combat folders, it has now been further improved. Long, sleek and perfectly balanced in your hand, it brings to mind the strength and agility of a earlier seminole world war two era fighting knifes in a floder that is reknown for legendary Ernie Emerson srength and preceison. With the recurved blade built into an extremely ergonomic handle design, this tactical knife screams of grace, power, and stealth.

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  • Embroidered Items

    Alamo Scouts - Sixth Army - E05027

    Alamo Scouts - Sixth Army E05027

    Also Available as a T-Shirt A02936

    The Alamo Scouts were organized on Fergusson Island, New Guinea, on 28 November 1943 to conduct reconnaissance and raider work in the Southwest Pacific Theater under the personal command of then Lt. General Walter Krueger, Commanding General, Sixth U.S. Army.

    Named for his beloved association with San Antonio, Texas, and the Alamo, Krueger envisioned that the Alamo Scouts, consisting of small teams of highly trained volunteers, would operate deep behind enemy lines to provide intelligence-gathering and tactical reconnaissance in advance of Sixth U.S. Army landing operations.

    During these two years the Alamo Scouts liberated 197 Allied prisoners in New Guinea, and provided forward reconnaissance and tactical support of the Sixth Ranger Battalion in the liberation of the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp on Luzon, in February 1945, freeing 511 Allied prisoners. In addition, the Alamo Scouts captured 84 Japanese prisoners of war.

    Members of Rounsaville & Nellist Teams following the successful liberation of Cabanatuan POW camp. Luzon, PI. February 1945. Signal Corps Photo.

    "U.S. Army Special Forces now consider the WW II Alamo Scouts to be their direct predecessors."

    T Shirt Feature
    SWCC - Boat Warriors - A02522

    SWCC - Boat Warriors

    Tatitlek Management Inc. - LaCapria A+ - Counter Terrorism Instructor - A02905

    Tatitlek Management Inc. - LaCapria A+ - Counter Terrorism Instructor

    Scout Sniper 2D Marine Division - Stone Bay, CLNC - A02522

    Scout Sniper 2D Marine Division - Stone Bay, CLNC

    Ex Umbris - Ai5 Troop 2 - A02586

    Ex Umbris - Ai5 Troop 2

    Clearance Items

    Riot Ordnance Vest - Universal
    Normally $140.00, Now Only $110.00! - Save Over 20%!

    Riot Ordnance Vest - Universal - OVER STOCK SALE

    Versatile Multiple Weapon Ammo Carrier

    The Need
    Most less lethal vests on the market today carry only one type of ammunition and they often don't carry them securely, with rounds sliding out while running. These vests can also leave your department stuck when you want to change to new munitions.

    The Answer
    SFG designed a series of heavyweight full-flap pocket grenadier's vest. To accomodate the changing array of less lethal munitions, the pockets were designed to hold multiple shapes and sizes of rounds.

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    Large Pack External Pouch - Only $22.00!

    Measures 12 x 8 1/4' tall, Velcro® strips on the inside.

    Large Pack External Pouch

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    Stiff Rigger's Belt OVER STOCK SALE Only $27.50!

    Stiff Rigger's Belt - OVER STOCK SALE

    The Need:
    Troops need a heavy belt to hang their holsters and pouches on without bowing and sagging. Some want a belt that is flexible and comfortable and others want them rigid to support the weight of a sidearm.

    The Answer:
    We have created a new line with a wide variety of belt styles to fit everyone's needs. And for those we overlooked, we will custom build to suit their specs. The belts are constructed of Type 13 webbing, MS22040 forged steel buckles, and sewn with parachute thread.

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    Medical Initial Response Pouch - OVER STOCK SALE

    Medical Initial Response Pouch
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    Measures 8 1/4 x 9 1/4' tall

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    Ground Pounder Thigh Rig - OVER STOCK SALE

    Ground Pounder Thigh Rig
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    Ground Pounder Holster built on S.O.Tech Claw Rig thigh plate. Will not shift around on leg. Removable flap, triple retention, large autos, lined, spare mag pouch. Belt disconnect extra.

    The Need:
    Why go with a low ride? In a panic situation, a human naturally drops his hands to his thighs to draw. So, even though a belt draw is faster in a premeditated draw, your hands will naturally go to your thighs first in most gun fight situations. This leaves us needing a fast and smooth holster that will anchor itself to the thigh.

