Archive for May, 2008
Threatening weather (and no reports of moonbats planning on being present) did not deter Eagles contingents from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from getting to West Point (Highland Falls, NY) early today to prepare for a day of welcoming our graduates and their families and providing support against any moonbat presence that might develop.
We arrived to find members of the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce already placing small flags along the roadside at Memorial Park, the same area the moonbats had placed their flag draped coffins last year. They welcomed us with open arms and we set about getting our flags set up and deploying the crane truck with the 60′ flag over the roadway. As more eagles arrived they joined the flag line along West Point Highway.
Eventually some moonbat stragglers showed up and stood forlornly on the opposite side of the road trading barbs with eagles until the police put a cap on unnecessary noise! Jim B adeptly handled moonbat diplomacy and education. He had lots of able help!
An Army Huey helicopter circled overhead several times during the day and waved to us below.
The standoff continued as our ranks swelled with eagles and townsfolk who came out to join us. Finally the moonbats decided to do a march to the gates of West Point. Their parade (all 20 or so of them) started marching down the highway as some of our eagles hopped into vehicles and drove to join the eagles already manning the traffic island in from of the gate. The moonbats were turned around, just as they were last year, before they reached West Point and marched back down Main Street to resume their position across the road from Memorial Park.
They repeated this empty symbolic gesture one more time so that anyone who hadn’t gotten their fill of laughing at the pathetic performance would have a second opportunity. Then they started fading away by ones and twos back under whatever rocks they crawled out from to begin with.
Carolyn had the premiere of her “Burqha” street theater show, unfortunately I was at the other end of the park and missed out on it. I’ll try to get a review for you soon.
The graduates and their families were wildly appreciative of our presence throughout the day with many blowing their horns and giving thumbs up as they drove by. I can’t say enough about how well the townspeople treated us, providing sodas and snacks, laying out the small flags around the park, providing a great sound system and DJ to play patriotic music, and standing the line with us holding flags and waving to the passing families.
It was a hugely successful day. Except for a fifteen minute period or so of light drizzle, all the major and severe thunderstorms that had been predicted stayed away. We out numbered, out maneuvered and out performed the moonbats by any measure possible. No memorials or flags were defaced with posters or stickers. We made new friends and allies in town and we received invitations to attend the next two major events in Highland Falls.
Special Thanks and mention are due to Mike for bringing the crane truck and deploying the large flag. Robert for buying coffee and donuts for the early arrivers. Bobbie and the men and women of the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce for decorating the park with flags, balloons and a wooden cadet. Mayor Joe for standing with us holding a flag and inviting us to the upcoming festivities.
You didn’t think we would do just one event in a day did you? Especially since we had not doled out our full measure of anti-moonbattery on the pathetic few in Highland Falls! Nope. Afterwards we went to two different locations; Poughkeepsie and Nanuet where moonbats are present every Saturday!
My pictures of Highland Falls are here.
Pamela’s pictures are here.
Jim’s pictures are here.
Some Videos are:
Pamela’s videos are here.
Path’s report on the day at Nanuet is available here.
Posted: 30 May 2008 05:39 PM CDT
Memorial Day stories will be shared as they come in from the different FOBs in Iraq. Each one is very special honoring our fallen heroes. Hopefully these stories will bring a measure of comfort to the families and friends left behind. There is a unique story of our troops joining residents of Kansas for a run to raise money for brain injuries. Key terrorist suspects captured, along with numerous weapons caches.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
May 30, 2008
MND-B Soldiers conduct operations to increase safety in Baghdad
BAGHDAD – MND-Baghdad Soldiers seized weapons throughout Baghdad, May 28 as they conducted ops to secure the area.
2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID seized a 155 mm projectile round with a detonation cord attached, a 120 mm mortar round, and a bag of TNT northwest of Baghdad.
1st BCT, 4th ID seized a 6-inch EFP starter kit, 2 pounds of C4 explosives, a 120 mm mortar round, and a 155 mm artillery round in the West Rashid district of Baghdad.
2nd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT), seized 2 4-foot tubes and 2 2-foot tubes with white powder, a mortar base, and 3 pressure plates in the Mansour district of Baghdad.
Vanguard Soldiers pay respect to fallen heroes
By Sgt. 1st Class Tami Hillis, 4th BCT, 3rd ID
FOB KALSU – Task Force Vanguard Soldiers honored their fallen brothers during a Memorial Day service, May 26.
“I am truly humbled to stand here before these great warriors, recognized by these symbols – a picture, a weapon, a helmet and boots – but more importantly, their spirits are here with us today, not only here forward but in our hearts and our memories,” said Col. Thomas James, cmdr of 4th BCT, 3rd ID.
