I have received my shirt and am very happy; thank you!
I received the bag today in good condition.
Many thanks for your efforts!
|A Message from Dave|
WHAT A WARRIOR KNOWS ABOUT GOVERNMENT
This month's topic is Government. I will attempt to give you a simple reference to understand and evaluate different forms of government and bring a focus to the things that have put our nation on a path of self destruction. Why do I say this? Because I do not live in the same United States I was born into. I have watched our Constitution and Bill of Rights discarded and distorted to take away the freedoms that those past generations of my family and I myself once enjoyed not to mention the horrible regulations and tax burdens placed upon individuals and what is left of our industry in the United States.
The first principal a warrior will soon understand is Military victory always precedes Freedom and Independence. Our nation's founders understood the reality of this principal and put it to the test. Our freedom was bought and paid for by the blood of individuals who set a higher value on there liberty than on life itself. Each generation must be prepared to stand on its own to defend our priceless privileges provided through the sacrifices of past generations.
Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every Free State.
~ Thomas Jefferson
Freedom always comes through military victory and freedom is always lost through the cowards of a nation that would readily trade away our freedom in the false promises by our politicians to provide security.
"Soldiers risk and sacrifice their lives for our freedom,
Politicians bargain our freedom away."
Through out all of history all great nations have self destructed from within.
Our government is seeking to control its citizens from cradle to the grave through socialism, environmentalism, global warming, etc. Free men are treated as criminals and criminals, terrorist, POW's or whatever you choose to call them, are treated as freemen. Freedom of thought, decision and speech are merging into the shadows of tyranny and slavery. The reach of socialism and bureaucracy are strangling and destroying free enterprise. Freedom to succeed or fail in life through one's own determination and decisions are being neutralized. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights have been hijacked by special interest groups who have infiltrated our government.
Society and individuals are no longer taking responsibility for their own decisions and actions. Degeneracy and evil along with deception, dishonesty, hypocrisy, immorality, legalism, greed, power lust and racisms have become the tools of our politicians and the dissension of the majority of our nation. Values have been replaced for the desire to create a Utopia where the hardworking will carry the heavy burden of redistribution of wealth and opportunity is being replaced by entitlement.
Our nation was founded on the laws of establishment. Comprised of four institutions:
- The individual
- National entity (Government)
Each institution must have a system of authority. The authority for the individual is volition, for marriage the husband, for the family the parents, and for the national entity the government in whatever form it is established which is what we will focus on.
Authority in a nation may be vested in one person, a small group, or a large segment of the nation's population. Any of these governmental systems can be good or evil, depending on the integrity or arrogance of those in authority.
Monarchy, aristocracy, and republics have the potential to be positive forms of government. In contrast oligarchy, and democracy are negative forms of government with no chance for freedom to exist.
Before I proceed further, I want to define arrogance and hate - and how they work because these are the two most powerful forces in the world that destroy people and nations.
Arrogance: Simply put arrogance is a form of self indulgence resulting in self deception. It comes in many forms but regardless it always comes back to one thing: self indulgence. For some this may come as a shock but pride is a form of arrogance. Have you ever tried to teach a person who is full of pride or given constructive criticism? If you haven't, try it and you will understand what I mean. Arrogance is subjective it always blinds people from the truth. In a persons desire to have things their way they ignore truth and facts that is arrogance and that is self deception. Arrogance manifests itself through anti-authority, unteachability, unprofessionalism, lack of dignity and poise. For example; in criminal arrogance self gratification replaces the authority of law the criminal looks at your property as his own and for example he may become upset about a scratch on the car he is stealing.
This is how arrogance works:
Self justification - This is where a person immediately has to justify their mistakes or actions looking to shift blame or not take responsibility.
Self deception - This is where a person convinces himself that it is not their fault but something or someone else's. Here the person disassociates from reality.
Self absorption - This is where a persons emotions become rampant out of control loosing touch with reality resulting in fragmented thinking, shattered concentration and displacing contentment which can degenerate into personality disorders like neurotic or psychotic behavior. By this time a person has lost touch with reality and are so absorbed with themselves that they continue to lie to themselves causing self pity and feeling sorry for themselves, depression, drugs, alcohol, verbally attacking others maligning the list goes on.
Arrogance always sees what it wants to see, hears what it wants to hear, and does what it wants to do.
Arrogance is a very powerful negative force which constantly tempts our emotions. We all fall prey to some form of arrogance constantly through out our lives the trick is to recognize it when it crops up and to resist through self control and disciplined thought. If we do not learn to guard against arrogance we will always be vulnerable to exploitation and it can lead us to the next most powerful negative force in our world, hate.
Hate comes from arrogance and is a strong dislike or ill will toward someone or a group of people. Prejudice is a form of hate.
Hate has a lot of similarities to arrogance but is different in that it goes on the offence with a mission of revenge and destruction. In contrast arrogance mostly manifests itself in people catering to unrestrained emotional desires like sex, drugs, self importance, pride etc.
Hate goes on the offensive and seeks to destroy anything that stands in its way along with the object of its hatred.
Arrogance results in self destruction through self absorption and self deception leaving a person or group in a state of degeneracy vulnerable to exploitation by those seeking to control them through false promises. For example greed is a form of arrogance a con man can come along with the investment of the century and offers it to you. An arrogant person wanting to self indulge in how nice it would be to make that money and the fun they will have or good they will do with it immediately they go into self deception and disassociate from reality. They may have even told a friend and they advised against it but they do it any way because arrogance always blinds us from the truth. Of course we all know the unhappy ending with the person saying what was I thinking well he wasn't he was arrogant.
Hate is worse it has the same qualities of arrogance - self absorption and self deception but it goes on the offensive and seeks to destroy. Most of us have encountered a hateful person probably the worst is a jealous bitter person filled with hate. Hate is contagious it starts out innocent enough a disgruntled person tells you a subjective story about some one, or group or company etc., omitting a few facts or twisting them to a desired result and you are shocked and instead of thinking it out you react emotionally. The best example is the hate that has spread through our nation about our president George Bush. I have listened over the last 7 years as everyone accused him of everything imaginable and these pathetic people have come so far in there hatred conveniently blaming everything that is wrong in their lives and the world on one man because they do not want to take responsibility for their own decisions. They do not want to know the truth even when it is starring them in the face and they have joined into an arrogant mob disassociated from realty blind with hate. I do not think there has ever been one man accused of being responsible for so many affairs in people's individual lives in the history of the United States ranging from someone stubbing their toe to the destruction of the world in the future. I have heard it all and if these people could only look in a mirror of truth I can't imagine what would go through their minds. This is the power of hate.
Arrogance converts any legitimate governmental organization into a system of evil. Hate hijacks a nation bringing only tyranny.
Now I will get back to government, these are the three most effective forms of government. What I mean by effective is the potential to provide freedom to its citizens.
Monarchy - Under the distortions of arrogance, monarchy, which is the rule of one man for the common good, is transformed into tyranny, the rule of one man for his own benefit.
Aristocracy - Through arrogance, Aristocracy, which is the rule of a small elite group for the common good, becomes an oligarchy, the rule of a small group for its own benefit.
Republic - Through arrogance a Republic (i.e. The United States), which is rule by the best of the population for the common good, degenerates into a democracy, rule by the worst of the population for their own benefit. This was accomplished by allowing the vote to be given to irresponsible people.
The most effective is a Monarchy - When the king is honorable and astute, Monarchy is the most effective form of government. But an arrogant king that serves himself instead of his people is a tyrant.
In each of the three positive forms of government they can go from one extreme to another.
United States is being destroyed in the name of the greatest good for the greatest number.
The Worst - The worst form of government is democracy, which is a thin veneer over anarchy devoid of virtue and integrity. As a principal the majority has no bearing on right and wrong and to make matters worse history has shown us in democracy the majority is easily deceived and manipulated and almost always wrong. Democracy is a word that has been used loosely in our history to refer to our form of government which has served as a great detriment in my opinion to the United States for we were formed as a Republic over the choice of a monarchy where George Washington would have been our first King. To me by referring to our government as democratic, people have become confused to put it politely about our form of government a Republic and have unwittingly moved us toward a democracy at the cost of losing our freedom.
| ||(Benefits the people)||(Benefits the governing body)|
|ONE MAN RULES||Monarchy||Tyranny|
|SMALL GROUP RULES||Aristocracy||Oligarchy|
|LARGE GROUP RULES||Republic||Democracy|
A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
~ Thomas Jefferson
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College, saying, "It's time for Congress to really give Americans the power of one-person, one-vote, instead of the political machinery selecting candidates and electing our president."
It is thinking like this that have pushed us toward democracy rendering our government ineffective in ruling, instead meddling into the affairs of its citizens, free enterprise and businesses.
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
~ Thomas Jefferson
The United States Constitution established our nation as a republic, guaranteeing maximum personal freedom to every citizen. With freedom comes responsibility, and, more than any other form of government, a republic stands on the personal integrity of its people. In the founding fathers' original concept only the most qualified citizens could vote and participate in government, but when the franchise is extended to nearly all, a republic degenerates into a democracy in which the universal right to vote means little. When every irresponsible person has a voice in government, candidates for public office need not appeal to honorable, lucid people, but campaign with slick public relations and mudslinging emotionalism. Policies are often established on expediency and fear. (For example, global warming) catering to the greed of anyone who can organize a crusade and gain national publicity.
Under democracy a burgeoning bureaucracy expands to appease the selfishness of arrogant people and encroach on private enterprise. A governmental authority is to protect citizens from criminals and foreign aggressors so that each individual might express his volition in an environment as free from violence and coercion as possible.
The courtesy and generosity of a truly noble individual may render him vulnerable to such unscrupulous manipulation. By exploiting the strengths of honorable people the weak control the strong. To subvert a nation is accomplished through attacking the integrity of noble men.
The demise of a nation always follows a similar pattern in arrogance people become degenerate.
Degenerate defined goes something like this. To undergo deterioration in character, morality, intelligence, structure or function. From an ancestral or former state having sunk to a condition below that which is normal to a type lower and usually corrupt and vicious.
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
~ Thomas Jefferson
This is a example of degeneracy in individuals and the devastation it brings: This excerpt came from the Patriot Post I think it shows how the institution of marriage has degenerated and the effects it is having on our nation today.
Divorce, which typically results in the absence of fathers from their headship role within the family, is the single most significant common denominator among all categories of social and cultural entropy.
However, more than 50 percent of children born to married parents will suffer through their parents' divorce by age 18.
Consider these sobering statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of the Census: Children who live apart from their fathers will account for 40 percent of incarcerated adults, 63 percent of teen suicides, 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions, 71 percent of high-school dropouts, 75 percent of children in chemical-abuse centers, 80 percent of rapists, 85 percent of youths in prison, 85 percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders, and 90 percent of homeless and runaway children.
About eight percent of children in married-couple homes live at or below poverty level, while almost 40 percent of children in homes without fathers live below poverty level. The latter group risks a much higher incidence of serious child abuse or neglect.
There is also a sobering financial component to all this: Beyond the private-sector costs associated with absentee fathers is a taxpayer assessment of well over $100 billion annually for social-welfare services to families without fathers."
Patriot Post 13 June 2008 Vol. 08 No.24
"It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness."
~ James Wilson (1791)
"Maturity does not come with age, but with the accepting of responsibility for one's actions. The lack of effective, functioning fathers is the root cause of America's social, economic and spiritual crises."
~ Dr. Edwin Cole
Degeneration is the abuse of freedom that weakens a nation from within. When individual citizens compromise their integrity, the national character declines and the quality of life within the nation deteriorates and leaves the nation vulnerable.
This is how degeneracy works. Instead of people being united under common values and our nation's Constitution and Bill of Rights they are arrogant self indulging in degenerate behaviors. Each selfish group divides our nation with their own self interests launching assaults spear headed by their leaders filled with hate and contempt tearing down our nation's establishments.
The arrogant are sheep and the haters are their shepherds.
The arrogant jump on board for the ride and the haters lead the assault.
"In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as Pride."