    The Answer:
    The Pistol Thigh Rig (PTR) is a triple retention holster secured to the stable Claw Rigc to provide a smooth, secure, versatile and comfortable holster. The stitching of the holster to the contoured Claw Rig holds the weapon securely to the thigh. This prevents the butt of the pistol from bouncing.

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    Recon Pack - OVER STOCK SALE

    Recon Pack
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    Zipper U flap entry to top and front face. Measures 14 x 12 x 6. Padded ribbed back. Molded handle. (no shoulder straps)

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    Quotes & Jokes

    "...The modern russian secret police like to have ten years at least to train a spy. SOE did well to have ten months to train an agent and might not always get ten weeks. The urgencies of wartime are easy to forget in an era of nominal peace."

    ~ M.R.D. Foot World War Two British SAS officer , Oxford historian on how the WW II British Secret Wartime outfit 'SOE' had to counter with producing effective operatives.

    "One of the serious problems in planning against American doctrine is that the Americans do not read their manuals nor do they feel any obligations to follow their doctrine."

    ~From a [now hisotic] Soviet Document

    "The reason that the American Army does do well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis."

    ~ A German General Officer

    "When it mattered most, an entire generation of Americans stepped forward to protect our freedom and to defend liberty. Their devotion to duty and willingness to serve a cause greater than self helped secure our future and our way of life."

    ~ President Bush, In his National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day proclamation

    A New Twist on Out-Sourcing

    I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline.

    I got a call center in Pakistan.

    I told them I was suicidal.


    They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

    Snow Cones

    Snow Cones
    Quotes from Our Readers

    Quotes from Our Readers

    "The point of war isn't to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his!"

    The true defenders of freedom are not politicians in Washington, but the soldier in the field who gives all they have but asks for nothing in return. That soldiers selfless service is the true definition of a public servant.

    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood....who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself at a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and... if he fails, at least fails daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold, timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
    --John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    To our soldiers: Nobody promised that life would be easy, they just said that the trip would be worth it in the end!

    As a VietNam Vet I know what you are going through. I/we are very proud of all of you. You live up the quote:
    "Dedication without Motivation is Imagination."
    Prayers with all of you.

    Fight to the end.Live Free or Die in Vain!Fight for the freedom of the world or suffer oppression from enemies.Through your minds and body,we people, even from other parts of the globe,acknowledge and distinguish you as EXTRAORDINARY MEN AND WOMEN who fights for what is RIGHT and what is BEST.Risking your life and spending time in the war zone is enough said for what great things you have done.Be proud of what you have done,for your country, your family, your friends and even strangers from afar is thankful for what you have been fighting and living for.With much gratitude,I thank you all...

    Words to live by!:
    "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." THEODORE ROOSEVELT (Paris Sorbonne,1910)

    "Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
    though war may rise against me,
    even then will I be confident."
    Psalm 27:3

    Some people have no idea what the truth is, but those who do know; the us armed forces are makeing a sacrifice. The next person who says that your stupid, tell them that u fight for them to be able to say such a thing with out getting shot or imprisoned. If anything civilians like this are truely the stupid ones. Make them think of what they say. respect sould be given to those who serve because those who dont are uninformed of the truth of just what it takes to be a member in the United States Armed Forces. OORAH and God be with you!

    god made the u.s.a. so the rest of the world would have somewere to go for help


    Hi guys.
    My name is Edward.
    I was a volunteer on 9-11-01
    I got hurt that day.
    There has not been a moment where my thoughts have not been with you.
    News here is; That things are getting better and better there.
    You may say. Better? it sucks.!!
    I understand.Your family may think the same.
    I just want you to know how proud i am of all of you.
    you are the ones that prove that freedom is not a given,Sometimes you have to fight hard to keep it in tact.
    No religious and fanatic Moron will ever tell us how to live.
    God bless you ALL.
    Merry Christmas.
    Edward Albers.NYC.NY.