Vanguard Soldiers and civilians came together to honor the 59 Vanguard warriors who paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving their nation for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
When each fallen Soldier’s name was announced, two Soldiers from his unit came forward and placed a flag honoring their fallen comrade. “It is the service of the Soldiers around the world and especially in this combat zone that mark their sacrifices,” James said. “Their families also answered the call of duty through their unwavering support for their loved ones who willingly risked their personal safety for the preservation of something greater than themselves.”
James, along with the bn. cmdrs. and command sgts major, laid a wreath in honor of the fallen comrades.
“I would like to close my remarks today by remembering the service and sacrifice of Task Force Vanguard’s first fallen warrior, Sgt. Samuel Kelsey, who was killed during combat ops in December 2007 in the small town of Khidr,” James said. “Sergeant Kelsey died trying to assist in the recovery of one of his Soldiers, Corporal
McGuire, immediately after McGuire himself had fallen victim to an IED. “Despite the knowledge that he was surrounded by IEDs, Sgt Kelsey listened to his Soldier’s instinct and immediately started moving to the aid of a fallen comrade. On his second step toward McGuire, Sgt Kelsey also stepped on a pressure plate that was rigged to a much larger explosive, killing him instantly. Sgt Kelsey, like the Task Force Vanguard fallen warriors before and after him, lived the Soldier’s Creed and was willing to die for the freedoms we enjoy and for his fellow Soldiers.”
A weapon, Kevlar and boots represent the fallen heroes.
Private First Class Michael McDaniel and Spc. Raymond Goss, both with Co. A, 3-7th Inf. Regt., pay their respects to their fallen comrade, Spc. Kyle Norris.
Vanguard’s leadership salute during the Brigade’s Memorial Day service.
NPs seize substantial munitions cache
BAGHDAD – Iraqi NP discovered a substantial munitions cache at approx. 12:55 a.m. in the Aamel area of Rashid, May 28 in southeastern Baghdad, consisting of 11 EFPs, 60 60 mm mortar rounds, 40 80 mm
mortar rounds, 20 120 mm mortar rounds, 100 pounds of military-grade C4 explosives, 50 pounds of homemade explosives, 3 RPG launchers, 20 RPG rounds, 2 Dragonov sniper rifles, a Dishka machine gun, 11 grenades, a rocket sled, a 180 mm mortar base plate, a 60 mm mortar base plate and several artillery timers.
Soldiers in Iraq join Kansas City citizens in their fight to help those suffering from brain injuries
By Spc. Jason Jordan
1st BCT, 10th Mtn. Div.
TIKRIT – Soldiers with the 3rd Bn, 6th FAR, 1st Bde, 10th Mtn Div joined the 21st annual Amy Thompson Run to Daylight – a charity event consisting of 2-mile and 8-kilometer events in Kansas City, Kan., that raises money to help those suffering from brain injuries. Amy Thompson was a 23-year-old college graduate enjoying her life as a third-grade teacher when she was shot twice in the head during an attempted robbery at a neighborhood party Halloween night in 1986.
Both groups of runners on each side of the world held a moment of silence before their run, honoring servicemembers. The 3-6 FA Soldiers spoke aloud the names of 11 members of the 1-10th Mtn. Div. who
were killed since their deployment began in September – with a moment of silence following each name.
Soldiers with the 1st BCT, along with Airmen and civilian contractors on FOB Warrior in northeastern Iraq’s Kirkuk region – bow their heads during a moment of silence for fallen comrades before participating in a run for charity on Memorial Day.
In 110 degrees they run towards the sunrise.
Memorial honors 1-8 Infantry’s fallen
By Pfc. Adam Blazak
MOSUL – For many, Memorial Day is a time for barbeques, spending time with family and taking the first dip in the pool. For Soldiers with CoB, 1st Bn, 8th Inf Regt, Memorial Day has a much more significant meaning.
“This is a day to reflect upon sacrifices our brothers and sisters have made,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Johns, cmder of 1-8 Inf. Regt.
Since the co. touched ground in late December 2007, the Soldiers have fought for the freedoms of the Iraqi people, but those freedoms have come at a price. The co. rolled out of FOB Marez into the city of Mosul to conduct a combat patrol Jan. 28. During the patrol, one of their vehicles was struck by an IED, killing 5 Soldiers of Co B. In wake of the deaths, Staff built a memorial inside 1-8 Inf. Regt. HQ to commemorate the co.’s fallen.
On display are photos of the 5 Soldiers and the traditional fallen Soldier’s display; combat boots representing the final march of the last battle, the inverted rifle signaling a time of prayer, the helmet and ID tags signifying the fallen Soldier.
Since Op Iraqi Freedom kicked off in 2003, 15 Soldiers from 1-8 Inf. Regt. have lost their lives in combat. “I wanted to do something special for my guys,” Staff added. “I put a lot of extra work and detail into it.”
“I hold Memorial Day dear to my heart,” said Sgt. 1st Class John B. Guidry, a Soldier with Co B who worked with the 5 Soldiers. “They will never be forgotten with this memorial.”