~ Benjamin Franklin
Remember this: The arrogant are the sheep and the haters are the shepherds on a crusade. There are many examples of degenerate groups but I decided to pick on those gays who assault the institution of marriage and the family which is imperative to the survival of our country. The core of their leadership tries to hide the meaning of their motto Gay "Pride" which is another word for arrogance, but if you're looking with both eyes open you can see the contempt and hate in their movement. Blind by hate and arrogance they force their false values onto everyone else demanding special rights and everyone accept their behavior as normal. They trample the institution of marriage; they trample our constitutional rights and liberties at the expense of the nation. They attack freedom of speech lest someone tell the truth or express an opinion about them and their behavior through intimidation and the passage of laws to give them special rights which comes through stealing the rights of others. They attack the institution of family by forcing compulsory gay education (alternative life styles) in school which is really brain washing. This is all accomplished in violation of parental and family responsibilities and rights. I could go on, but I want to stay on our subject. As a group they grow powerful and at the same time vulnerable blinded by their arrogance they can easily be manipulated by evil people with hidden agendas.
Each selfish special interest group causes our nation to fall into a state of disorganization. One could call it disorganized evil all these groups trying to get there own way at the expense of others. Socialists, environmentalists, feminists, racists, minority groups, religious groups list goes on. But in the end organized evil (hate) will prevail. Some crusader (Shepherd) under the guise of champion of the poor and minorities and with false promises designed to appeal to these different special interest groups will get there support gain authority and power carefully planning to take over with their own agenda when they feel the time is right.
This is how it has always worked in history the nation degenerates, becomes vulnerable to both inside and outside forces with eventually one or the other taking control resulting in tyranny.
We are witnessing an example of this in the world today in Venezuela with their president Hugo Chavez champion of the poor doing everything he can to become the permanent tyrannical dictator of that country with his communist agenda spreading his cancerous influence through the Americas. He is one of the Fidel Castro's prodigies.
Degeneration is disorganized evil in contrast to organized evil like communism, religious tyranny for example Islam. A dictator monopolizes evil as he restricts freedom and controls the populace. Degenerate himself, the despot suppresses disorganized evil (degeneracy) by forcing organized evil (hate) upon the people. To secure power, organized evil (hate) attacks disorganized evil (degeneracy) and at the same time persecutes the people that stand for freedom. Disorganized evil (degeneracy) does not persecute but invites destruction through the principle of divide and conquer.
|(self indulgence) =||degeneracy =||vulnerability|
|(crusader activists) =||destruction of establishment =||tyranny|
If you are taking the freedom and someone else is taking the responsibility (paying for it) you are wrong.
Liberty + responsibility = freedom
Liberty - responsibility = anarchy
How do you know which side is the right side. It is easy to tell by using freedom and responsibility as your criteria to discern good policy from bad policy. If a policy is forcing agendas and special interest at the expense of other people's money and rights it is anti freedom and the consequences are loss of freedom and eventual destruction of western values leading to tyranny.
An arrogant individual contributes to the decline of society and the nation, but a rebellious, resentful person who hates legitimate established delegated authority makes direct attacks against the establishment institutions - the individual, marriage, family, and the national entity (The United States of America). These institutions are essential for the perpetuation and prosperity of our nation. Individuals motivated by hatred subvert our freedom by denouncing its inherent components: volition, privacy, property, and authority. They ridicule the virtues of marriage and reject parental authority. They harshly denounce, obstruct, and commit treason against our government. Malcontents obsessed with their own anger never offer realistic alternatives but desire only to demolish the authorities under which they live.
Examples of this are the crusaders trying to eliminate God from our culture through the pledge of allegiance, the celebration of Christmas and anything in our culture that reflects the principles of Christianity that our nation was founded on.
Religion is man by mans efforts striving to gain the approbation of God, or gods idols, Mother Nature, etc. it comes in many forms. Religion always has the same goal to control. The United States of America was not founded on religion but through the principles of freedom from Christianity that calls for a separation of church and state and recognizes the importance of freedom and volition the ability for man to choose.
"Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism."
~ Thomas Jefferson
I believe the United States is in a state of disorganized evil (degenerate, arrogant, self indulgent state) vulnerable to organized evil (tyranny) poised to grab control if we continue on our path of self destruction (loss of freedom). I challenge everyone to stop being selfish and to return to the past and revisit the values and role models our forefathers set for this country and resist the deception of change (heralded new revelations built on failed policies tried throughout past history-most of us sane people know there are no new revelations the heart of man never changes no matter what new environment is created and nothing man has thought of has not already been tried before-as Harry Truman said: "There is nothing new-only history you have not read yet."). People who think by changing the environment which includes our form of government under the Constitution and Bill of Rights are either ignorant (arrogant) or crusading in deception for tyranny. I further challenge parents to raise their children to a standard to carry their generation through the inevitable adversity of the future with a focus on respect for authority. Children that enter society without respect for authority are monsters that manufacture misery for themselves and everyone around them.
This outline represents how our society is changing and describes the path we are on. You may get a giggle but it also brings some sobering truth to our situation as a nation.
SCHOOL - 1958 vs. 2008
Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1958 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2008 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.
Scenario : Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1958 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2008 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.
Scenario : Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1958 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2008 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.
Scenario : Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1958 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2008 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.
Scenario : Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1958 - Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2008 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
Scenario : Pedro fails high school English.
1958 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2008 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.
Scenario : Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1958 - Ants die.
2008 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
Scenario : Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1958 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2008 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.
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What You Thought About Last Month's Newsletter
May I just say Huzzah to ye!!
I be a humble servant
Absolutely awesome and felt the message while I was reading it. The more messages that I read like this one, the more I am motivated to keep pushing to better myself for my family and friends. "TR" is a great man in our history books. Keep up the great messages!
Dept. of Energy
As usual, your blog was enlightening to say the least. You are doing a great job. The letter from the marine in Afghanistan was especially enlightening. Next time you corresoond with him, tell him "thanks" from me and let him know that there are many Americans who do not believe most of what they see or hear from the media.
The Coast Guard posters arrived yesterday - thanks! I'll be taking them over to Balboa Hospital this Saturday.
They look awesome. I really like the PSU 311 the most.
Interesting stories about PSU 311 and the creation of the PSU insignia; the SEALs get credit for taking the oil platforms at the beginning of OIF; however it was those from PSU 311 that got it done. The SEAL's came in later for the photo-op. After that, it was PSU 313 of Tacoma Washington that stood the watch. Now, it's my former unit, Naval Coastal Warfare Group -1 (now called Mobile Expeditionary Security Group) that stands the watch. I was assigned to NCWG-1 from 2002 to 2007 (one of a handful of Coasties to do so).
The other story has to do with the PSU insignia. After the first Gulf War Coast Guard PSU's that had deployed decided they needed something to identify themselves with - like a warfare pin. So the word went out and a guy named Terry Jelcick, a Reserve Coast Guard SK1 from Soquel, CA (and one of those deployed for the 1st war), drafted the insignia that is now used/worn by all Coast Guard PSU's. He also developed the unit insignia for PSU 312 of Alameda, CA. I served with Terry at NCWG-1 until I earned my commission and deployed in 2006.
An Afghan battle
This article was first provided to me by BGeneral Herb Lloyd - a true American War Hero (Lord how he hates being called that but I love him too damn much not to pay him the respect he so richly deserves).
Family and friends - what follows is a moving story of a battle last month in south Afghanistan and is reminiscing of bygone battles fought in the South Pacific during WWII and later in the jungles of Vietnam. But it is a story of today's American fighting men - men no less than what America has had since 1775. I hope you enjoy and find humbling the events described in this article. From recent past personal experience I can assure you that had it been Afghan military confronted with this battle the outcome would have been different.
May those in the Main Stream Media who wrote that the Americans suffered a "setback", and "abandoned' their post will one soon day rot in hell.
The following was provided by Joe Kinzer who writes:
Fellow Paratroopers: This article is worth your time. I believe that you will agree that the troopers of 2d Plt. Charlie Company 2-503d PIR are all heroes, and that they fought one hell of fight. I had the honor of commanding the 2-503d for 3 years at Fort Campbell, KY. To say that I am proud is an understatement. God I miss it so. All the best and God bless you all. Kinzer of Army.
Main Stream Media are a very sorry, sorry lot. Here is the real deal.
Subject: 173rd Airborne Brigade - Afghanistan - July 2008 - 9 Funerals for 9 Warriors
I'm sure you heard about 9 soldiers being killed in Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago. As AP reported it, it was a "setback", the "newly established base" there was 'abandoned'by the Americans. That, of course, was the extent of their coverage.
Steve Mraz of Stars and Stripes and Jeff Emanuel tell the rest of the story. Emanuel, who went out and dug into the story sets the enemies force at 500 while AP sets it at 200. Frankly I'm much more inclined to believe Emanuel than AP. July 13, 2008 was the date, and Jeff Emanuel, an independent combat reporter sets the scene: Three days before the attack, 45 U.S. paratroopers from the 173d Airborne [Brigade Combat Team], accompanied by 25 Afghan soldiers, made their way to Kunar province, a remote area in the northeastern Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, and established the beginnings of a small Combat Outpost (COP).
Their movement into the area was noticed, and their tiny numbers and incomplete fortifications were quickly taken advantage of. A combined force of up to 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters quickly moved into the nearby village of Wanat and prepared for their assault by evicting un-allied residents and according to an anonymous senior Afghan defense ministry official, "us[ing] their houses to attack us."
Tribesmen in the town stayed behind "and helped the insurgents during the fight," the provincial police chief, told The Associated Press. Dug-in mortar firing positions were created, and with that indirect fire, as well as heavy machine gun and RPG fire from fixed positions, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters rushed the COP from three sides.
As Emanuel notes, the odds were set 500 vs70. Even so, Emanuel entitled his article, "An Alamo With a Different Ending." The 500 terrorists apparently didn't realize they were attacking US Army paratroopers. The unit in question was 2nd Platoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, led by 1LT Jonathan Brostrom.
The first RPG and machine gun fire came at dawn, strategically striking the forward operating base's mortar pit. The insurgents next sighted their RPGs on the tow truck inside the combat outpost, taking it out. That was around 4:30 a.m.
This was not a haphazard attack. The reportedly 500 insurgents fought from several positions. They aimed to overrun the new base. The U.S. soldiers knew it and fought like hell. They knew their lives were on the line.
The next target was the FOB's observation post, where nine soldiers were positioned on a tiny hill about 50 to 75 meters from the base. Of those nine, five died, and at least three others - Spc. Tyler Stafford among them - were wounded.
When the attack began, Stafford grabbed his M-240 machine gun off a north-facing sandbag wall and moved it to an east-facing sandbag wall. Moments later, RPGs struck the north-facing wall, knocking Stafford out of the fighting position and wounding another soldier.
Stafford thought he was on fire so he rolled around, regaining his senses. Nearby, Cpl. Gunnar Zwilling, who later died in the fight, had a stunned look on his face. Immediately, a grenade exploded by Stafford, blowing him down to a lower terrace at the observation post and knocking his helmet off. Stafford put his helmet back on and noticed how badly he was bleeding. Cpl. Matthew Phillips was close by, so Stafford called to him for help. Phillips was preparing to throw a grenade and shot a look atStafford that said, "Give me a second. I gotta go kill these guys first."
This was only about 30 to 60 seconds into the attack. Kneeling behind a sandbag wall, Phillips pulled the grenade pin, but just after he threw it an RPG exploded at his position. The tail of the RPG smacked Stafford's helmet. The dust cleared. Phillips was slumped over, his chest on his knees and his hands by his side. Stafford called out to his buddy three or four times, but Phillips never answered or moved.
"When I saw Phillips die, I looked down and was bleeding pretty good, that's probably the most scared I was at any point," Stafford said. "Then I kinda had to calm myself down and be like, 'All right, I gotta go try to do my job.'
The soldier from Parker, Colo., loaded his 9 mm handgun, crawled up to their fighting position, stuck the pistol over the sandbags and fired. Stafford saw Zwilling's M-4 rifle nearby so he loaded it, put it on top of the sandbag and fired. Another couple RPGs struck the sandbag wall Stafford used as cover. Shrapnel pierced his hands.