    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. John Stuart Mill

    A marriage that lasts decades isnt a 50/50 union as with neither side gives of its self to there partner but rather a 40/60 understanding. Some days your 60 and most days your 40 and content with that. Brian Bowman

    Soliders Angels
    "May No Solider Go Unloved.
    May No Solider Walk Alone.
    May No Solider Be Forgotten.
    Until They All Come Home.
    For these Brave Men and Women
    are our Angles of Freedom where ever
    our Beautiful Flag is Flown."

    "Psalm 91" As you battle you are under the shelter on the All Mighty God. May HIS enemies fall at your feet!

    My husband is currently serving overseas and he will miss another Christmas here on the homefront. I know there are many men and women serving who will not be home for the holiday and I just want to let them know that they are being remembered, honored and we are praying for your safe return. We think it is hard to go through the holiday without our loved ones here, but it is even harder for them because they do not have the comfort of family beside them. We set a place setting at the table for my husband for every holiday to know that he is not forgotten and he is here in spirit. So to all those serving, I want to say Thank you! Keep your head down and pray that God will end all this soon. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    "What lies before us and what lies beyond are tiny compared to what lies within us." - Henry David Thoreau

    World News

    U.S. Troops to Head to Pakistan

    Beginning early next year, U.S. Special Forces are expected to vastly expand their presence in Pakistan, as part of an effort to train and support indigenous counter-insurgency forces and clandestine counterterrorism units, according to defense officials involved with the planning.

    These Pakistan-centric operations will mark a shift for the U.S. military and for U.S. Pakistan relations. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the U.S. used Pakistani bases to stage movements into Afghanistan. Yet once the U.S. deposed the Taliban government and established its main operating base at Bagram, north of Kabul, U.S. forces left Pakistan almost entirely. Since then, Pakistan has restricted U.S. involvement in cross-border military operations as well as paramilitary operations on its soil.


    An Afghan Security Forces soldier fires a 75mm recoilless rifle during a live-fire exercise atop a ridgeline 1500 feet above the Pesh Valley while a SF Weapons Sergeant looks on.

    Green Berets from the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan are training Afghanistan's indigenous forces to provide for their nations internal defense against insurgency and lawlessness and to protect their newly formed government from subversion. US Special Forces in the region have trained the ASF to use weapons left behind from the Soviet and Taliban eras. The CJSOTF-A regularly uses confiscated weapons, ammunition and explosives to arm Afghanistan's indigenous forces. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Blake R. Waltman, CJSOTF-A Public Affairs

    Iraqi Special Operations Forces, U.S. Special Forces Detain Terrorist Cell Leader and Three Suspects in Separate Raids

    BALAD (Courtesy of CJSOTF-AP Public Affairs, Dec. 27, 2007) – Iraqi Special Operations Forces, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, detained a suspected Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist cell leader and three additional suspects in two separate raids Dec. 26.


    Iraqi Police, U.S. Special Operations Forces detain 2 suspected extremists in Ramadi

    BALAD, Iraq (Courtesy of Multi-National Corps Iraq Public Affairs, Dec. 27, 2007) – Iraqi Police and U.S. Special Operations Forces detained two suspected extremists during operations Dec. 24 and 25 in the city of Ramadi.  The operations were part of a series to capture individuals believed to be involved in the capture of U.S. Soldiers earlier this year.


    Iraqi Special Operations Forces, U.S. Special Forces detain terrorist weapons dealer

    BALAD, Iraq (Courtesy of Multi-National Corps Iraq Public Affairs, Dec. 26, 2007) – Iraqi Special Operations Forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained a suspected terrorist weapons dealer during a Dec. 25 raid in Baghdad.


    Iraqi Special Operations Forces, U.S. Special Forces Detain Terrorist Weapons Dealer

    BALAD (Courtesy of CJOTF-AP Public Affairs, Dec 26. 2007) – Iraqi Special Operations Forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained a suspected terrorist weapons dealer during a Dec. 25 raid in Baghdad.


    Iraqi Police, U.S. Special Operations Forces Detain Two Suspected Terrorists in Ramadi

    BALAD (Courtesy of CJSOTF-AP Public Affairs, Dec. 25, 2007) – Iraqi Police, advised by U.S. Special Operations Forces, detained two suspected terrorists in operations Dec. 23 and 24 in the city of Ramadi.