A Soldier with Co B, goes one-by-one through the identification tags of his fallen comrades.
26th BSB celebrates Memorial Day
By Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky, 2nd BCT, 3rd ID
FOB KALSU – In the early morning light May 26, standing in formation near their vehicles and equipment, Soldiers of the 26th BSB, 2nd BCT Team, 3rd ID gathered to remember those who lost their lives for their
country, and to strengthen bonds with those still serving.
“Today, on Memorial Day, we honor our fallen comrades and remember what they’ve done,” said Maj. Henry Young, 26th BSB EO. For the 26th BSB, the day was especially meaningful, as the battalion lost two of their own this deployment: Sgt. Mason Lewis and Pfc. Leron Wilson.
“We will not forget our fallen comrades,” Young said. The best way to honor their memories, he said, was to continue on, push forward and, like them, perform honorable deeds in service to America and its ideals.
Serving as a more tangible reminder were American flags donated by Montgomery Elementary School in Ashland, Ohio. The children also wrote letters to the Soldiers thanking them for their sacrifices. The children adopted the Soldiers after learning of them from Chap. (Capt.) Javon Seaborn, 26th BSB chaplain. Seaborn’s wife, a school teacher at Reams Road Elementary, Richmond, Va., coordinated with other teachers to locate classes looking to sponsor Soldiers.
The letters offered words of encouragement and thanks to uplift Soldiers in battle. Seaborn said each Soldier is scheduled to write back to offer the children words of encouragement in their schoolwork battles. Seaborn has been in contact with Montgomery School principal Julie Petruna. “We want to encourage them to learn about Soldiers and understand the Army,” Seaborn said.
Seaborn hopes children will not only learn more about the military, but also gain a deeper respect for those who serve and the veterans who paid the ultimate price, not just on Memorial Day but every day.
Forty Soldiers have died during the 2nd BCT’s tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Brandon Knight, a radio communications repair specialist with Co B, 26th BSB, grabs a flag out of a box held by bn Chap. (Capt.) Javon Seaborn.
Soldiers from 26th BSB read notes from children.
A Soldier holds a flag and note from a child.
Aviation Soldiers remember the fallen
By Pfc. Monica K. Smith, 3rd CAB
CAMP STRIKER – Soldiers from the CAB, 3rd ID remembered fallen comrades during a Memorial Day
Remembrance at the CAB flightline dining facility in Baghdad, May 26.
“This is a time to remember our fallen colleagues,” said Chap. (Capt.) Felix Kumai, HHC, 1st Bn, 3rd Aviation Regt. “We are in this together, and we wanted to memorialize the memory of them.”
The observance was open to anyone who wanted to reflect and pray. Soldiers arrived at the dining facility during regular meal-times and remained as long as they desired.
“For me, it’s important to never forget the sacrifices that are required for freedom,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Woiwode, Troop B, 3rd Sqdrn, 17th Cav Regt. Woiwode said this freedom is evident in the American homes and happening right now in the homes of Iraqi citizens through sacrifices made by fighting servicemembers. “It’s important that we never forget the cost of freedom,” he said.
Chaplains were present to give support to Soldiers. The vigil began at midnight May 25 and continued until midnight Memorial Day with a chaplain from the brigade praying once every six hours.
“We pray for them to have peace and be united with God,” Kumai said. “They have made the ultimate sacrifice and it is our prayer that our Soldiers, who have fallen … will be the seed on which a new Iraq is built.”
Chap. (Capt.) Felix Kumai, prays during a Memorial Day Remembrance.
IA Soldiers continue to seize weapons in Sadr City
BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers took a number of weapons out of the control of criminals during Op Peace in Sadr City, May 27, consisting of 27 EFPs, a mortar tube, 30 AK-47s and an AK-47 magazine, 6 sniper rifle, 2 RPG launchers, 4 60 mm mortar rounds, 6 rounds of .50-caliber ammo, and other related munitions.
Iraqi civilians lead Coalition forces to hidden weapons caches
CAMP VICTORY – A local Iraqi led CF to 2 large weapon caches near al-Duar, 18 miles south of Baghdad, May 27. The larger of the 2 caches, which was 30 meters from the second cache, was found buried 3 feet in the side of a hill.
The combined caches contained more than 900 pounds of home-made explosives. The larger cache had 600 pounds of HME, and the smaller one had 300 pounds of gun powder fertilizer mix. The caches also included 8 120 mm high explosive rounds, more than 300 mortar fuses, 2 mortar tripods, a 120 mm mortar tube with base plate, a 250 pound bomb, 300 rounds of 23 mm anti-aircraft propelled grenades, 170 RPG boosters, 22 73 mm rockets, a 105 mm projectile, a mortar sight, mortar protractor, various sizes of mortar tailfins, a 73 mm rifle tube, a radio and a 120 mm illumination canister.