Stafford low-crawled to another fighting position where Cpl. Jason Bogar, Sgt. Matthew Gobble and Sgt. Ryan Pitts were located. Stafford told Pitts that the insurgents were within grenade-tossing range. That got Pitts' attention. With blood running down his face, Pitts threw a grenade and then crawled to the position from where Stafford had just come. Pitts started chucking more grenades.
The firefight intensified. Bullets cut down tree limbs that fell on the soldiers. RPGs constantly exploded. Back at Stafford's position, so many bullets were coming in that the soldiers could not poke their heads over their sandbag wall. Bogar stuck an M-249 machine gun above the wall and squeezed off rounds to keep fire on the insurgents.
In about five minutes, Bogar fired about 600 rounds, causing the M-249 to seize up from heat. At another spot on the observation post, Cpl. Jonathan Ayers laid down continuous fire from an M-240 machine gun, despite drawing small-arms and RPG fire from the enemy. Ayers kept firing until he was shot and killed. Cpl. Pruitt Rainey radioed the FOB with a casualty report, calling for help. Of the nine soldiers at the observation post, Ayers and Phillips were dead, Zwilling was unaccounted for, and three were wounded.
Additionally, several of the soldiers' machine guns couldn't fire because of damage. And they needed more ammo. Rainey, Bogar and another soldier jumped out of their fighting position with the third soldier of the group launching a shoulder-fired missile. All this happened within the first 20 minutes of the fight. Platoon leader 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom and Cpl. Jason Hovater arrived at the observation post to reinforce the soldiers. By that time, the insurgents had breached the perimeter of the observation post. Gunfire rang out, and Rainey shouted, "He's right behind the sandbag." Brostrom could be heard shouting about the insurgent as well.
More gunfire and grenade explosions ensued. Back in the fighting position, Gobble fired a few quick rounds. Gobble then looked to where the soldiers were fighting and toldStafford the soldiers were dead. Of the nine soldiers who died in the battle, at least seven fell in fighting at the observation post.
The insurgents then started chucking rocks at Gobble and Stafford's fighting position, hoping that the soldiers might think the rocks were grenades, causing them to jump from the safety of their fighting hole. One rock hit a tree behind Stafford and landed directly between his legs. He braced himself for an explosion. He then realized it was a rock. Stafford didn't have a weapon, and Gobble was low on ammo. Gobble told Stafford they had to get back to the FOB. They didn't realize that Pitts was still alive in another fighting position at the observation post.
Gobble and Stafford crawled out of their fighting hole. Gobble looked again to where the soldiers had been fighting and reconfirmed to Stafford that Brostrom, Rainey, Bogar and others were dead. Gobble and Stafford low-crawled and ran back to the FOB. Coming into the FOB, Stafford was asked by a sergeant what was going on at the observation post. Stafford told him all the soldiers there were dead. Stafford lay against a wall, and his fellow soldiers put a tourniquet on him.
From the OP, Pitts got on the radio and told his comrades he was alone. Volunteers were asked for to go to the OP. SSG Jesse Queck sums up the reaction to the call: "When you ask for volunteers to run across an open field to a reinforced OP that almost everybody is injured at, and everybody volunteers, it feels good. There were a lot of guys that made me proud, putting themselves and their lives on the line so their buddies could have a chance."
At least three soldiers went to the OP to rescue Pitts, but they suffered wounds after encountering RPG and small-arms fire, but Pitts survived the battle. At that time, air support arrived in the form of Apache helicopters, A-10s and F-16s, performing bombing and strafing runs. The whole FOB was covered in dust and smoke, looking like something out of an old Western movie.
"I've never seen the enemy do anything like that," said Sgt. Jacob Walker, who was medically evacuated off the FOB in one of the first helicopters to arrive. "It's usually three RPGs, some sporadic fire and then they're gone ... I don't where they got all those RPGs. That was crazy."
Two hours after the first shots were fired Stafford made his way - with help to the medevac helicopter that arrived. "It was some of the bravest stuff I've ever seen in my life, and I will never see it again because those guys," Stafford said, then paused. "Normal humans wouldn't do that. You're not supposed to do that - getting up and firing back when everything around you is popping and whizzing and trees, branches coming down and sandbags exploding and RPGs coming in over your head ... It was a fistfight then, and those guys held ' em off."
Stafford offered a guess as to why his fellow soldiers fought so hard. "Just hardcoreness I guess," he said. "Just guys kicking ass, basically. Just making sure that we look scary enough that you don't want to come in and try to get us."
Jeff Emanuel summed the fight up very well: "Perhaps the most important takeaway from that encounter, though, is the one that the mainstream media couldn't be bothered to pay attention long enough to learn: that, not for the first time, a contingent of American soldiers that was outnumbered by up to a twenty-to-one ratio soundly and completely repulsed a complex, pre-planned assault by those dedicated enough to their cause to kill themselves in its pursuit. That kind of heroism and against-all-odds success is and has been a hallmark of America's fighting men and women, and it is one that is worthy of all attention we can possibly give it."
Of the original 45 paratroopers, 15 were wounded and The Sky Soldiers lost 9 killed in action in the attack. They were: 1LT Jonathan Brostrom of Aiea, Hawaii; SGT Israel Garcia of Long Beach, California; SPC Matthew Phillips of Jasper, Georgia; SPC Pruitt Rainey of Haw River, North Carolina; SPC Jonathan Ayers of Snellville, Georgia; SPC Jason Bogar of Seattle, Washington; SPC Sergio Abad of Morganfield, Kentucky; SPC Jason Hovater of Clinton, Tennessee; and SPC Gunnar Zwilling of Florissant, Missouri.
Of the 9 that were lost, Sgt Walker says: "I just hope these guys' wives and their children understand how courageous their husbands and dads were. They fought like warriors." They fought like warriors.
Last week, there were 9 funerals in the United States. 9 warriors were laid to rest. 9 warriors who had given their all for their country. All proud members of a brotherhood that will carry on in their name. They fought and died in what most would consider impossible circumstances, and yet they succeeded. A nameless fight in a distant war which, until you understand the facts, could be spun as a defeat. It wasn't. And it is because of the pride, courage and fighting spirit of this small unit that it was, in fact, a victory against overwhelming odds.
And there's little doubt, given that pride and given that fighting spirit, that they'll be back to reestablish the base, this time with quite a few more soldiers just like the ones who "kicked ass" the last time there."
Kinzer of the Army - you trained them well...
Jim Roberts, USMC (1961-67)
Laptops for the Wounded Charity
I am the President - CEO of the Laptops for the Wounded Charity. What our organization does is provide laptops with webcams to wounded military personnel in hospitals, in order to be in contact with wives, husbands and families while recuperating from combat wounds. The laptops will stay at the participating hospitals to be used by the wounded soldier.
I am inquiring if it would be possible for your company to either sponsor a Tee Sign at our annual charity golf event, or Co-Sponsor the event? I can be contacted at 860-702-7797 before 3:00 pm EST, or at 860-569-7970 after 4:00 pm EST. I have attached the information about the event and I hope to hear from a representative of your company at your earliest convenience.
Phil Drouin - President
Laptops for the Wounded
East Hartford, CT.
Download More Information Here (Microsoft Word Document)
|Word of Truth|
The Word of Truth
The Christian and Government
By Rev G.J. Rako
For Christians in any nation, the issue is always advancing to the high ground of spiritual maturity by consistent and continual spiritual growth (II Peter 3:18). This is accomplished as the believer in Jesus Christ submits to the authority of their pastor's accurate teaching of the Word of God, believing the Word and applying it to their lives. For the unbeliever the issue is always faith alone in Christ alone (Acts 16:31, John 3:14-18, John 3:36). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Spiritual growth is the primary responsibility of Christians to their nation. The Muslim by contrast owes allegiance to his false and satanic god, Allah. Whose duty according to the Koran, is to spread Islam and Sharia law by the sword until all infidels are either converted or murdered (oh, by the way you are an infidel). Christians on the other hand are commanded to submit to the authority of and to pray for their nations leaders.
We read in I Tim 2:1-3:
"First of all, therefore, I continually command that supplications, prayers, intercessions be made on behalf of all men; namely, on behalf of kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead an undisturbed and tranquil life in all godliness and virtue. For this is noble and acceptable in the opinion of our Savior-God."
God ordained nationalism as one of four divine institutions or laws of establishment. These four are volition, marriage, family and nationalism or government. God instituted these four divine institutions for the protection and preservation of the human race. They apply to the entire human race, believers and unbelievers alike.
Gen 11:1, 7-9: Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. "Come, let us go down, and confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech." So, the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
There at Babel the people instituted Satan's plan of internationalism. However, this satanically inspired rebellion against God was crushed when God gave them separate languages and scattered them to their unique national geographical boundaries.
And He made from one blood [people] every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed [historical] times and the [national] boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, "For we also are His children" (Acts 17:26-28).
The Christian's responsibility to his nation begins with fulfilling his responsibility to God. For as goes the believer, so goes the nation.
"Return to God from whom you have revolted and defected" (Isa 31:6).
Grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18).
Spiritual growth or executing the unique spiritual life of the church age can only be accomplished by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
"If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). "If we should judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (I Cor 11:31). David said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me" (Ps 66:18).
Recovering the filling of the Holy Spirit is accomplished by confession of known sins to God the father. The filling of the Holy Spirit (FHS) is spirituality. It is fellowship with the living God. The FHS provides the necessary Divine power to learn the Word of God. Without the FHS Christians are no better than unbelievers in the futility of their thinking; they are carnal. Carnal Christians have no ability to learn, apply or utilize the Word. The Holy Spirit teaches our human spirit the Word and recalls for us the truth of Scripture that we have learned (John 14:26).
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thinking, Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Instead, be renewed in the spirit of your thinking; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and the holiness of the truth" (Eph 4:17, 18, 23-34).
"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. 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; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ" (Eph 4:13-15).
Apart from becoming a mature believer, (if this was all you accomplished, you would be a true patriot and receive unimaginable rewards both in time and in eternity) the Christian citizen should understand the following excerption of Biblical principals related to nationalism from the teachings of R.B. Thieme Jr.:
Why does a client nation fall? (A client nation to God is defined in terms of spiritual activity e.g. evangelism, learning and teaching the Word, sending missionaries under establishment freedom.) Very shortly after Hosea was written, the Assyrian army invaded the Northern Kingdom and overran the country. They raped the women and enslaved the survivors. Hosea 4:1-6 not only explains why a client nation falls, but it also gives the solution. Nothing has changed since this was written in B.C. 721. The failures and solutions are the same. "The Word of God is alive and powerful" (Heb 4:12). The Word of God is literally the thinking of Christ (Cor 2:16), and He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).
Hos 4:1, "Hear the word of the Lord, you citizens of Israel [Northern Kingdom] because the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the client nation, because nothing of doctrine is taught, nothing about grace is being applied; there is no knowledge of God in the land".
In His control of history, Jesus Christ never destroys a nation or permits its destruction until it has gone beyond all reasonable hope. The Hebrew word for "case" refers to lawsuit. This is a case before the supreme court of heaven.
We are all the products of God's policy of grace. We earn and deserve nothing! It is by grace that we stand.
Hos 4:2, "Instead, there is lying [dishonesty], deception, homicide, stealing, rape, blood touches blood [idiom: perpetuated violence]".
When people lie, they have rejected the truth in their function. When a maximum number of people are in a state of dishonesty, the strength of the nation as a whole is lost.
Those who commit murder should be executed under the law of capital punishment. Homicide does not refer to killing the enemy in battle. Military soldiers who are believers should be the best killers of the enemy. As they are filled (I John 1:9) with the Spirit in battle, they are calm; they concentrate on the proper use of their weapons. They fight well and kill well, and they have no regrets. They fulfill the principle of freedom through military victory. This military function is not only legitimate; it is honorable.
Hos 4:3, "Therefore, the land mourns, and all who live in it lose their strength, along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air".