    Iraqi Special Operations Forces, U.S. Special Forces Detain Two Criminal Extremists Near Abu Saydah as Saghir

    BALAD (Courtesy of CJSOTF-AP Public Affairs, Dec. 24, 2007) – Iraqi Special Operations Forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained two suspected criminal extremists during a Dec. 24 raid near the Iraqi village of Abu Saydah as Saghir, northeast of Baqubah in Diyala Province.


    ANSF discover stockpile of anti-personnel mines in Nangarhar

    BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (CJTF-82 Public Affairs, Dec. 20, 2007)  – Afghan National Security Forces, assisted by Coalition forces, discovered a weapons cache of anti-personnel mines near Shadal Village, Sphingar District, Nangarhar Province, Dec. 17.


    Iraqi Army Division Soldiers, U.S. Special Forces Capture Known Arms Dealer, Terrorist Cell Leader in Two Separate Operations

    BALAD (Courtesy of CJSOTF-AP Public Affairs, Dec. 18, 2007) – Iraqi Army Division Soldiers, advised by U.S. Special Forces, captured a known arms dealer in an operation in the Kirkuk Province Dec. 17 and a known terrorist cell leader Dec. 14 in Ba'ajah.

    Sale Item

    Figure 8 Rescue Descender with Ears

    Figure 8 Rescue Descender with Ears
    Normally $29.50 Now Only $28.00!

    Designed by the "Wizard of Iron" Denny Moorhouse the designer of the origional figure 8 descender back in 1968. Manufactured in Wales at International Safety Components (formerly the old "Clog" factory).

    Forged designed for strength and durability.

    Rescue 8 has "Ears" to aid in "locking off".

    Hard cote anodized finish.

    Figure 8 descender will accommodate 10-16mm ropes.

    Weight: 7oz/196g.

    Strength: 7875 lbf(35kN).

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    Tactical Tips

    Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter

    Published: December 5, 2007

    Researchers in New York believe they have solved one of the great mysteries of the flu: Why does the infection spread primarily in the winter months?

    The answer, they say, has to do with the virus itself. It is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry, the exact conditions for much of the flu season.

    "Influenza virus is more likely to be transmitted during winter on the way to the subway than in a warm room," said Peter Palese, a flu researcher who is professor and chairman of the microbiology department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the lead author of the flu study.

    Dr. Palese published details of his findings in the Oct. 19 issue of PLoS Pathogens. The crucial hint that allowed him to do his study came from a paper published in the aftermath of the 1918 flu pandemic, when doctors were puzzling over why and how the virus had spread so quickly and been so deadly.


    A Special Kind of Weapon

    American special forces recently received a number of dual-caliber Micro-Tavor (MTAR) assault rifles for testing ahead of a decision of whether to purchase the new weapon, developed and manufactured by Israel Weapon Industries, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

    The MTAR is the micro-version of the Tavor assault rifle, jointly developed by the IDF and IMI as a replacement for the US-made M-16. US special forces who are testing the MTAR include the Green Berets, the Navy Seals and other elite units.

    The Tavor utilizes a "bullpup" design that shortens the overall length but not at the expense of the barrel, which is 33 centimeters long. This configuration enables it to be used in urban warfare, but also to have a range of more than 500 meters, due to the relatively long barrel.

    The MTAR has dual-caliber capability, meaning it can operate as an assault rifle, like an M-16, and with the use of a compact conversion kit turn into a submachine gun, like the Uzi. This makes it ideal for special forces that use different weapons.

    The Tavor comes in different variations. The CTAR commando version is used by the IDF, which purchased 15,000 units in 2002. The weapon has a sniper and grenade-launcher variant. It is being used in India, Portugal, Georgia, Colombia and Thailand.

    During a Convoy - React to Ambush - Road Blocked Kill Zone

    1. Report ambush to convoy commander
    2. Vehicles in kill zone dismount on opposite side of ambush
    3. Immediately return fire to kill and suppress
    4. Use turn signals to show the direction of the attack
    5. Soldiers not in kill zone herringbone vehicles and take up a defensive position.
    6. Gun Truck moves into position to lay suppressive fire
    7. Senior member organizes security element
    8. Senior member directs fire and maneuver to clear road block and pass vehicles through kill zone if possible
    9. Convoy may have to consolidate, reorganize and then use alternate route
    10. Consolidate and reorganize
    11. Forward SITREP to higher headquarters


    Blackwater Probe Narrows Focus to Guards

    By MATT APUZZO and LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writers

    WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors investigating the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians have narrowed their focus on as few as three Blackwater Worldwide bodyguards and have given others immunity for cooperating in the case, The Associated Press has learned.