Iraqi Special Operations Forces capture terrorist in Mosul
BALAD – Iraqi SOF captured a suspected terrorist in eastern Mosul, Iraq, May 26.
The ISOF conducted an operation to capture a suspected leader of an AQI cell operating in the Mosul area. Three other suspects were detained. The terrorist and his cell are believed to be responsible for IED attacks against Iraqi and CF, and recruiting for AQI in the Mosul area.
ISOF capture three Special Groups criminals in separate operations
BALAD – Iraqi SOF captured 3 suspected Special Groups criminals in 2 separate ops around Baghdad, May 27.
The ISOF captured 2 suspected criminals accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing Iraqi citizens and forcing them out of their homes.
In another op in Baghdad, ISOF captured a suspected criminal reported to be responsible for attacks against Iraqi and CF. The suspect reportedly assisted in acquiring rockets, mortars and IEDs used in the attacks.
MND-B Soldiers detain terror suspect
BAGHDAD – In Tarmiyah, northwest of Baghdad, May 26, Soldiers with 1st Bn, 14th Inf Regt, 2nd Stryker
BCT, 25th ID, detained the suspect, who is accused of recruiting juveniles in the area to carry out attacks on Iraqi SF and CF.
MND-C Soldiers find homemade explosive cache
CAMP STRIKER – A tip led MND-Center Soldiers to approx. 900 pounds of homemade explosives north of Patrol Base Shanghai, about 22 km southwest of Baghdad, May 26.
Rakkasan Soldiers from Co B, 3rd Bn, 187th Inf Regt, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT) uncovered a cache consisting of 18 50-pound bags of homemade explosive.
Iraqi Police detain two key criminals in Seddah area
FOB KALSU – IP detained 2 key criminals in the Seddah area, approx. 65 km south of Baghdad, May 22.
IP notified Soldiers from 2nd Plt, Co C, 3rd Bn, 7th Inf Regt, 4th BCT, 3rd ID about the key criminals and handed them over to CF at the Musayyib IP Station, May 23.
“The detainment of these criminals continues to show the people in the area the strong relationship between the IP and CF, and their commitment to providing a safe and secure environment,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Williams, 2nd Plt Sgt.
The 2 individuals are suspected of being indirect fire experts and involved in the March rocket attacks on the Regional Embassy Office in al-Hillah. During their detainment, one of the individuals tried throwing a
notebook into a canal, but the IPs retrieved it and the notebook was translated. The translation revealed grid coordinates and other info about FOBs, govt buildings and other places of interest, according to Williams.
Posted: 29 May 2008 10:26 AM CDT
Dear Interested Readers,
Two more Memorial Day Ceremonies are shared with us to honor our fallen heroes. We celebrate their lives with positive stories such as a little girl having a chance to see again, thanks to the love of a special soldier; our compassionate troops adopting a small orphanage; Iraqi soldiers learning radio skills; and kudos to the Regimental Support Squadron of the 2nd Stryker Cav Regt., earning distinguished honors. Huge weapons caches removed from the streets, and many suspected criminals detained.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
May 29, 2008
Iraqi Soldiers find large explosives cache
TIKRIT – Mosul, May 26, IA soldiers uncover 5 tons of homemade explosives, a ton of nitrate, 10 bottles of liquid nitrate, 5 oxygen tanks, more than 1,100 pounds of gunpowder and 220 pounds of ball bearings.
During Ops Lion’s Roar and Mother of Two Springs, the IA and IP have discovered 40 weapons and explosives caches throughout Mosul and the Ninewah Province.
MND-N Soldiers honor fallen comrades during Memorial Day in Iraq
Soldiers from the 1st Bde, 10th Mtn Div render a salute as the American Flag is raised at noon on Memorial Day at FOB Warrior in the Ta’mim province of Iraq. Soldiers, Airmen and civilians gathered for the time-honored tradition to render their respect for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the nation’s wars
Chaplain’s asst., Spc. Kevin Moffett sounds ‘Taps’.
IPs, SOIs detain 41 locals
TIKRIT – IP and local SoI detained 41 local men in the Salah ad-Din province, May 27. The mens’ IDs were checked, and it was discovered that all were suspected of committing or supporting illegal activities.
After the suspects were detained, IPs and SoIs conducted various searches and confiscated approximately 700 rounds of machine gun ammo.
IA finds large cache in Ta’mim province
TIKRIT – During a cordon and search op, the IA found a large weapons cache in the Ta’mim province, May 26, consisting of 5 RPG launchers, 45 RPG rockets, more than 125 anti-aircraft artillery rounds, more than
110 various propellant charges, a DSHK machinegun, more than 300 communication devices and more than 2,500 meters of detonation cord.