To lose your strength means to lose your courage, patriotism, and vitality. As a result, not just rational people suffer, but so do animals who cannot understand why they suffer.
Hos 4:4, "Yet let no one find fault [as in evil activism]; let no one offer criticism, for your citizens are like those who contend with the communicator of doctrine".
In Israel, the Levitical priests communicated doctrine using animal sacrifices, the holy days, and the articles of furniture in the Tabernacle and temples.
Hos 4:5, "Therefore, you have stumbled in the daylight, and even the prophet will stumble with you in night darkness; and I will destroy your native country [motherland]".
The prophet was the greater Bible teacher. Even he was giving false doctrine, saying such things as "peace, peace, when there is no peace" (Ez 13:10). Today, the stumbling prophet represents pastors who are distracted from Bible teaching by activism, psychology, and false doctrine. As a result, we are ripe for discipline from God. The administration of the final and last installment of discipline known as the fifth cycle of discipline to the Northern Kingdom would occur within a year, i.e., in B.C. 721.
Hos 4:6, "My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected the knowledge of doctrine, I will reject you from being a priest nation".
The Northern Kingdom was destroyed and blotted out forever because, as goes the believer, so goes the client nation.
We as believers should not be involved in activism; we should be growing in grace to become mature believers. A nation without absolute truth is a nation without solutions. The solution to any problem whether personal or national demands a spiritual solution. How are national problems solved? In the simplest of terms, the believers priority must be Bible doctrine with emphasis on the mystery doctrine of the Church Age; e.g., the uniqueness of the Church Age with its fantastic privileges, and the resultant problem solving devices that can meet any situation in life. When Bible doctrine is the number one priority, then you concentrate on it. As you hear Bible doctrine taught, you listen and concentrate, and under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit you learn and advance under post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation. Once you begin to concentrate on the Word of God as the priority, you begin to organize your life around it. Whatever it takes, you learn Bible doctrine. Perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine is the road to spiritual maturity. When you learn enough Bible doctrine so that your mental attitude has changed, you organize your thinking around Bible doctrine. Now the divine viewpoint takes hold in your life and begins to push out human viewpoint. When that happens, you begin to utilize in detail all the Biblical solutions or Divine operating assets. As a result of this concentration on and application of Bible doctrine, you advance to the point where you execute the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. Welcome to spiritual maturity!
Christian activism and arrogance are not the solution. Christian activism is as destructive to a client nation as is any enemy attack. Christian activism is arrogance, which is the motivation that originated in Satan as the ruler of this world. Rom 12:2, "Stop being conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your thinking, that you may prove what the will of God is, namely, the good of intrinsic value achievement, the well-pleasing to God, the mature status quo".
"Good of intrinsic value achievement" means advance to spiritual maturity, execution of the plan of God, and becoming a winner in the plan of God. The "well-pleasing to God" is the execution of His plan. The only way to execute His plan is to learn and apply Bible doctrine everyday. "The mature status quo" refers to the attainment of spiritual maturity.
Rom 12:3 "For this I say through the grace which has been given to me to everyone who is among you: stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance beyond what you ought to think, but think in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from doctrine".
To think of self in terms of arrogance is to be preoccupied with self. Arrogance is the greatest cause of mental illness and insanity. Part of the arrogance complex is having the wrong expectations When you are not treated the way you want to be treated or loved the way you want to be loved, disillusionment results. Your "standard of thinking from Bible doctrine" is replacing human viewpoint with Divine viewpoint, the function of an advancing believer.
There is a tremendous emphasis today among evangelical Christians to practice social and political engineering and activism. There is little or no understanding among believers of the role of the Christian in the client nation to God. This is often predicated in the erroneous theory of the so-called "Christian nation." The "Christian nation" is a myth; the client nation to God is a reality. Both believers and unbelievers exist in a nation with many religions as well as Christianity. There is no such thing as so-called "Christian" laws. The Bible teaches that a nation should follow the laws of divine establishment, designed for believers and unbelievers alike. If so-called "Christian" laws existed, that would outlaw all unbelievers, and that would be tyranny. Christians have become monsters in trying to get their way; e.g., in the abortion crusade, protesting the war on terror, death penalty, gay rights, etc., etc., etc... However, Christians have turned this right to assemble into a vicious, tragic evil. They march and force their children to participate. That is not why God has left us on this earth. Nevertheless, as long as Christians do these things, we will continue down the path of destruction. The Bible clearly emphasizes the fact that the impact of Christianity on a nation is spiritual. Christians do have civil responsibility, such as military service, paying taxes, voting, and fulfilling certain civic responsibilities. However, this does not include violence, destruction of property, intrusion on the privacy of others, or any form of civil disobedience. The Bible demands that the believer understand his role in society in terms of God's plan, God's purpose, and God's will for his life. The spiritual impact of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age not only opposes the present modus operandi of Christian activism, but also assigns it to the arrogance of Satan's system, and thereby makes it a function of grieving the Holy Spirit rather than walking by means of the Spirit. As goes the believer, so goes the client nation to God. As our Lord said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's".
"Render unto Caesar" is the establishment activity of the believer, his function under the divine institutions of freedom, marriage, family, and government. Freedom must include privacy, self-determination, the sacredness of property and life. Freedom can only be maintained under the laws of divine establishment through military victory. Free enterprise and the coexistence of poverty and wealth side-by-side is a normal function of a nation.
Separation of church and state (freedom of religion, not freedom from religion) is very important. Separation of the military and state is very important so that no coup d'etat or military dictatorship will ever exist. The greatest commentary on the details of a military is given in Numbers, which begins with universal military training. There must be laws against criminality. The Bible advocates that for certain criminal offenses the individual be executed under the principle of capital punishment. Civil authority must exist. Freedom without authority is anarchy. Authority without freedom is tyranny. You cannot have one without the other. "Render unto God" is the believer, after personally receiving Jesus Christ as his Savior, executing the unique spiritual life of the church age. It refers to the manufacture of mature believers, the establishment that thereby blesses by association the client nation. Manifest destiny demands blessing by association with mature believers, not activism from carnal Christians who are guilty of moral degeneration.
The Northern Kingdom became pleasure-mad in their prosperity. All they could think of was pleasure and its stimulation. It became a country of drug addicts and drunks. This is described in Isa 28:8-12. "For all the tables are full of filthy vomit; there is not a single clean place. To whom shall He teach knowledge of doctrine? To whom shall He cause to interpret the message? Those just weaned with milk, those just taken from the mother's breast"?
With everyone drunk or hopped up on drugs, Isaiah was saying, "How can we ever teach doctrine?" The only hope against the great Assyrian empire was a small number of mature believers. The recipients of Bible doctrine could not be spiritual babies; spiritual adults were needed.
"Principle of doctrine added to principle of doctrine, line of Scripture added to line of Scripture, a little doctrine in this message, a little doctrine in the next message."
This is one of the most unusual verses in the Hebrew, because it is onomatopoeic. It is a monosyllabic imitation of two things. The drunken speech related to Isa 28:8, and to the babbling of those who have rejected Bible doctrine. In time of stress, those who have rejected doctrine and who have no establishment orientation are cry babies. They whine, mew, and complain their way through life. They never see that they themselves are responsible for the national disaster that overtakes the client nation. Though the sound of the Hebrew is slurred and babbling, the content points to the only solution for the nation, which is to establish mature believers. For that to occur, believers must listen to one principle of doctrine added to another principle of doctrine. This verse promotes the expository teaching of the Word of God. The monosyllabic babbling of the drunks is imitated to give the solution. Notice that not one word promotes Christian activism. The only solution is "principle of doctrine added to principle of doctrine." It all accumulates, and it produces the mature believer. The mature believer comes through the perception of doctrine, not through Christian activism. Christian activism is an abomination to the Lord, and it brings about national discipline that eventually destroys the client nation to God. The babbling reminds the prophet of speaking in tongues. It is interesting to note that Isaiah refers to that next in verse 11. "For with alien articulation and by means of a foreign [Gentile] language, He will speak to this people."
Here Isaiah makes a prophecy about all Jewish client nations, how they will all eventually be destroyed (today there is no Jewish client nation; only Gentile nations can be client nations to God during these times of the Gentiles). The Jews would no longer learn the Gospel from Isa 53. They would learn the Gospel through Gentile languages only. When that occurred in A.D. 70, it would be the sign that Jewish nations would no longer function as client nations to God until the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Since they would not be evangelized by their own native language, they were therefore to be set aside until the last 1000 years of history. Only when Jesus Christ returns will there ever be a Jewish client nation again. That means there are no Jewish client nations throughout the Church Age and Tribulation.
Isa 28:12: ". . . but they would not listen." Sublimation of the Northern Kingdom meant all they wanted to do was to party. They were self-indulgent, preoccupied with themselves. They had no time for the Word God.
Christian service is related to the laws of divine establishment. The laws of divine establishment provide the opportunity for the mature believer to perform divine good in certain spheres of life. Christian service is related to your job. Part of your fulltime Christian service is how you handle your job or profession.
"Slaves [Christian labor] obey your human masters [management] with respect and maximum effort by means of the integrity of your right lobe as unto Christ. Not on the basis of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God by means of the soul. Serve with good motivation, as to the Lord, and not for the praise of mankind, because you know that each one, if he does anything good [divine good], for this he himself will be rewarded from the Lord, whether slave or free" (Eph 6:5-8).
The motivation for your Christian service comes from occupation with Christ and the integrity you develop from Bible doctrine in the soul. Doing your job as unto the Lord is making a role model out of Jesus Christ. Approbation lust is carnal motivation and results in dead works. Every believer, whether slave or free, has equal privilege and opportunity to execute the unique spiritual life of the church age.
"Labor, obey human management on the basis of all things, not with eye service, as people-pleasers, but with the integrity of the right lobe, making a role model out of the Lord. Whatever you do, keep on performing it from the soul, as to the Lord and not to people; since you know that from the Lord you will receive the reward of your inheritance, you serve the Lord Christ. For he who does wrong [on the job] will be paid back for that wrong which he has done, and there is no favoritism" (Col 3:22-25).
Christian service is related to various functions in government service. This service includes the following areas.
A. Military service.
B. Law enforcement.
C. Government service, such as elected representatives (not activism or crusading) and intelligence organizations.
D. Other functions related to society in general, such as paying taxes.
Those Christians who are employed in these areas should not only regard such employment as their job, but also as their service to the Lord. They should do their job as unto the Lord. It is true that no matter what you do for a living; you are in full time Christian service. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing you are exactly where the Lord wants you.
The study of the Assyrian crisis and the fall of the Northern Kingdom closely parallel our own time. Application of this Bible doctrine to our own country just might make the difference. Will our future be as the Northern Kingdom of Israel or will we spiritually recover and enjoy a renewal of prosperity? The Assyrian crisis is a tremendous study of the Word of God completed by my pastor R. B. Thieme Jr. in 1976. A wonderful teacher of the truth, he was pastor of Berachah Church for fifty-three years. He is now retired, however, his son R.B. Thieme III has picked up the guidon of spiritual truth and is leading a new generation to the high ground of spiritual maturity. I am humbled by the provision of God for me to be a member of a church that has made the teaching of the Word of God the priority of their purpose.
The Christians responsibility to the nation begins and ends with advancing to spiritual maturity and executing the unique spiritual life of the church age. The Word of God must come first. The only solution is a spiritual solution. As goes the believer, so goes the nation. The survival of the United States of America is in your hands.
Click here to contact Reverend Rako >>
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|T Shirt Feature|
|Quotes & Jokes|
A Few Quotes...
"Fortified Towns, Well stored arsenals, noble breed of war horses, armed chariots, elephants, engines, all kinds of artillery, arms and the like are nothing more than a sheep in a lions skin , unless the nation itself be, from its origin and temper, stout and warlike."
~ Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) Advancement of learning 8.3 ("the Military Statesman"), 1605 ,Wiley Book edition, 1944
"They will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government , are inauspicious to liberty , and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty."
~ George Washington Farewell Address, 17 September 1796
"A warlike spirit , which alone can create and civilize a State, is absolutely essential to national defense and to national prosperity."