    DEBKAfile Exclusive: Dispute over Iran's nuclear program throws Israel-US relations into grave crisis

    December 5, 2007, 8:45 AM (GMT+02:00)

    Senior Israel security and intelligence officials report: Washington is refusing to heed the intelligence Israel has gathered on Iran's covert military nuclear program which refutes its latest estimate, denies Israel access to authentic US intelligence and has embarked on steps detrimental to Israel in relation to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Lebanon, without informing its government.

    Defense minister Ehud Barak challenged the US intelligence estimate on Iran Tuesday, Dec. 4. He said that Iran may have stopped its military program in 2003, but has since apparently restarted it.

    Prime minister Ehud Olmert, left in the dark by Israel's senior ally, is at a loss to arrest the serious deterioration in their relations. At pains to conceal the gaping rift with Washington, the prime minister's office released word of George W, Bush's coming visit to Jerusalem, his first as president. However, DEBKAfile's sources disclose Israel will be only one stop along an extensive Middle East tour, which will take Bush to Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Ramallah, where he intends to make a big deal of proclaiming his support for forthcoming Palestinian statehood.


    I'm Tired

    Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I'll return to Iraq to finish my tour.

    I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired.

    I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican, who lack the courage, fortitude and character to see these difficult tasks through.

    I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

    I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they "Support the Troops" by wanting them to "Cut and Run" before victory is achieved.

    I'm tired I'm tired of ? the mainstream news media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.

    I'm tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy overnight.

    I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and a permanent Parliament.

    I'm tired of the so-called "Elite Left" that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

    I'm tired of anti-war protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers. A family whose loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters, is beyond shameful.

    I'm tired that my generation --?the Baby Boom/Vietnam generation -- has such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing difficult tasks through to victory.

    I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughtering and beheading of our citizens and allies.

    I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front-page news.

    Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

    Joe Repya, Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army
    101st Airborne Division

    BOEING 797 -- WOW!!

    Boeing is preparing a 1000 passenger jet that could reshape the Air travel industry for the next 100 years. The radical Blended Wing design has been developed by Boeing in cooperation with the NASA LangleyResearch Center. The mammoth plane will have a wing span of 265 feet compared to the 747's 211 feet, and is designed to fit within the newly created terminals used for the 555 seat Airbus A380, which is 262 feet wide.

    The new 797 is in direct response to the Airbus A380 which has racked up 159 orders, but has not yet flown any passengers. Boeing decide to kill its 747X stretched super jumbo in 2003 after little interest was shown by airline companies, but has continued to develop the ultimate Airbus crusher 797 for years at its Phantom Works research facility in Long Beach, Calif.

    The Airbus A380 has been in the works since 1999 and has accumulated $13 billion in development costs, which gives Boeing a huge advantage now that Airbus has committed to the older style tubular aircraft for decades to come.

    There are several big advantages to the blended wing design, the most important being the lift to drag ratio which is expected to increase by an amazing 50%, with overall weight reduced by 25%, making it an estimated 33% more efficient than the A380, and making Airbus's $13 billion dollar investment look pretty shaky.

    High body rigidity is another key factor in blended wing aircraft, It reduces turbulence and creates less stress on the air frame which adds to efficiency, giving the 797 a tremendous 8800 nautical mile range with its 1000 passengers flying comfortably at mach 0.88 or 654 mph (+-1046km/h) cruising speed a nother advantage over the Airbus tube-and-wing designed A380's 570 mph (912 km/h).

    The exact date for introduction is unclear, yet the battle lines are clearly drawn in the high-stakes war for civilian air supremacy.

    From a 28th Combat Support Hospital Veteran

    Please read this article and pass it on to who ever may be interested in what our medical soldiers deal with on a daily basis in Iraq. I understand folks back home get the quick blurb ( 2 more killed today; but never hear about the 100 injured from the same day and how we treat them and evacuate them from the hell the rest of you call Iraq.)