IA Soldiers take weapons off streets of Sadr City
BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers continued their pledge to protect the population of Sadr City as they seized a number of weapons caches during Op Peace, May 26, including 9 RPG launchers, 42 RPG rounds, 31 IEDs, 30 60 mm mortar rounds, 3 120 mm artillery rounds, 5 80 mm mortar tubes, 200 80 mm charge increments, 140 Dishka rounds, 12 bricks of C4 explosive, 2 SPG rockets, 246 kgs of TNT, 9 anti-tank rockets, 360 meters of electrical wire, 9 boxes, plus 500 7.62 mm rounds, 17 EFPs, 7 155 mm artillery rounds, 5 AK-47s, 141 TNT tablets, 103 anti-tank mines, 20 hand grenades, a 100 mm tank round, 150 14.5 mm rounds, 87 88 mm mortar rounds, 4 PKC rifles, 107 rounds of PKC ammo, 3 RPG propellants, 19 AK-47 magazines, 3 anti-aircraft warheads, and an anti-aircraft artillery round, and other weapons components.
‘Knights’ in armor help orphaned children
By Spc. Dustin Weidman
BAGHDAD – No conflict is without tragedies and this one is no different. In the midst of war, children sometimes get overlooked. Iraq has many orphanages filled with children, but for one in Ibrahim Bin Ali, their “knights” in armor arrived.
The “Knights” of 3rd Plt, Co B, 1st Bn, 21st Inf Regt, 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th Inf Div, have taken a special interest in the orphanage and its children since their arrival in the area in January. First Lt. Tony Sgroi, “Knights” plt leader said his Soldiers “adopted” the orphanage. Soldiers have become friends with the children and always evoke eager cheers and smiles when they hand out candy and pens during their visits. Some of the platoon’s Soldiers have gotten their families involved as well.
“My wife sends my care packages loaded with candy for the kids,” said Sgt. Bryan Doe. “You see many of them have lost parents and loved ones to the insurgent presence here, and your heart goes out to them.”
The children are not the only ones who enjoy seeing their “Knights,” the adult workers welcome the plt with open arms at each visit and are almost as excited as the children when they see the Strykers roll up.
Tony Sgroi, talks to the administrators of a small orphanage.
Iraqi officers teach soldiers radio skills
IA Soldiers partnered with the 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, practice talking on radios, May 23. This communications class is one of many classes where IA officers train their soldiers at FOB Constitution, west of Baghdad. These classes, are designed to help every IA soldier to become a better soldier in the fight against terror.
Iraqi girl travels to U.S. in effort to see for first time
By Sgt. David Turner, 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.,
FOB KALSU – During a morning visit to Taha Deyad’s house, 1st Lt. Michael Kendrick sits at the family table, eating flatbread with jam and fried eggs, and sipping chai tea. “I eat a lot of meals here,” Kendrick says. It is clear he is a welcomed guest and a family friend, and not just because he’s the leader of the platoon responsible for this neighborhood in al-Buaytha.
As he sits at the table talking to Taha, 5-year-old daughter Noor insists on sitting next to him. She often holds his hand, and sometimes, she whispers in his ear or offers a kiss on his cheek. Kendrick, the father of two young daughters, is not only tolerant; he enjoys the little girl’s company. She wears a pair of purple children’s sunglasses Kendrick’s wife, Robin, sent as a gift. And soon, she may need them.
Kendrick’s visit that day was special. With him is Lt. Col. Hyun Lee, battalion surgeon from the 1st Bn, 30th Inf Regt, who is here to review final preparations for a trip Noor is taking. It is a trip, that if successful, will give Noor the ability to see, something she has never been able to do. Noor has been blind since birth. A condition called sclerocornea makes it possible for her to detect only vague impressions of light. Her father, a schoolteacher, has a brother with the same illness who lives with the family in their house on the banks of the Tigris River.
When Kendrick arrived here last year as part of 3rd Plt, Co D, 1-30th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT Team, 3rd ID, he began meeting residents of al-Buaytha. “Our philosophy, especially mine, is that we would get out and get with the people to talk about what their issues were, what their problems were,” he said. Soon he met Taha, who in addition to teaching at the nearby al-Harah school, is also a contractor and community council member, working on projects to rebuild his village’s damaged infrastructure. “He’s been ‘our go-to-guy’,” said Kendrick, who hails from Phoenix. “He’s a friend of mine; he’s a friend of all of ours. He takes care of my men and we try to take care of him and his family. He’s part of our extended family as far as our platoon is concerned.”
Taha helped work on several community projects, such as rebuilding and improving the school. He said his friendship with Kendrick began as soon as they met. Then Kendrick visited the family’s house and met young Noor. “When he came and sat with me, he saw Noor,” Taha said. “Noorsat with him and touched him, because she cannot see. She thinks everyone cannot see, like her. After that, she asked me about Kendrick. ‘Father, where does Kendrick come from? Father, is Kendrick a good man or a bad man?’ Every time she would ask about him. One day she told me, ‘Father, ‘I love Kendrick.'”