~ Douglas MacArthur in Infantry Journal, March 1927
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|Featured Tactical Gear|
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Flying with guns:
Many have asked me about flying with guns via commercial airlines. They want to be armed after they arrive at their destination.
I do it a lot! Yes, tin helps, but not as much as you might think. Neither airline clerks, nor TSA employees, have any particular regard for local, peon police officers.
Here are my recommendations:
Most of us know that guns must be unloaded and packed in a hard case that is individually locked, in order to satisfy TSA regulations for air-transport in checked baggage. The hard, plastic case that your pistol came in will probably suffice, as most are now lockable. Trigger locks are not required, nor are they recommended.
Pistols locked in the box need to be unloaded (no round chambered), dry-fired, and with magazines removed and placed elsewhere in your luggage. Even empty magazines, when inserted into unloaded pistols, have been known to "confuse" TSA inspectors. And, when you're in a place where high-capacity magazines may be an issue, removing them from pistols and putting them elsewhere in your luggage is a good idea. TSA may look at your guns. They rarely look at magazines. TSA doesn't care about state and local restrictions, but when local police become involved, problems could develop. Best that you not attract their attention!
SIG makes a superior air-transport box, and it is the one I use, no matter what pistols I'm traveling with. It can be locked so that it cannot even be opened a crack without first undoing the locks. To lock it up, I use cable locks that now come with most new guns. SIG's shipping container is compact, yet big enough to hold two pistols in foam-padded comfort. I don't recommend traveling with just one gun. Guns break unexpectedly sometimes, and, when they do, you'll be glad you have two!
The locked box then goes inside your ordinary-looking luggage, so there is no external suggestion that there are guns inside. Your luggage should then also be locked. Best locks to use are "TSA locks" to which TSA has access via special keys. Using them makes it unnecessary for TSA to cut locks off your luggage, which they will do without much ceremony!
I usually travel with three, twenty-round boxes of high-performance pistol ammunition. Unlike guns, it does not need to be in a locked box. Ammunition in factory (cardboard or plastic) boxes (so long as cartridges are individually contained) works just fine. Quantity is supposedly restricted, usually by weight, so there is a limit, but sixty rounds is no problem. Ammunition may also be transported in charged pistol and rifle magazines, so long as the top, exposed round is covered. I transport charged magazines (both pistol and rifle) fully inserted in their Comp-Tac belt carriers and then tucked into a padded case.
Every airport is different! After declaration, sometimes the airline clerk wants to see your guns. However, they mostly have no interest and just ask you to sign the tag, put it in your luggage, and then send you to off TSA.
Sometimes, they want the tag inside the gun-box itself. Most of the time, they don't care where you put it! TSA will then x-ray your luggage and may want to physically look inside the gun box itself.
When flying with a large carrier, like United, it is best to go to the " Odd-Size" luggage counter. The folks there are used to checking guns. When " declaring," I matter-of-factly (but softly) say, "I have unloaded guns in my checked baggage." In airports like DIA, where they do it a lot, it is no particular event. In airports like Newark, JFK, et al, reaction may be more animated. Folding knives and sheath-knives (secured in sheaths), expandible batons, saps, etc are best put in a padded gun-rag, inside checked luggage. No need to mention them.
When dealing with TSA, and bureaucrats in general, the secret is, "Don' t-fail-the-attitude-test!" You will come out on the losing end of any power struggle, so don't even go there! So long as you're civil, non-threatening, and refrain from whining, TSA folks will actually try to help you. However, don't
be chatty, and don't answer questions that weren't asked. Be polite, but exceedingly boring. Be clean, reasonably well-groomed, and have an otherwise "normal" appearance. They'll quickly lose interest in you! " Standing-out," for any reason, is the last thing you want to do when traveling!
You won't be able to carry guns nor ammunition onto the passenger area of the plane, of course, but there are other useful items you might want in your carry-on bag:
A small flashlight. I travel with my Firstlight Tomahawk all the time, also my Blackhawk Gladius, and various Surefires. Sharing space in my carry-on, I have an electric toothbrush and an electric shaver. When my bags don't make it to my destination, I can at least shave and brush my teeth! TSA has never expressed concern with, nor interest in, any of the above.
When flying, I wear steel-toed safety boots. They are formidable weapons!
With a single kick, I can effortlessly break a shin or an ankle, essentially immobilizing my opponent, all with no risk to my own foot. Nevertheless, my boots have been x-rayed hundreds of times, and TSA thinks they're just fine! My Cold Steel City Stick also travels with me, and it, too, has been x-rayed more time than I can count. No prescription is needed for a cane. I also have a Cold-Steel Sharkie in my carry-on, along with an ST ActionPro Talon. Both have been with me on dozens of flights, and, since there is no metal in either, TSA has never even looked at them.
My concern is, of course, being able to effectively defend myself between when the plane arrives and when I can get into my luggage and re-arm myself. Airport parking lots, at night, are fraught with danger! Mugging suspects like them, because they believe all their potential victims there are unarmed. It's a lot safer than mugging people downtown!
Columbia makes an upscale 36-inch "Wheeled-Duffel" that is perfect for transporting rifles. An M4 with the stock telescoped all the way in, and nearly any folding-stock military rifle with the stock folded, can be accommodated. The rifle is locked inside a 32-inch hard case, and the case then goes inside the duffel. In addition, I carry a soft-fabric viola case for low-profile rifle transport after I arrive at my destination and subsequently need to go about without the hard case.
The foregoing applies to domestic air-travel. Flying internationally is a different subject. When I travel overseas, my local friends see that I am well-armed after I arrive. Accordingly, I don't transport guns on international flights.
There is, of course, a risk that checked baggage will be pilfered or lost.
It has surely happened. You can purchase insurance for the trip, but I usually don't bother, as it takes a lot of time, and such risks are something that, in the end, we all have to accept.
I usually arrive at the airport a minimum of two hours before flight-time.
With that buffer, I've never been rushed.
After 9/11, I made a change in my personal philosophy. I decided that I'm not going to travel without a rifle! I've always traveled with pistols, but I'm
now concerned about being stranded in a strange place with only pistols for personal protection.
When you fly with guns, the System will grudgingly accommodate you. You just have to do the best you can to make it work. Of course, there are risks inherent to traveling with guns. On the other hand, there are risks associated with traveling without guns too!
JIM WAGNERS WORLD OF REALITY
Fighting Tips and Tricks
Wagner's 10 Rules of Combat
By Jim Wagner
My uncle once told me, "It is easier to be a doctor than a car mechanic. Doctors only have two different models to repair, but a mechanic has to know how to repair hundreds of models." This observation is humorous if you're a mechanic, but we all know that a human being is infinitely more complex than the most sophisticated vehicle. Although the typical human has only one head, two arms, two legs and a torso, it's the human brain, which directs the body to work in order to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. One possible task is to engage in conflict with other human beings.
Regardless of the complexities of the brain, with all of its multi-layered motivations and creativity to wage battle, the average human is still limited to what work (techniques) can be performed while fighting since we are limited physically by one head, two arms, ect. Because we are limited physically, there will always be similarities in hand-to-hand combat, regardless of what part of the planet you live on. In other words, there are "universal truths" in real combat, just as there are universal truths with vehicles; a vehicle functions no differently in Africa as one does in Asia.
As a former soldier, and a police officer of 12 years, I have experienced my fair share of combat. My martial art skills have been put to the test on a number of occasions. Plus, a Defensive Tactics instructor from some of the most elite police and military teams of the world, I have trained with literally thousands of men and women who have "tasted" real combat. I have also been a devoted martial artist for 26 years - from tradition, to sport competition, to reality-based, and everything between. Though these experiences I have discovered that those who have actually had to rely on their skills for survival tend to train the same, use similar techniques, and think the same (like-minded) regardless of their geographical location. What has resulted from my observations are 10 rules that I believe are the key elements to surviving an actual hand-to-hand combat.
1. Be in good physical condition.
True warriors keep in shape. Just look at any Special Forces Unit or police SWAT team in the world and you will see this to be true. You must condition your body in all areas; cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. In addition to be able to endure prolonged fights and be more resistant to injuries, being physically fit will also increase your "command presence" (a police term which means that you gain respect by appearing as a formidable foe).
2. Do not be devoted to any one particular fighting system or instructor.
If you are serious about reality-based training, and all you want to know is how to defend yourself, then you must diversify. Study as many fighting systems, from as many qualified instructors as you can. For example: to be good a punching you might study boxing for six months, then move on. To know how to fight on the ground take six months of ju jitsu and move on. To become lethal with knives and other non-projectile weapons you need to enroll yourself in a Filipino Kali (also known as Arnis or Escrima). Six months later go take some Israeli Krav Maga for practical street fighting techniques. By exploiting the fundamental principles from each system, you will not ever fall into a trap of the "group think" mentality.
3. Keep it simple.
Without doubt, almost half of what you know can be eliminated. In real fights, when your safety is at risk, your mind and body will force you to use gross motor skills, whether you like it or not. This means that the complicated techniques you may be practicing will give way to primitive methods of survival. If you don't believe me, go up to someone better you full contact. Thus, instead of wasting valuable training time practicing fany moves you will never use, become highly proficient at the few techniques that will actually work - low thrust kicks, elbow and knee strikes, eye goudging, hard-hitting closed-fist strikes, hair pulling, ect.
4. Train hard to fight easy.
In the American Military we have an expression, "The more you bleed in training, the less you bleed in battle." You must always train harder than what you may face in real life. The average street fight lasts for 15-30 seconds, therefore you must practice "all out: for a full minute or more. Instead of bowing to your training partner and practicing your techniques, run 2.5 kilometers first, then try them (this simulates the exhaustion of the battle). Instead of sparring with one person, go up against two or three. Always push yourself to the point of near exhaustion when you train.
5. Positive mental attitude.
The true warrior is never defeated mentally. He or she has a grasp on what we call, "the will to survive." In some people it is stronger than others. Likewise, there are cowards who would not fight if their life depended on it. The will to survive is developed by pushing your training to the limit mentally (through role playing and increasing your pain tolerance threshold) and physically (trusting in reality-based techniques). Of course, an actual combat experience that you may have reinforces the will to survive.
6. Scenario training (role playing).
It's not enough to just know how to do fighting techniques, you must know in what context to use them. Most martial arts schools have their students bow to one another, get I into a prepatory stance, then begin fighting. But, this is not the way it happens in real life. There are sudden bar fights, terrorist attacks, arguments that erupt into fighting, and the list goes on. Therefore you have to approach at least1/3 of your training like you would as is preparing a theatre production: actors, a script, props, and a story line (the other thirds would be practicing various techniques and conditioning). In other words, you must simulate events you are most likely to encounter as a civilian: robberies, bar fights, sexual assaults, and other modern violence. Doing it right requires wearing the proper clothes, creating a temporary, but realistic environment, and have your actors behave in a convincing manner. Military and police units do this all the time. It's about time that civilian schools follow.
7. Practice from A to Z.
Let me start with an example. If you are practicing knife defense you don't just say "attack me!" then do your technique, and that's all. There are certain events that lead up to a knife attack, and a chain of events even after the knife attack; this is of course part of your scenario homework to know what usually takes place. Practicing from A to Z means..
a. Being aware of your surroundings before an attack
b. Have a plan of action prior to the attack
c. Handle the crisis (using the techniques that apply)
d. Follow-up (escape, take the suspect into custody, simulate calling the police, treating injuries, ect.)
8. Dress as you fight.
Do you ever wear a business suit? Then practice fighting in one. Do you ever wear a heavy jacket in the winter? Learn how to punch and ground fight in one. Do you wear shoes or boots? Now you get the idea. The more you train in various "street clothes" the better prepared you will be in actual combat. For most of my courses that I teach, I make my military and police students wear everything they would wear in a real mission - minus the live ammunition and other hazardous weapons.