    CPT Darryl Metcalf
    Patient Movement Officer, 28th Combat Support Hospital

    The medics had 20 minutes' warning. A soldier badly wounded by a roadside bomb was coming in. It was only after the helicopter landed at the 28th Combat Support Hospital inside Baghdad's green zone that they realised quite how badly.

    As they cut away his blood-sodden bandages in the trauma ward they found that all four limbs had either been severed or were attached by little more than skin. He had 70 per cent burns to what was left of his body.

    They worked frantically to keep him alive. All his remaining limbs were amputated except for the top of one arm. Within hours he was air-borne again – this time bound for Germany and an onward flight to the Brooke Army Medical Centre in Texas. He is 19. "They were devastating injuries," said Lieutenant-Colonel Bill Costello, the officer in charge of the Emergency Treatment Section. "I've seen so many of them."

    For Western publics this is a sanitised war. Iraq is too dangerous for news teams to record properly the daily shootings, bombings and executions.

    Next week's long-awaited congressional debate on President Bush's war strategy will be driven by abstract figures. But to glimpse the human agony behind those figures, it helps to spend two days with the 28th CSH – the China Dragons – a model of American medical excellence and generosity of spirit.

    Two hours after the 19-year-old soldier arrived, another helicopter delivered a blindfolded, heavily sedated Iraqi detainee from Camp Bucca in southern Iraq. The medics removed the blindfold to find his eyeballs bulging out.

    At first they thought his eyelids had been cut off by his fellow prisoners. Then they realised that both eyeballs had been gouged from their sockets and were hanging loose.

    His fellow prisoners had also cut off his tongue.

    They had beaten him so severely that all four limbs required faschioto-mies – the slitting of the skin – to release the pressure caused by internal swelling. "It was a stunning degree of cruelty," said Major Won Kim, the ophthalmologist who removed the eyeballs.

    Other victims arrived in quick succession – a seven-year-old Iraqi boy caught in a gunfight and hit in the abdomen; a two-year-old girl from Kalsu, south of Baghdad, with a bullet in her brain who survived; a 62-year-old Sunni elder from Doura, south Baghdad, with at least five bullet holes in his back – the target of a drive-by shooting for apparently crossing a criminal oil-smuggling syndicate.

    A 22-year-old woman US soldier who had attempted suicide by overdosing on aspirin was flown to Germany for dialysis. An Iraqi gunner whose Humvee had hit an improvised explosive device (IED) was admitted with shrapnel wounds to his head and a fractured skull. Another young Iraqi boy named Mustafa, 8, had been shot in the head when his family's car was waved through one end of a check-point just as a US convoy was entering the other. One of the convoy's gunners opened fire. Mustafa will be brain-damaged for life.

    "Who can prepare you for this?" asked Major William White, 43, the nurse manager of the emergency room. "I've been doing this 24 years and I've never seen this kind of stuff."

    What The Times saw in two days scarcely begins to cover the extraordinary range of patients treated by the 28th CSH – not least insurgents who injure themselves while attempting to kill US soldiers. "We've had guys suspected of being the trigger men for IEDs being treated next to the victims of those IEDS," said Lieutenant Tom Waters, 25, a nurse. Each month the CSH treats half a dozen boys aged 10 to 15 who have been maimed while planting IEDs for the terrorists.

    Occasionally, the medics find themselves treating a suicide bomber who has blown himself up but survived. More often, they find bits of them – a thumb, a fragment of bone – embedded in a victim.

    Not all US soldiers understand why the CSH tries to save America's enemies. "You'll get soldiers coming up and saying 'Way to go, Doc. You saved that guy's life. He just killed Sergeant so-and-so'," said Captain Sean Meadows, 39, a doctor.

    The medics counter that they cannot decide in the heat of the moment who is and who is not an insurgent, and that those who are might later provide valuable intelligence. "We're not judge or executioner. Our mission is extremely simple. We treat everyone who comes in here. We treat them the same and we try to save lives," says Major White. The CSH even provides insurgents who cannot be saved with a Koran, an interpreter and someone to sit beside them until they die.

    In the past 11 months, the 28th CSH has also treated escaped hostages, including one women who was severely beaten by her kidnappers and jumped from a three-storey window to escape; victims of chlorine gas attacks in Anbar province and numerous Iraqis hit by celebratory gunfire – ten alone on the night that the Iraqi football team won the Asia Cup in July.