“We’re there five to six days a week on patrol, so Noor was naturally part of our patrol. We’d check in with Taha, see how they were doing and check in on Noor, as well,” Kendrick said. Then Kendrick got the idea to try and do something about Noor’s blindness. As it turned out, little Noor was a prime candidate for surgery, further involving the battalion. When Lt. Col. Kenneth Adgie, 1-30th Inf. Regt. cmdr., heard about Noor, he backed the project.
Initially, Air Force ophthalmologists were to perform the procedure, but when that option failed, other avenues were explored. The Eye Defects Research Foundation, a non-governmental org. based in Los Angeles, stepped in to help. They found a doctor in the US willing to perform the procedure and secured visas for Noor and her mother Shaymaa to travel there.
Early Memorial Day morning, Kendrick and members of his platoon picked up Noor, Shaymaa and Taha and gave them a ride to Baghdad International Airport.
Kendrick, who is scheduled to redeploy with the 2nd BCT in July, would like to see Noor return home before he leaves. “It would be an awesome capstone, to get this done,” Kendrick said. “This is one of a hundred things we’ve accomplished as far as improving the lives of people in our area. As far as my piece of the puzzle is concerned, I can lay my head at night knowing I’ve done everything I can do.”
He has many other good experiences to look back on. When he arrived in al-Buaytha, violence was still common. Now, it looks as if peace is becoming permanent. “It was awful. Now you’ve got kids going to school every day, kids walking to school. You’ve got families opening stores. People walk around their [neighborhoods]. They’re proud of their communities again,” he said.
Though the surgery isn’t guaranteed to give Noor her vision, Taha, as a father and a teacher, is hopeful of her prospects.
Noor, a young girl receiving eye surgery in the U.S., entertains 1st Lt. Michael Kendrick, while he eats breakfast at her family’s house in al-Buaytha, May 25.
Noor, leads 1st Lt. Michael Kendrick, on a walk through her yard. Noor is wearing the sunglasses Kendrick’s wife sent her as a gift.
Noor, says goodbye to 1st Lt. Michael Kendrick, at Baghdad International Airport May 26.
Noor says goodbye to her father, Taha.
Honoring the memory of fallen Soldiers
By Spc. Cynthia S. Teears
TIKRIT – MND-North held a Memorial Day of Remembrance at COB Speicher May 26 to honor the
fallen Soldiers of their current deployment.
The Patriot Brass, a small group of Soldiers from the Task Force Iron Band, set the mood and played several patriotic pieces throughout the ceremony. During the ceremony, there was a presentation with historical pictures of American Soldiers and the 78 Soldiers of MND-N who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Sgt. Rachel B. Reese sings America the Beautiful.
Regimental Support Squadron earns distinguished honors
TIKRIT – The Regimental Support Sqdrn of the 2nd Stryker Cav Regt was selected as the 2008 Distinguished Unit of the Quartermaster Regt, May 16.
“This award is a mark of distinction coming at an important point in our history,” said Lt. Col. Danny F. Tilzey, cmdr. It just so happens winning the award coincides with the 172nd birthday of the 2nd SCR on May 23. The great achievements of the 2nd SCR traces back to 1836 when the unit was known as the 2nd Regt Dragoons.
The regt. has participated in a number of campaigns throughout its history, such as Little Big Horn,
Gettysburg, Aisne-Marne, Normandy, Leyte, Desert Storm and today the Global War on Terrorism.
“It is a great honor to have won this distinguished award,” said Tilzey. ” “Throughout our deployment, the RSS overcame any adversity, conquered any challenge, completed any assigned missions, and in doing so provided unparalleled support to this great regt. and nation.”
Throughout its history, the RSS has played an integral part of the longest active serving cav regt in the U.S. Army. RSS Troopers, logisticians known as “Muleskinners,” have always provided first-class support to the warfighter, ensuring units had the resources they needed to complete the mission.
The support squadron, like the regiment, continues to live up to its motto, Muleskinners, “Always Ready!”
Support Our Service People, a volunteer troop support organization that has been active in sending care packages to our troops overseas is hosting a Pig Roast at the Saugerties Elk Lodge on Saturday, June 21, 2008. Admission is FREE to all who have served in the Middle East in the Global War on Terrorism. For everyone else the donation is $15, less for children. Call 845-246-4247 or 845-246-3390 to make your reservations!
Who: Support Our Service People (SOS) and the Saugerties Elk Lodge
What: Pig Roast Benefit
Where: Saugerties Elk Lodge, Rte 32, Saugerties, NY
When: Saturday, June 21, 2008, 2pm
Donation: $15/adult, Less for Children, Free to Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
Contact: 845-246-4247 or 845-246-3390
Guest Speaker: MSgt Andrew Howarth who served with the 104th MP Battalion.
