War News: Latest Articles at Long War Journal, by Bill Roggio et al

Check out the latest round-up of milblog & web reports on the War on Terror

Saturday, November 27, 2010

They volunteer, I'm grateful, and...

A reminder of why I send care packages to our deployed troops - they volunteer, I'm grateful, and they really do appreciate hearing from people like you and me: the year I adopted a Navy ship...

Have you ever wondered what a finished deployment to Afghanistan makes you thankful for?

Have a look HERE. (HT: Blackfive)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Update on a Wounded Warrior

I blogged HERE about Cpl Zach Briseno (ret) back in 2008 when he participated in the trike part of the Marine Corps Marathon.

MaryAnn in Germany passed along an update today, HERE.

Best wishes on the new home, Zach!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Annual Veteran's Day Fundraiser for Soldiers' Angels' Project Valour-IT Program! GO TEAM NAVY!

I'm behind the curve here, but once again supporting TEAM NAVY in the annual, friendly-yet-fierce blogger fundraiser for a very special Soldiers' Angels program called Project Valour-IT.

The fundraiser runs through Veteran's Day, November 11th.

Bottom line: Project Valour-IT funds the purchase of voice-activated and otherwise modified laptops for our more severely injured veterans as well as GPSs, Wii, iPads and other gizmos that support their recovery and new normal. Well over 5000 laptops have been distributed to date, and I can attest to the gratitude with which they are received having delivered one to an injured Marine a few years ago.

The goal for each team is to raise $15,000 (first!). If you have a few extra dollars, give generously and give through TEAM NAVY here (UPDATE - competition is over, but you can still donate HERE). There are also eBay auctions of nifty items - books and memorabilia - that can be found here - all proceeds go to the fundraiser.

Pass the word!

P.S. The inspiration for the program, then Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss in the US Army (now Major Z), is captured wonderfully well in the cartoon by http://www.coxandforkum.com/ at the top of the page.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sometimes it really is a small world

Or at least smaller than we think.

I walked over to Arlington National Cemetery this morning with a friend. We headed out to Section 60 to visit and pay our respects to our fallen who have most recently been laid to rest at Arlington. There are familiar names that have been there for a while that I remember for one reason or another. Medal of Honor recipient Ross McGinnis. Major Douglas A. Zembiec. Capt Brian Letendre.

Today I noted a new name:
Lance Corporal Noah M. Pier. I noted it because someone had placed a large photo of LCpl Pier next to his headstone. He was a good looking young guy, but it was the exuberant grin that made me look twice at his name. I thought, "Someone is going to miss that grin." And so much more.

When I was home later, I was reading Memorial Day posts on-line, including some at my favorite blog, The Mudville Gazette. The most recent addition to the Dawn Patrol - Mrs. G's special contribution to the blog and blogosphere in general - included a link to an article on some recently fallen Marines. The caption on the photo mentioned Lance Corporal Noah M. Pier:

Lance Cpl. Jeffrey P. Grivois, a fire team leader with 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, wears a metal bracelet to honor his friend, Lance Cpl. Noah M. Pier, who was killed in action in January and has a road in Nawa named in his honor. Grivois is currently serving at Patrol Base Meinert, named for another fallen Marine from Bravo Company, and both Meinert and Pier's photos are displayed at the post's entrance. Grivois, 21, is from Ocala, Fla. Photo by Sgt. Brian Tuthill.

Small world.

Here's a little bit more about this Marine. See what I mean about that grin?

Godspeed, Noah.

P.S. The photo reminded me of this post that Greyhawk highlighted today, too.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day....Remembering and Honoring

As I try to do whenever I'm in town for Memorial Day, I'll be visiting Arlington National Cemetery tomorrow. And in keeping with a tradition I started a few years ago, I'll be wearing the T-shirt in the picture below. You see, the names on that t-shirt are as close as I've gotten to knowing someone who died serving our country. I know many many veterans, but haven't lost anyone to war. One name on this t-shirt was a college classmate of my sister's. That's as close as I hope to get, but I can't imagine that it'll stay that way.

“An inestimable prize, the understanding that health, good fortune, long years, domestic tranquility, all the attributes of personal happiness, do not make a life well lived if we are afraid to risk it all for the love of something finer, something bigger than our own desires.” - Senator John McCain

For all those honoring someone dear to them this weekend, my gratitude for the service of your loved one and my prayers for you.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

At Milblogs 2010: First afternoon session is with MG Hogg

Milblogs is hosting a session of Military Blogger's Roundtable with MG Hogg live from Afghanistan, who is working with Afghan special forces or "commandos". Per the general, recruitment is improving, but is seasonally challenging as other employment opportunities arise, but retention is very, very high - pay raise helped! The commandos are active and are having successes.