    Major Kim, the ophthalmologist, joined the 28th CSH in Baghdad six months ago. In the first two months he treated a spate of Iraqis from the US detention camps Cropper and Bucca who had been blinded by rubber bullets fired to quell riots. Since then he has removed a dozen eyeballs of detainees who have been stabbed or bludgeoned by other detainees.

    "Sometimes it takes your breath away. They call this a holy war, and for this to be done in the name of God appals me," said Major Aiken, the nursing supervisor of the 500-member unit.

    Each medic has his own way of dealing with such horrors. Captain Meadows, a doctor straight out of M*A*S*H, hits a punchbag. Lieutenant Waters smokes Cuban cigars. Colonel Costello jogs around the helipad. Major Aiken photographs flowers, birds, sunsets – "things of beauty".

    Mostly they are able to remain dispassionate – until they find themselves treating someone they know. On July 10 a mortar exploded near by. Many were injured. Major White was called to a trolley and found himself staring down at one of his nurses, Captain Maria Ortiz.

    "We'd been talking an hour before," he recalled. "She told me, 'I've just got my wedding dress. I've got to lose two sizes. I'm going to the gym to work out'. She was coming back from the gym when the mortar hit."

    She died, and her portrait is now stuck on walls all around the hospital.

    The CSH has two mortuaries, one for Iraqis and one for the coalition. The bodies of Americans are taken away by helicopters on what are known as Angel Flights.

    Is the war worth this price? "If Iraq turns around, if you give these people an opportunity to succeed and become a country that's not oppressed any more then maybe it is worth it," says Major White.

    "You have to be optimistic. There's no way you can watch all these people die and do all these amputations and not believe it's going to work."

    Captain Meadows recalled a fellow medic rushing to help two wounded soldiers in the field and stepping on an IED. He was killed: "I loved that guy. I want this to be worth it. I can't see us slinking away and saying it was all for nothing. You want it all to be for something."

    Survival rates

    –– Improvements in US battlefield medicine have greatly increased survival rates. In the Second World War, 30 per cent of the Americans injured in combat died. In Vietnam, this dropped to 24 per cent. In the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, about 10 per cent of those injured died.

    –– Soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force in the First World War were the first to be accompanied by purpose-trained mobile medical units, the innovation of Joseph Marshall Flint, a Yale Professor of Surgery.

    –– The rapid evacuation from battlefield by air was pioneered by the US during the Korean War, as helicopters were first used to fly the wounded to Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (M*A*S*H)

    –– Decreased casualty evacuation times, from an average 45 days in Vietnam to four days or less today, has resulted in 90 per cent of casualties surviving during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, compared with 76 per cent in Vietnam

    Flying Base Jumpers

    Watch the Amazing Video Here

    A Dying Institution: Our Veterans Associations

    LTC Bryan Hernandez, J-3 Plans

    This past weekend I spoke at the South Florida Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Association Veteran’s Day reunion. As I entered the small conference room, tucked quietly within the corner of a suburban restaurant, I quickly noticed the age difference between those of the chapter’s proud veterans and myself. I was the “honored” guest, a young 37 years old veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, amongst men that had parachuted into the fields of Normandy over 60 years ago, delayed Communist forces along the Yalu River in the Korean War, and fought in the jungles of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. I felt like a dwarf amongst giants, humbled by those who had written the pages of modern history by their sweat and blood. I did not feel special but rather honored to sit and talk with these quiet men with whom time has slowly taken away their youthfulness but not their pride and patriotism.

    Upon arriving that evening, I walked around to greet people and introduce my wife, but I could not help noticing that we were the youngest people within the room. Suddenly, a feeling of sorrow and shame embraced me as I wondered where my fellow veterans were. Within the small room were men of all different parts of American society that held a special bond and pride of their service and sacrifice, given to their nation during perilous times in their youth. They all answered the call to serve and following their duty, they made a commitment to come back together in order to remember and take care of those who returned less fortunate. Unfortunately, this group of veterans, once bursting with membership is slowly withering away. Further, this phenomenon is not exclusive to the veteran’s chapter that I met, but is occurring throughout this nation as more and more veterans leave their ranks with few, younger veterans replacing their hallowed halls. When I finally sat down, I asked a question to the veterans at my table, “Where are the veterans from our recent wars?” The answer was, “Not here.” My next thought was why.