Food, Music, Beverages and Prizes
The US Army Recruiting Station in Kingston will provide a virtual shooting range where you can try out your marksmanship skills!
Proceeds from this benefit will be used to ship more packages this year.
Posted: 28 May 2008 11:33 AM CDT
Dear Interested Readers,
A very moving Memorial Day service at Camp Liberty honoring our fallen heroes. Mid-level Special Groups leader of a 300 member cell captured! Iraqi SF Soldiers learn combat camera skills, and Baghdadi Bridge opens! Numerous weapons caches removed from the streets, and more criminals captured or killed.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
May 28, 2008
Iraqi Special Operations Forces detain Special Groups leader
BALAD – Iraqi SOF captured a mid-level Special Groups leader in the al-Shuala area of Baghdad, May 25.
The ISOF conducted a successful op to capture the suspected leader of a 300-member criminal group who is accused of kidnapping and murdering Iraqi citizens and is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The suspect is an employee for the Ministry of Interior. This suspect’s group is also allegedly responsible for weapons smuggling and IED and EFP attacks against Iraqi and CF in Baghdad.
Two other suspected Special Groups criminals were detained during the op.
ISF learn combat camera skills, document missions
BALAD – Over the past six months, some Iraqi SWAT teams, and Iraqi SOF have been learning how to combat terrorism and insurgency through the use of imagery.
U.S. Army Maj. Joseph Peterson, Civil-Military Ops Officer of the Combined Joint Special Ops Task Force-Arabian Peninsula in Balad, is a proponent of a new program to teach camera skills to ISF.
U.S. Army Sgt McCoy developed a combat camera course for ISF and served as its first instructor. He adapted the 10-month curriculum he learned from the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, Md., and condensed it to a two-week program that can be used to teach Iraqi troops in the field.
“They went from looking at a camera and wondering, ‘What do you want me to do with this?’ to holding the camera with confidence and saying, ‘Let me show you what I can do with this!'” McCoy said. “To me, the overall knowledge they gained was impressive for 10 days.”
Through the course, Hillah ISWAT learned police photography functions, such as crime-scene photography, and how to do media outreach by taking video during missions and providing that video to the local media.
Three other ISWAT units have completed the combat camera course and are now also interfacing with the community through their new media outreach capabilities.
McCoy added military elements of photography such as operational security, handling classified info, and combat documentary photography to the basic elements of the course.
McCoy also provided instruction in teaching techniques and materials. As a result, one student instructed the first Iraqi-taught combat camera course, graduating seven members May 6. “They were eager to learn everything they possibly could. They were really focused, paid attention … They were motivated from seeing some of the work that the ISOF combat camera guys did before them,” said McCoy.
The first mission with ISOF combat camera-trained personnel was the liberation of the southern city of Basrah in March. As the troops pushed through the city, a newly-trained ISOF combat cameraman documented every move the SF made.
CJSOTF airdrops humanitarian support to al-Amarah
Combined Joint Special Ops Task Force airdropped needed humanitarian supplies to al-Amarah, May 21. C-130 loadmasters released over six pallets of humanitarian support over the past three days. The cargo includes water, clothing and toys.
Operation Siegfried Line nets detainees
FOB FALCON – MND-Baghdad Soldiers detained numerous suspected criminals in the Bayaa community as a result of Op Siegfried Line May 24 in southern Baghdad.
At approx. 11:45 a.m., Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained 40 suspected militants for questioning.
Soldiers from 1st BCTdetained a known criminal at 12:15 a.m. during an early morning op in the Jihad community of southern Baghdad.
Baghdadi bridge opens for traffic
Maj. Gen. John F. Kelly (second from the left), the comm. gen. of MNF-West, escorts the first Iraqi citizens across the newly-constructed Mabey-Johnson float bridge in Baghdadi, May 24. The bridge stretches across the Euphrates River and reduces travel time to communities on the opposite side of the river by eight hours.
Six-year-old Gaith Saood receives a coin from Maj. Gen. Kelly. Saood was one of the first Iraqi civilians to cross.
MND-B Soldiers remember fallen heroes, comrades
CAMP LIBERTY – A hero is defined as being a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities – also, as a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
“Today is that one day out of the year we take time to remember our fallen and the sacrifices they made for the freedoms we share on a daily basis,” said Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia, who serves as the senior enlisted leader with MND-B and the 4th ID. “In this case, we take time today to memorialize 75 of our fallen comrades – it’s a very special day.”
“I think Soldiers who wear this uniform possess great moral courage and character,” Gioia said. “It’s not about going to barbeques and fireworks. It’s about wearing this uniform and going into harm’s way – and protecting our nation so that others can enjoy the freedoms we all share.”
Gioia has personally attended every memorial ceremony for each MND-B Soldier who has fallen and said that each one feels like another piece of the fabric of his soul is taken away, and ceremonies like this remind him that it wasn’t all for not.