True warriors are flexible, and able to change tactics with the situation. Combat is fluid, so you can't be burdened with wanting to throw your "favorite" techniques. One way to learn how to rapidly adapt is to have your training partner introduce a surprise without your knowledge. For example; you may be working on ground techniques, when suddenly your partner pulls out a concealed knife (rubber training knife) and you have to unexpectedly deal with it. Or, you could be fighting with one partner and half way through the fight another student comes into the room to help you like a Good Samaritan. How would you coordinate your attack?
10. Aggressive Defense.
Many people think self-defense means waiting for the attacker to throw the first punch. However, if you feel at anytime you, or someone else is in danger of immediate bodily injury or death, international law states that you have the right to defend yourself. (Check your own local laws to know your rights. Therefore, if you have to strike first, then do it. That's why scenario training is important - to understand the signs of imminent conflict. Also, during a fight you must think "do as much damage as necessary, as fast as possible" to overload the attackers senses and to stop him. Put him on the defensive with pre-empted attack or immediate counterattack. Adopt the military mentality, "attack the attacker."
As I mentioned before, these rules are based on my own experiences, and those who have successfully survived real encounters. If you agree with my 10 rules, adopt them. If you don't then write your own down and evaluate them. Every professional warrior has a written form of their "rules of engagement," and every unit lives by a motto. You need to know yours before you "engage" the enemy. Deciding what you believe, and how you should act during a battle maybe a little too late.
Catching Wild Pigs
There was a Chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a communist government.
In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.
'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs that are used to the free corn start to come through the gate to eat, and then you slam the gate on th em and catch the whole herd.
Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc, etc, etc. While we continue to lose our freedoms - just a little at a time.
One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free Lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.
So, if you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life then you will probably delete this email, but God help you when the gate slams shut!
In this 'very important' election year, listen closely to what the candidates are promising you - just maybe, you will be able to tell who is about to slam the gate on America.
A funeral in Tennessee
In Tennessee we really do pull off the road and stop for funerals... nobody moves until the last car has gone by.
What follows is a message from Vicki Pierce about her nephew James' funeral (he was serving our country in Iraq ):
However, the most incredible thing was what happened following the service on the way to the cemetery. We went to our cars and drove to the cemetery escorted by at least 10 police cars with lights flashing and some other emergency vehicles, with Tennessee police handling traffic. Everyone on the road who was not in the procession, pulled over, got out of their cars, and stood silently and respectfully, some put their hands over their hearts.
When we turned off the highway suddenly there were teenage boys along both sides of the street about every 20 feet or so, all holding large American flags on long flag poles, and again with their hands on their hearts. We thought at first it was the Boy Scouts or 4 H club or something, but it continued . for two and a half miles. Hundreds of young people, standing silently on the side of the road with flags. At one point we passed an elementary school, and all the children were outside, shoulder to shoulder holding flags kindergartners, handicapped, teachers, staff, everyone. Some held signs of love and support. Then came teenage girls and younger boys, all holding flags. Then adults. Then families. All standing silently on the side of the road. No one spoke, not even the very young children.
The military presence, at least two generals, a fist full of colonels, and representatives from every branch of the service, plus the color guard who attended James, and some who served with him . was very impressive and respectful, but the love and pride from this community who had lost one of their own was the most amazing thing I've ever been privileged to witness
I've attached some pictures, some are blurry (we were moving), but you can get a small idea of what this was like.
These photos are awesome!
An Open Letter
Take a little time to read this entire open letter. You won't be disappointed! I don't know Joe; but it is nice to know that somebody else is confused about change and has reservations about qualifications and accomplishments.
My name is Joe Porter. I live in Champaign, Illinois. I'm 46 years old, a born-again Christian, a husband, a father, a small business owner, a veteran, and a homeowner. I don't consider myself to be either conservative or liberal, and I vote for the person, not Republican or Democrat. I don't believe there are 'two Americas' - but that every person in this country can be whomever and whatever they want to be if they'll just work to get there - and nowhere else on earth can they find such opportunities. I believe our government should help those who are legitimately downtrodden, and should always put the interests of America first.
The purpose of this message is that I'm concerned about the future of this great nation. I'm worried that the silent majority of honest, hard-working, tax-paying people in this country have been passive for too long. Most folks I know choose not to involve themselves in politics. They go about their daily lives, paying their bills, raising their kids, and doing what they can to maintain the good life. They vote and consider doing so to be a sacred trust. They shake their heads at the political pundits and so-called 'news', thinking what they hear is always spun by whoever is reporting it. They can't understand how elected officials can regularly violate the public trust with pork barrel spending. They don't want government handouts. They want the government to protect them, not raise their taxes for more government programs.!
We are in the unique position in this country of electing our leaders. It's a privilege to do so. I've never found a candidate in any election with whom I agreed on everything. I'll wager that most of us don't even agree with our families or spouses 100% of the time. So when I step into that voting booth, I always try to look at the big picture and cast my vote for the man or woman who is best qualified for the job. I've hired a lot of people in my lifetime, and essentially that's what an election is - a hiring process. Who has the credentials? Whom do I want working for me? Whom can I trust to do the job right?
I'm concerned that a growing number of voters in this country simply don't get it. They are caught up in a fervor they can't explain, and calling it 'change'.
Change what? I ask.
Well, we're going to change America, they say.
In what way? I query.
We want someone new and fresh in the White House, they exclaim.
So, someone who's not a politician? I press.
Uh, well, no, we just want a lot of stuff changed, so we're voting for Barack Obama, they state.
So the current system, the system of freedom and democracy that has enabled a man to grow up in this great country, get a fine education, raise incredible amounts of money and dominate the news and win his party's nomination for the White House - that system's all wrong?
No, no, that part of the system's okay - we just need a lot of change.
And so it goes. 'Change we can believe in.' Quite frankly, I don't believe that vague proclamations of change hold any promise for me. In recent months, I've been asking virtually everyone I encounter how they're voting. I live in Illinois, so most folks tell me they're voting for Barack Obama. But no one can really tell me why - only that he's going to change a lot of stuff. Change, change, change. I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and convincingly why this man is qual! ified to be President and Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on earth - other than the fact that he claims he's going to implement a lot of change.
We've all seen the e-mails about Obama's genealogy, his upbringing, his Muslim background, and his church affiliations. Let's ignore this for a moment. Put it all aside. Then ask yourself, what qualifies this man to be my president? That he's a brilliant orator and talks about change?
Friends, I'll be forthright with you - I believe the American voters who are supporting Barack Obama don't have a clue what they're doing, as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've spoken to can spell out his qualifications. Not even the most liberal media can explain why he should be elected. Political experience? Negligible. Foreign relations? Non-existent. Achievements? Name one. Someone who wants to unite the country? If you haven't read his wife's thesis from Princeton, look it up on the web. This is who's lining up to be our next First Lady? The only thing I can glean from Obama's constant harping about change is that we're in for a lot of new taxes.
For me, the choice is clear. I've looked carefully at the two leading applicants for the job, and I've made my choice.
Here's a question - where were you five and a half years ago? Around Christmas, 2002. You've had five or six birthdays in that time. My son has grown from a sixth grade child to a high school graduate. Five and a half years is a good chunk of time. About 2,000 days. 2,000 nights of sleep. 6, 000 meals, give or take.
John McCain spent that amount of time, from 1967 to 1973, in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp.
When offered early release, he refused it. He considered this offer to be a public relations stunt by his captors, and insisted that those held longer than he should be released first. Did you get that part? He was offered his freedom, and he turned it down. A regimen of beatings and torture began.
Do you possess such strength of character? Locked in a filthy cell in a foreign country, would you turn down your own freedom in favor of your fellow man? I submit that's a quality of character that is rarely found, and for me, this singular act defines John McCain.
Unlike several presidential candidates in recent years whose military service is questionable or non-existent, you will not find anyone to denigrate the integrity and moral courage of this man. A graduate of Annapolis, during his Naval service he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. His own son is now serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq. Barack Obama is fond of saying 'We honor John McCain's service...BUT...', which to me is condescending and offensive ! - because what I hear is, 'Let's forget this man's sacrifice for his country and his proven leadership abilities, and talk some more about change.'
I don't agree with John McCain on everything - but I am utterly convinced he is better qualified to be our next President, and I trust him to do what's right. I know in my heart that he has the best interests of our country in mind. He doesn't simply want to be President - he wants to lead America, and there's a huge difference. Factually, there is simply no comparison between the two candidates. A man of questionable background and motives who prattles on about change can't hold a candle to a man who has devoted his life in public service to this nation, retiring from the Navy in 1981 and elected to the Senate in 1982.
Perhaps Obama's supporters are taking a stance between old and new. Maybe they don't care about McCain's service or his strength of character, or his unblemished qualifications to be President. Maybe 'likeability' is a higher priority for them than 'trust'. Being a prisoner of war is not what qualifies John McCain to be President of the United States of America - but his demonstrated leadership certainly DOES.
Dear friends, it is time for us to stand. It is time for thinking Americans to say, 'Enough.' It is time for people of all parties to stop following the party line. It is time for anyone who wants to keep America first, who wants the right man leading their nation, to start a dialogue with all their friends and neighbors and ask who they're voting for, and why.
There's a lot of evil in this world. That should be readily apparent to all of us by now. And when faced with that evil as we are now, I want a man who knows the cost of war on his troops and on his citizens. I want a man who puts my family's interests before any foreign country.
Army Shelves 'TMAAG' Idea, Weighs Changes to Worldwide Service Commands
DefenseAlert, Aug. 15, 2008 - Army leaders have shelved the idea of creating a new organization dedicated to training foreign security forces, weighing instead design changes to the Army components of the combatant commands that would help manage the ground service's relationships with armies around the world, according to service officials.
Date: August 18, 2008
Senior Pentagon officials have prepared a memo for Defense Secretary Robert Gates' signature that would give U.S. Special Operations Command the lead in overseeing U.S. efforts to train foreign security forces, defense officials tell Inside the Army.
The decision to pick SOCOM for the job of managing the field of "security force assistance," or SFA, is all but made, according to sources. But publicly, officials are tight-lipped about the move because senior leaders are still reviewing what one official dubbed the "implementation memo" that would finalize the arrangement.
Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Robert Mehal declined to comment. "We do not discuss internal working documents," he wrote in an e-mail.
The memo, drafted by Michael Vickers, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities, has yet to be blessed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, according to sources familiar with the document.
According to several officials, SOCOM chief Adm. Eric Olson has long been lobbying Pentagon leaders for the SFA lead.
Gates last year said the U.S. military must increasingly take on the role of training and advising foreign security forces to prevent terrorists from destabilizing regions around the world where stability is crucial to American interests.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, officials believe a capable police and army are a prerequisite for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces. "Arguably the most important military component in the war on terror is not the fighting we do ourselves, but how well we enable and empower our partners to defend and govern their own countries," Gates said in an Oct. 10, 2007, speech at the annual conference of the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington.
According to defense officials, the debate in the Army about how to prepare the ground service for a greater role in mentoring foreign security forces centers around two questions: Does the service need a dedicated force structure for the mission, and should specialized forces or general-purpose forces take on the brunt of the work?
Army leaders insist new organizations aimed at bolstering the ground's service's SFA capabilities are unnecessary, and Gates has said he wants the U.S. military at large to be involved in training foreign armies.
"The standing up and mentoring of indigenous armies and police - once the province of Special Forces - is now a key mission for the military as a whole," Gates said in the AUSA speech last year. "How the Army should be organized and prepared for this advisory role remains an open question, and will require innovative and forward thinking," he added.
With Gates' speech in mind, the pending move of making SOCOM the military-wide "proponent" for SFA has some ground service officials scratching their heads. "It's curious, but not troubling," said an Army official, adding that the services' general-purpose factions likely will be given a seat at the table as SOCOM officials begin crafting new doctrine.
"SOCOM still has the greatest expertise in foreign internal defense," or FID, the Army official said.
Others agree, but point out differences between the two fields. The goal of foreign internal defense is helping partner nations quell internal strife. The field of security force assistance aims to prepare a country's security forces for threats from within and outside its borders.