    The history of veteran’s association is intricately linked with the history of our nation both in their development and in their purpose. Since the War of Independence to the Civil War and following America’s world wars in the 20th century, veterans have organized into collective groups in order to advocate both recognition of their service and request assistance in areas such as health care and education. More importantly, they have served as institutions to remind Americans of the human costs of war and the sacrifice made by so few for so many. These institutions are dying with their aged members and as they disappear, so will their wisdom and history.

    During the mid-20th century veterans associations were successful recruiting service members from World War II and Korea due to the large number of veterans involved in these conflicts and their political activity to advance veteran rights as the country absorbed them back into society. In the political aftermath of the Vietnam War, other veteran organizations began appearing as disenfranchised veterans called for attention and gratitude for their service in an unpopular war. However, there has been a noticeable decline in the membership of many veteran groups since these wars. The decline seems attributable to the lack of sustained conflicts, with combat affected veterans, in the 1980s and 1990s, disinterest by younger vets, and a general misconception that veteran organizations are for the older generations of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. The question is if the hundred of thousands of veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere will replenish the depleted ranks of America’s veteran organizations.

    As the evening continued, I asked dozens of questions about the experiences of the veterans at my table, which included a former Tuskegee Airman turned combat paratrooper in the Korean War. There was a glaring point that these men, and their spouses, shared a camaraderie that our generation of veterans needs to continue. While we continued to talk, it came time for me to deliver my speech and so I humbly went to the small podium situated in the middle of the room among tightly packed dinner tables. I talked briefly about the history of Veteran’s Day, the 82nd Airborne Division, and proudly discussed the division’s many deployments in the current Global War of Terror, to include my former battalion that is now on its fourth deployment in five years. At the end, I concluded with what I termed a “Call to us”. I explained that the “call” was our need and responsibility, as a collective group, to honor the thousands of service members who will not return from the war and to be prepared to receive the thousands of veterans that are coming home wounded and fatigued through organizations such as theirs. Veteran organizations are invaluable and not a relic of past conflicts but institutions that need to engender the new wave of American veterans fresh from the sands of the Middle East.

    At the end of the night’s events, my wife and I stayed around to give our thanks for the invitation and say our goodbyes to the many veterans that attended. Many veterans stopped to say thank you in a way that made me feel even more humble, it was if I was a visiting dignitary or movie star. I quickly let them know that I was the one humbled because they were, and continue to be, my heroes. As I delicately shook many tired and aged hands, I made a promise to them that my generation would honor them not through words but rather by stepping up to take their place to ensure America does not forget those who have bled for its freedom.

    Waterboarding: A SERE-ing Experience for Tens of Thousands of US Military Personnel

    by Cdr. Frank 'Spig' Wead

    Water-boarding, like many other interrogation techniques, could be torture in the hands of a sadist. But -- as the following article demonstrates -- it can be an effective interrogation technique and an essential tool of training, as it has been for US Navy and Air Force pilots.

    "Spig" Wead is the pseudonym of a retired Naval aviator who served in the post-Vietnam era.]

    "Train like you Fight, Fight like you Train" is the motto of the world's most elite pilots, the US Navy's. Based on lessons learned from survivors of the brutal North Korean and North Vietnam torture of US military prisoners of war, the Department of Defense ordered all branches of the services to implement comprehensive Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (S.E.R.E .) training programs. Every member of Congress should be extremely well versed on the military S.E.R.E. programs since they have had direct oversight and funding of these programs for over 40 years. Viewing the most recent Congressional hearing, one must assume that they are ignorant of or intentionally misrepresent the very programs that they fund and support.

    My personal experience with S.E.R.E. training came as a junior pilot flying the F-14A "Tomcat" at NAS Miramar, California. The US Navy S.E.R.E. program requires all Aircrew Members and members of Special Operation Teams (SOF) to undergo both classroom and field experience in these vital techniques. Classroom and field training was accomplished by a cadre of highly trained and disciplined personnel, many of whom had been held as POW's and tortured by the North Vietnamese.


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