Next panel....National Security Smorgasboard [UPDATED]

Michael Yon is on the phone from Afghanistan and we've got some other people in the room to talk about national security issues.

Michael is talking about media coverage of the war. It's a hazardous and expensive place to operate as a journalist, independent or otherwise...and he just got "dis-embedded". Beyond his blog, he now has a facebook page and tweets... Check out his photos!

Next "panel" member: Abe Sofaer of the Hoover Institution. And a veteran of US Air Force. Greyhawk asks, "Why did you leave??" more aptitude for State Department! Career stretched from Carter admin through Reagan admin, during which several terrorist events occurred (including the murder of Navy Seal Robert Stetham aboard hijacked TWA flight into Greece and murder of American passenger Leon Klinghoffer on passenger cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, both in 1985 - both vivid memories for me). He has a new book that examines at legal vs. illegal uses of force in post-9/11 world: "The Best Defense? Legitimacy & Preventive Force"

UPDATE: Next fabulous panel member, SSgt Norman Hatch, USMC! He was a combat cameraman in the Pacific in WWII. He contributed to the work that formed the Academy Award winning documentary, "With the Marines on Tarawa". Watch some archived footage HERE. NPR has an article and interview, and the Marines have it covered HERE.

Social Media and Non-Profits: The Charitable Landscape [Updated]

The panel....

The moderator (Greta! she's an Angel, too)

A great panel with reps from the Navy Memorial, Wounded Warrior Project, Blue Star Families, and Soldiers' Angels...talking about fund raising and "friend" raising. Message: they all have great missions, but without funding a lot less happens. However, social networking tools help build maintain powerful relationships for supporting our active duty troops and veterans.

Update: Great question from Navy News... If you were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a day (ADM Mullen!), what would you ask troops to do to help troop support orgs?

1) encourage troops to share their stories - so many people don't know anything about the current war in Afghanistan (Shelle with Soldiers' Angels)
2) encourage veterans returning from theater to be aware of other new veterans who are having challenges after returning from war (Keith with Wounded Warrior Project)

More to come...

At Milblogs 2010...

Just about to get under way here in Arlington at the 5th Annual Milblogs Conference! Wish you were if you aren't :-) ...but you can watch it live on the web HERE, thanks to the sponsorship of VA Mortgage Company (the folks that bring you YouServed).

I didn't even blog about this conference last year because it was co-scheduled with the 2009 Face of America Bike Ride, and Kathi and I (and the Banner Princess) were driving all over DC at the wee hours of the morning (!) to be here and to hang banners along the bike ride route.

Things were off to a great start last night with the opening panel and a great reception. Soldiers' Angels was the grateful beneficiary of the annual Jail and Bail fundraiser along with Homes for Our Troops. We also had great music from Saving Abel...who were blasting from my car CD player on the way over this morning.

And now... we're listening to a taped message from CDRCENTCOM, General David Petraeus! Thank you, sir, for taking the time to recognize this conference and milbloggers :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not for Nothing - Take 12

In pictures, see Iraq then and now.

Note that most of the initial pictures (2 through 10) are from 2007, which was the year of the "surge": Gen Petraeus was confirmed in early 2007, and additional troops soon followed him to Iraq. The most intense fighting raged through the summer.

Thank you, Ms Hagar for helping to document the changes in Iraq.

My favorite photo is her last one: a teacher and school girls smiling while on a field trip to Babylon.

In 2007, that photo might have seemed too much to hope for. Now that it's reality, it's particularly sweet.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Thank you" from a Marine's little sister

I've blogged before
about the lunches that Soldiers' Angels hosts at the hospital at our National Naval Medical Center on a weekend day every month or so.

I was there again this past Sunday and was pleased to provide a sandwich, soda, and cookie to a couple dozen patients and family members and a bunch of medical staff.

We always get lots of thank yous, but this is the first time we've gotten a hand-crafted one. Little Eileen brought this by when I was cleaning up. Since there are lots of folks out there whose donations make these lunches possible, I thought you'd like to see our thank you gift from a Marine's little sister.

Her big brother was on a restricted diet, but his mom and I came up with a grape jelly sandwich, some grapes, and some pretzels.

Not bad, Team. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Team Rubicon in Haiti - worth your notice and donations

Some amazing initiative is making a real difference in Haiti... a place where nothing is "normal", and everyday tasks are a challenge.

Meet Team Rubicon. Former/current military, firefighters, ER docs.

Follow their activities. They've posted several times each day. Some is not for the faint of heart.

Note the impression they are making.

Maybe you have the right skills to join Team 2?

Offer some cash if you can (not tax deductible at present), prayers if you can't. I've done a little of both.