As for the Army, ground service leaders recently introduced a new policy aimed at attracting qualified personnel to fill slots on the so-called military transition teams and provincial reconstruction teams operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Our ability to train and operate effectively with indigenous forces will be a key element of 21st century land power," Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey wrote in a June 17 memo. "We need our best involved."
The Army-wide memo, in effect, reforms the way military transition teams and provincial reconstruction teams are formed by making service in those groups a competitive career move, rather than a dead year on a resume.
"You were gone for a year and it didn't count for anything," Lt. Col. Steven Leonard, an Army strategist at the service's Combined Arms Center in Ft. Leavenworth, KS, said during an Aug. 13 interview with ITA. In the time before Casey's memo, there was little effort made to match individuals' skill sets with the tasks at hand, he said.
"We didn't necessarily pick people based on their ability to fill a slot, to perform really well in that position. We picked people based on availability," Leonard said. "The Chief of Staff of the Army realized, as a lot of us did, that as long as we did that, we weren't putting the best people in the right jobs. We weren't being serious about our commitment to performing this mission."
In the memo, Casey instructed that majors serving on the teams should be considered to have "key and developmental" experience outside of their normal service assignments, making them more competitive for promotion.
Casey also gave instructions for how team leaders should be picked, implementing career incentives for them as well.
"I have directed Human Resources Command to award Centralized Selection List (CSL) credit for lieutenant colonels serving specifically in the [transition team] commander positions that have direct leadership responsibility for a training/transition team," Casey wrote.
"They're actually picking the team leaders off of the battalion command selection list," said Leonard. "We're ensuring that we're putting our very best people in these positions. It's not a pick-up game."
Retired Lt. Col. John Nagl lauded this development at an Aug. 13 press briefing at the Center for a New American Security, where he is a senior fellow. Nagl, who just returned from a 10-day trip to Iraq, emphasized the key role of security force assistance for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling it a "critical component."
He reported that the Iraqis are "not yet ready to take over security and at least in private they'll admit it. They want us to leave, but not yet and not soon."
He said it has taken five years of "hard work" to advise and train the Iraqi army and that it has been a struggle. But, he said, indigenous security forces have greater "legitimacy" with the local population than external forces, and they understand the social networks in which they operate.
He said these lessons learned are being transferred to Afghanistan, where the government has proposed doubling the Afghan National Army, a plan Secretary Gates has endorsed. This would grow the army to over 120,000 active-duty troops over the next five years. However, Nagl said that Afghanistan is short 2,000 to 3,000 advisers, highlighting the need for more transition team training.
"We foresee security force assistance as something, a capacity-building activity, that we're going to do now and in the future," said Leonard. "If we're going to make that a core function, we need to treat it seriously and elevate that to something that is career-enhancing instead of career-killing."
Last December, InsideDefense.com reported that an observation team was highly critical of the transition team training at Fort Riley, KS. In a report last fall, Army officials wrote, "the training of transition teams (TT) at Fort Riley is currently being severely hampered by the quality and diversity of individuals assigned, the inadequacy of the curriculum, the lack of experience of the instructors and overall lack of external support."
They proposed making the training of foreign armies the responsibility of brigade combat teams. In their proposal, entire BCTs would be equipped with the knowledge and equipment to train foreign security forces, rather than the small, external teams of trainers that prepare at Ft. Riley and then pair up with BCTs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Kate Brannen and Sebastian Sprenger
Hungry at the Olympics?
It's Our Land
Apparently, Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview and was asked about Israel's occupation of Arab lands - his response was "It's our land." The reporter (CNN or the like) was stunned - read below "It's our land..."
It's important information since we don't get fair and accurate reporting from the media and facts tend to get lost in the jumble of daily events.
"Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict."
Here are overlooked facts in the current Middle East situation.
These were compiled by a Christian university professor.
BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY...
It makes sense and it's not slanted. Jew and non-Jew - it doesn't matter.
1. Nationhood and Jerusalem . Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E. Two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E., the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. Lasted no more than 22 years.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem , they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in th e Koran.
7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem . Mohammed never came to Jerusalem .
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem . Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem .
9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews . Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
10 The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refu gees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel , a country no larger than the state of New Jersey .
13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict: The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserv ed and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel .
17. Of the 690 General Assembly resol utions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel .
18. The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. The U.N. Was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives .
20. The U.N. Was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be.
What will we tell our grandchildren we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference?
Fort Campbell getting new Special Forces Battalion
By KRISTIN M. HALL
Associated Press Writer
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky.
The Army is activating a new Special Forces battalion at Fort Campbell, Ky., the first such expansion of Green Beret units in nearly two decades.
The addition to the 5th Special Forces Group is the first of five new planned battalions for the Army Special Forces over the next several years.
Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, has said demand for the nation's elite forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to increase even as the overall American force shrinks.
The 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell is frequently deployed, with rotations about every six months. There are currently three battalions and one support battalion in the group.
"A fourth battalion relieves some of the stress our soldiers and families face by providing more dwell time at home station between deployments," the group's commander, Col. Christopher Conner, said in a news release Tuesday.
About 400 to 500 soldiers in the new battalion will join about 2,000 soldiers already in the group at Fort Campbell. An activation ceremony is planned Friday morning at the base on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
Each of the five active groups in the Army Special Forces will gain a new battalion under the expansion plan, said Capt. Chris Augustine, a spokesman for the Army Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Augustine said the Fort Campbell-based group was chosen for the first battalion because its training focus is the Middle East. The group was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for the initial invasion of Afghanistan, but its current focus is on operations in Iraq.
Augustine said the additional troops will also allow the military flexibility in parts of the world where it has been underrepresented because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Part of the concern is our role is not going to diminish (in Iraq and Afghanistan)," Augustine said. "It's going to be increased."
Congress has also authorized the addition of three Army Ranger companies as part of a total increase of 13,000 troops over five years, starting this year.
Maj. April Olsen, a spokeswoman for 5th Special Forces Group, said some of the soldiers for the new battalion will come straight out of training, while others will be transferred from existing Green Beret units.
You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well...
SHERIFF JOE IS AT IT AGAIN!
Oh, there's MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe!
MaricopaCountywas spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the CountySupervisorssaid okay.
The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.
The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. Teresa and I adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost us $78.
The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.
I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 - $8 for the Holidays, and plant it later. We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.
Yup, he was reelected last year with 83% of the vote.
Now he's in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He's kind of a 'Git-R Dun' kind of Sheriff.
TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO HE IS THE MARICOPA ARIZONA COUNTY SHERIFF AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER...
THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio (In Arizona ) who created the 'Tent City Jail':
He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.
He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights. Cut off all but 'G' movies.
He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.
Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn't Get Sued For Discrimination.
He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court Order that Required Cable TV For Jails So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel.
When asked why the weather channel He Replied, So They Will Know How Hot It's Gonna Be While They Are Working ON My Chain Gangs.
He Cut Off Coffee Since It Has Zero Nutritional Value.
When the inmates complained, he told them, 'This Isn't The Ritz/Carlton... If You Don't Like It, Don't Come Back.'
He bought Newt Gingrich's lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails.
When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.
More On The Arizona Sheriff:
With Temperatures Being Even Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix(116 Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports:
About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The MaricopaCountyJail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued Pink Boxer Shorts
On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 Degrees Inside The Week Before.
Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On Their Chests And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS.
'It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace,' Said James Zanzot, An Inmate Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. 'It's Inhumane.'
Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: 'It's 120 Degrees In Iraq And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear,
But They Didn't Commit Any Crimes, So Shut Your Mouths!'
Way To Go, Sheriff!
Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.
Sheriff Joe was just re-elected Sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona
Fourth of July Reenlistment Ceremony
Baghdad, July 5, 2008 - Servicemembers from all over Iraq gathered here today in the Al Faw Palace rotunda on Camp Victory, to re-enlist and celebrate America's Independence Day.
All 1,215 servicemembers celebrated by raising their right hand and pledging to continue defending the 'land of the free' in what is the largest re-enlistment ceremony since the all-volunteer force began in 1973, according to the Multi-National Force - Iraq Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt, Maj. Marvin L. Hill.
"Volunteering to continue to serve our nation, while deployed - is both noble and inspiring," said Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Force - Iraq. "It is, as award citations often state, in keeping with the finest traditions of our military services."
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THE GSB: THE SUPPORT BEHIND THE FORCE MEETING UNCONVENTIONAL LOGISTICS REQUIREMENTS IN IRAQ
Senior Master Sgt. Laura Dermarderosiansmith
25 August, 2008 10:32:00
BALAD, Iraq - They entered the fight as a dark horse, but in the few months they have been in Iraq, they are advancing to the frontline.
The 10th Special Forces Group Support Battalion is small and one of five throughout the Army, but its ability to meet the mission requirements of an elite, special operations fighting force is standing out.
Lt. Col. John D. Kuenzli, the GSB commander, refers to his battalion as a dark horse because many in the Special Forces community don't even know what the GSB is or why it exists. As the war in Iraq highlights some of the logistical and overall support challenges that face these Special Forces groups, Kuenzli's dark horse is overtaking those challenges.
In Iraq on their second deployment with 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colo., supporting Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Arabian Peninsula, the GSB is also redefining itself for the future.
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SF welcomes 121 new Green Berets
Green Berets graduated and two former Special Forces soldiers were honored on Thursday by the Special Forces community.
The 121 Green Berets graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C., and will join five active-duty and two National Guard Special Forces groups.
The graduates include 13 officers and 108 enlisted soldiers.
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USA deeply concerned about Russian nuclear-capable bombers returning to Cuba
Washington is deeply concerned about an opportunity for Russia to use Cuban air bases to deploy its strategic bombers there in response to US missile defense plans in Europe. Gen. Norton Schwartz stated that Russia would be crossing a red line with such an intention.
"I certainly would offer best military advice that we should engage the Russians not to pursue that approach," Schwartz told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"And if they did, I think we should stand strong and indicate that that is something that crosses a threshold, crosses a red line for the United States of America."
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Russian threat to Nato supply route in Afghanistan
Jeremy Page in Kabul
Russia played a trump card in its strategic poker game with the West yesterday by threatening to suspend an agreement allowing Nato to take supplies and equipment to Afghanistan through Russia and Central Asia.
The agreement was struck at a Nato summit in April to provide an alternative supply route to the road between the Afghan capital and the Pakistani border, which has come under attack from militants on both sides of the frontier this year.
Zamir Kabulov, the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan, told The Times in an interview that he believed the deal was no longer valid because Russia suspended military cooperation with Nato last week over its support for Georgia.
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Ten Times More Powerful Than Standard Flashlights Now Available
Grants Pass, OR - July, 2007 - For the man who lives by the motto, "He who dies with the most toys wins", the AE Xenide™ ushers in a new class of flashlight - the Personal Searchlight - and delivers 10 times the lumen output of a standard incandescent flashlight.
Originally designed for law enforcement, border patrol, search and rescue, maritime interdiction, and long-range target identification, the AE Xenide™ Personal Searchlight now gives the public the opportunity to own the most powerful and exciting HID searchlight in its class, ideal for recreational activities including camping, hunting, hiking, aviation, boating or as an emergency light anywhere.
Using patent-pending technology, the AE Xenide™ incorporates the same High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting you'll find in a Mercedes Benz or BMW headlight.
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Iraqi's Nozad, Jebur thankful for Olympic chance
BEIXIAOYING TOWN, China (AP) - Haidar Nozad and Hamzah Hussein Jebur are used to the fear.
The fear that violence and warfare in Iraq will confine them at home instead of allowing them out on the Tigris River. The fear that roadblocks or a military presence could keep them from the river and another day of training.
Or the worries that their Olympic rowing dream would end-not because of a slow boat or lack of funding-but instead because of Iraq's dispute with the International Olympic Committee.
But with each stroke on a breezy Saturday that sailed them past all those "Beijing 2008" signs on the grandstands, Nozad and Jebur were so thankful for a second chance at the Olympics.
"Here, we are safe," Nozad said. "We are very happy."
The friends almost missed their chance to compete in the double sculls heat at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park.
The IOC had suspended the Iraqi team in May over alleged government interference in Iraq's national committee.
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For Iraqi Rowers, Getting to Beijing Was a Victory in Itself
BEIJING - As their muscles burned and their searing lungs pleaded for them to stop, Haidar Nozad and Hussein Jebur rowed across the finish line at the Olympics on Monday, finishing last and nearly 30 seconds behind the winning Russian crew in their second-chance heat in double sculls.
In the grueling sport of rowing, 30 seconds is a lifetime. But to Nozad and Jebur - who train on the Tigris River in war-torn Baghdad - the margin did not matter. Their time and place were secondary to the journey they took to get here.
"We feel so great and so happy that we are here because it is very important to the Iraqi people that we are competing," Nozad said after his race, as sweat dripped from his chin onto his green uniform. "We want to show the good side of Iraq."
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SEAL, vets lauded at Republican convention
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
A tribute to a Navy SEAL who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for valor in Iraq, and an endorsement by former prisoners of war for Sen. John McCain's bid to become president, were key features Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
The actions of Navy Master-At-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, mortally wounded in a September 2006 firefight in Ramadi, Iraq, were featured in a short film shown at the convention.
Monsoor, who joined the Navy in 2001 before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saved the lives of three other people - including two nearby SEALs - by covering a grenade with his own body. Additionally, Monsoor received a Silver Star for a May 2006 incident in which he saved an injured service member by running into a street and into the line of fire to pull him to safety.
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View the "Medal of Honor Story" Video Here >>
Navy SEAL Joshua Harris From Lexington Killed In Afghanistan is 500th U.S. Afghan death
"For the whole earth is the tomb of famous men; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men."
~ Pericles (c. 600 B.C.)
I never personally met Petty Officer Special Warfare Operator First Class (SEAL) Joshua Thomas Harris, but I can tell you from those I have known like him and from those who had the privilege to serve with him, he will be remembered as one of those famous men.
Harris was a highly decorated Navy SEAL assigned to an elite team that carried out some of our Defense Departments most highly classified missions. Super secret stuff you will not know details of for sometime to come. He was also an accomplished artist whose paintings were once displayed at Lincoln Center. And he was the 500th U.S. service member killed while fighting in Afghanistan.
Harris, 36, a highly decorated combat veteran and native of Lexington, N.C., drowned last Saturday August 30th after being swept away by turbulent waters while conducting a river crossing during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Navy officials said.
"Harris was temporarily forward deployed from his assignment at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Dam Neck, Va.," the Pentagon said in a statement released late Monday night.
The Development Group, also known as "DEVGRU," may seem like a peculiar name for one of the military's most secret counter terror units. Formerly called SEAL Team 6, the unit is charged with carrying out many of the nation's most classified missions, such as top tier kill-or-capture missions targeting senior Al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan, Iraq and other exotic destinations.
"Petty Officer Harris was an exemplary SEAL. He served his country valorously during multiple combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq. He was a brave warrior, SEAL role model, mature and reliable teammate and an absolute great American. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Petty Officer Harris' family. His loss is deeply felt by the entire Naval Special Warfare community," said Capt. Scott Moore, commanding officer of NSWDG.
"The entire Naval Special Warfare community is deeply saddened by the passing of our teammate, Petty Officer Josh Harris. He will always be remembered as a warrior, a leader and a patriot. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time," said Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli, commanding officer of Naval Special Warfare Command.
Navy Cmdr. Kent Paro, who commanded Harris when he was in SEAL Team 10 recalled to a recent interviewer :"Josh was clearly one of the best of the best. He was just an incredible guy ..He was humble, quiet and extremely capable"He was a junior guy but we gave him a lot of responsibility. He was the kind of guy you'd want your sister to marry."
Harris was in the same unit as Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue, L.I., the first Navy SEAL to earn the Medal of Honor since Vietnam. Murphy, 29, was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.
"There are not enough words to say about a son like Josh," his grieving mother, Evelyn, said from her home in Lexington. "He was the most generous spirit you have ever met. He respected everyone who had a goodwill about them."
Harris began painting at a young age and earned degrees in art and architecture.
But he always wanted to serve his country.
"Back in grade school, he wore camouflage pants to school," his mother said. "I'd have to wash them every day."
Harris' paintings were exhibited at the Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center in 1999.
"His art had a great deal of force and darkness," said Jim Moon, founder of Asolare Fine Arts Academy in Lexington. "It was extraordinarily strong and powerful."
Shortly after the exhibition, Harris moved to Manhattan for about a year and worked at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. He also volunteered for a Brooklyn nonprofit that helps find homes for stray pets. He enlisted in the Navy in August 2000.
Harris joins the growing list of soldiers, sailors and Marines killed in Afghanistan since the war began. In July, more U.S. troops died in Afghanistan than in Iraq.
"No matter what you think of the war, my son felt he was fighting for our freedom, that he was fighting terrorism," Evelyn Harris said. "I don't want him to have died in vain."
Harris graduated from Lexington High School. He was an "All County" and "All Conference" football player. He went on to Davidson College, where he graduated with a degree in Studio Art. He then went on to architectural graduate school at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte pursuing a Masters Degree in architecture. His art has been on display at several showings on the east coast including the prestigious Lincoln Center in New York City.
Harris enlisted in the Navy on August 23, 2000 and reported to Boot Camp at Naval Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois on September 7, 2000. After completing Boot Camp he graduated from Quartermaster "A" School before reporting to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at Coronado, California.
BUD/S is the first step to becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL and is six months of the most demanding training in the military. Upon graduating from BUD/S Harris completed an additional five months of SEAL Qualification Training before reporting to his first permanent duty station at SEAL Team Ten at Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va.
Whilon boardrd SEAL Team Ten, Petty Officer Harris completed many rigorous qualifications preparing him for combat including Static Line Parachutist, Naval Special Warfare Special Reconnaissance Scout, Naval Special Warfare Sniper, SEAL Diving Supervisor, Advanced Tactical Driving course and others.
Harris distinguished himself during multiple combat deployments to Iraq with SEAL Team Ten while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. On May 26, 2006, Harris transferred from SEAL Team Ten and began the demanding selection and training program at Naval Special Warfare Development Group. His training included Military Free-Fall, Naval Special Warfare Tactical First Response Medical Training, Survive Escape Resist Evade (SERE) 215 and 250 courses, Combat Pistol and Rifle Course and several other courses. Harris completed the arduous training during the selection program and received orders to Naval Special Warfare Development Group as a member of Naval Special Warfare Tactical Development and Evaluation Squadron (NSWTACDEVRON) Two.
Harris is a highly decorated combat veteran and received numerous awards during his career as a U.S. Navy SEAL including the Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat "V" (Valor) Distinguishing Device, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat "V" (Valor) Distinguishing Device, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon (Operation Iraqi Freedom), Combat Action Ribbon (Operation Enduring Freedom), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4), Good Conduct Medal (2).
SO1 Harris is survived by his parents Dr. Sam and Evelyn Harris of Lexington, North Carolina; his twin sister, Kiki Harris, his brother, SRanch oror Harris, III and his wife Serina and Nephews Dylan and Chase, and three loving aunts and uncles Thomas Veach and Sveta Long; Penny and Randy Overby; Tom and Maria Harris.
As per any deaths within the SEAL community Harris's grieving family will be supported by the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, which accepts public donations.
Hoo-yah and Thank you, Sailor.
Note SFGNL Story on Joshua Harris complied sources from
Boaters: Drug Subs Could Be Hazardous to Your Health
GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC, Mexico - The Mexican Navy captured another mini submarine loaded with cocaine, this time in the Gulf of Tehuantepec on July 16, according to official reports.
For safer navigation, visiting boaters traveling anywhere in Mexican coastal waters at night should be aware of this new hazard - to avoid a collision. The covert vessels are unlighted, low-profile powerboats that cruise along just below the waters surface.
Some of the dozen or so mini-subs that have been captured and photographed are light green or gray fiberglass, about 30 feet long, very narrow and unmanned - evidently remote controlled. But other drug subs are reported to be as large as 100 feet in length and fully crewed.
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PRESS RELEASE: USASOC identifies Solider who died in training
U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Aug. 15, 2008)-A U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldier who was injured in a training exercise and later died has been identified, command officials announced today.
Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Roulund, 27, a reconnaissance specialist assigned to the Regimental Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, was participating in routine military free-fall training at the Parachute Testing and Training Facility operated by the U.S. Special Operations Command near Marana, Ariz.
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PRESS RELEASE: Special Operations Soldier dies in Iraq
FORT CARSON, Colo. (USASOC News Service, August 4, 2008) - A Special Forces support Soldier died from a non-combat related injury Aug. 2 in Balad, Iraq.
Spc. Kevin R. Dickson, 21, a construction equipment repair specialist, assigned to the Group Support Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Carson, Colo., was pronounced dead from wounds Aug. 2 at the Joint Balad Hospital.
Dickson joined the Army January 2006 and attended basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. After completion, he attended Basic Airborne and Parachute Rigger Schools at Fort Benning, Ga., before attending his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
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MEDIA ADVISORY: Activation ceremony for 4th Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
FORT CAMPBELL, KY (USASOC News Service, August 4, 2008) - The 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) will activate a fourth line battalion on Aug. 8, marking the first such expansion of U.S. Army Special Forces in nearly two decades.
The ceremony will take place on Fort Campbell's Gabriel Field at 10 a.m.
"Activation of the fourth battalion enables 5th Group to better sustain repeated back to back combat deployments," said Col. Christopher Conner, 5th SFG(A) commander. "A fourth battalion relieves some of the stress our Soldiers and families face by providing more dwell time at home station between deployments."
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Say This St Joseph Prayer Daily for Our Troops
Say for 9 consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.
This prayer was found in the 50th year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In 1500's it was dent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever reads this prayer or hears it or carries it, will never die a sudden death, nor be drowned, nor will poison take effect on them. They will not FALL into the hands of the Enemy nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.
Prayer to St Joseph
O St Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from you Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord: So that having engaged here below you Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers.
O St Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near you heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us.
Phil Hill, 81; first U.S.-born driver to win Formula One title
Phil Hill, a reserved Californian who became a gifted race-car driver and the only U.S.-born driver to win the Formula One international auto-racing championship, died Thursday. He was 81.
Hill died at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula of complications from Parkinson's disease, said John Lamm, a close friend who is also editor-at-large of Road & Track magazine.
"It's a sad day," said Carroll Shelby, a close friend of Hill's who became a celebrated sports car builder after retiring from racing. "Phil was an excellent race-car driver with a unique feel for the car, and his real expertise was in long-distance racing."
Hill won the Formula One title for Ferrari in 1961. He also was the first American to win the 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans, France -- a race he would win twice again -- and he won the Sebring 12-hour race three times, among many other victories.
"Phil set the standard" for other American drivers who competed overseas, such as Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti, Shav Glick, the longtime motor sports writer for The Times, wrote in 2006.
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Ex-POWs split on McCain playing up past
By Rick Hampson - USA Today
ST. PAUL - Sen. John McCain is accused of talking too much about his experience as a prisoner of war, but many of his fellow Vietnam POWs say the Republican presidential nominee cant talk about it enough.
In McCains acceptance speech, scheduled for Thursday, "we think he should play it up more," said Dave Wheat, a retired Navy pilot from Minnesota who was a POW for more than seven years.
"People have always been interested in our experience, and they tout it more than we do," Wheat said. "To say hes milking it" - as former president Jimmy Carter did last week - "is a gross injustice."
Tom McNish, shot down and captured in 1966, said the senator "is telling his story now to allow the American people to understand who he is."
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Mr. Gunnar Sonsteby (of Norway) receives U.S. Special Operations Command Medal
OSLO, Norway -- U.S. Navy Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, presented the U.S. Special Operations Command Medal to Mr. Gunnar Sonsteby at an event held at the Holmenkollen Park Hotel today.
Adm. Olson presented Sonsteby the medal in recognition of his achievements as a World War II resistance fighter. From 1940 to 1945, Sonsteby served in the Norwegian resistance where he attained the rank of captain and became its most decorated operative by earning the War Cross with Three Swords and the British Distinguished Service Order.
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