“I think it is important here, in Iraq, to honor Memorial Day because we are here to protect and provide security for the Iraqi people,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jim Carter, who serves as the division chaplain for MND-B and the 4th ID. “It’s important to remember that we are honoring not just our Soldiers, but we are also honoring our Iraqi brothers as we are here to support them and their land against the radical extremist-criminals who seek to take away our freedoms.”
“For over 104 years, Americans have gathered on Memorial Day. We do this to honor our fallen heroes, but we really gather to honor America’s broken hearts – those who were killed in the cause for freedom and the Families who were left behind,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, who serves as the comm. gen. for MND-B and the 4th ID. “We honor their lives; we honor their sacrifices and the dream they died for – their children.”
To conclude the commemoration, Gioia read the names of the 75 fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice. A 21-gun salute reverberated throughout the gathering before an honor guard cased the national colors. A bugler from the 4th ID band played “Taps” to pay homage to the memories of the brave men and women of MND-B who gave their lives for freedom.
“Clearly, no one understands the meaning of Memorial Day more than (Soldiers),” Hammond said. “We see it; we feel it, and our generation has lived it.”
The flags fly at half mast during a Memorial Day remembrance ceremony.
Staff Sgt. David Cotti plays “Taps” at conclusion.
Seven MND-Baghdad Soldiers render a salute with arms.
Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia recites the names of the fallen.
Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, addressed his fellow Soldiers.
IA Soldiers seize numerous weapons in Sadr City
BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers seized a number of weapons caches while conducting clearing ops in Sadr City during Op Peace, May 25.
IA Soldiers searched several buildings and warehouses and discovered 6 EFPs, 20 one-liter cans of TNT, 11 car engines filled with homemade explosives, 3 Russian anti-tank mines, an anti-tank round, 9 RPGs, 8 RPG launchers, 14 RPG charges, and one RPG radar system. They also found a 60 mm mortar round, an 88 mm mortar round, 11 120 mm mortar rounds, a 100 mm artillery round, 5 130 mm artillery rounds, 3 155 mm artillery rounds, a Katusha rocket, 4 30 mm anti-aircraft rounds, a blasting cap, 2 Glock 9 mm pistols and a flare pistol, 30 AK-47s, 4r rifles, a Russian Smirnov rifle, 51 loaded AK-47 magazines, and 1,152 7.62 rounds, as well as 2 detonators with batteries, 4 camcorder tapes, a binocular sight, a spool of wire, and a cell phone with a charger and battery.
Iraqis, MND-B Soldiers discover weapons caches
BAGHDAD – A SoI member and a local citizen teamed up with MND-Baghdad Soldiers to discover 3 weapons caches May 25, in Baghdad.
Soldiers from 3rd BCT, 4th ID, seized a single barrel ,12-gauge shotgun, an AK-47, 21 .22 center-fire rounds, 19 .38 mm rounds, 25 9 mm rounds, 4 AK-47 magazines, several 12-gauge buckshot shells and 400 7.62 mm rounds at approx. 7:50 a.m. in Sadr City.
At approx. 6:40 p.m., Soldiers from 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, acting on a tip from a local citizen, seized a laser-guided 85 mm missile and a 155 mm mortar round northwest of Baghdad.
At approx. 8:10 p.m. northwest of Baghdad, an SoI member turned in 8 60 mm mortars to Soldiers from 2nd SBCT 25th ID at JSS Al Awad north of Baghdad.
Join the Patriot Guard Riders to honor and recognize the soldiers of the 3-142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion who are deploying to Iraq as the assault helicopter battalion element within the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom..
Who: 3-142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, Headquarters Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Commanding Officer: LTC Albert Ricci
Command Sergeant Major: CSM Christopher Imbarrato
What: Deployment Farewell Ceremonies
Where: Saint Josephs College, Patchogue, NY (See below for final staging area for ride to location). If you can not make it to the group ride in, please try to arrive before the ceremony starts (10 AM) to avoid any interruptions.
When: Saturday, May 31, 2008, 9:00am
The Final staging area will be in the Gateway Plaza in Patchogue.It is the King Kullen and Bob’s store Plaza (Gateway Plaza, 499 Sunrise Hwy, Patchogue, NY 11772 / North side of Sunrise Hwy just west of Waverly Ave.) and has a KSU time of 0900 AM.
Posted: 27 May 2008 05:00 PM CDT
Dear Interested Readers,
Our agricultural advisers are helping the date palm crop. Basra continues to show progress in security as humanitarian and reconstruction projects continue, and large scale engineering projects are planned for the future. The “Screaming Eagles” brings attention to the medical needs of a community. Sons of Iraq get the opportunity to become policemen. Criminals are captured and weapons caches removed.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
May 27, 2008
Date palm trees sprayed
By Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky, 2nd BCT, 3rd ID
FOB KALSU – On May 22, an aggressive aerial campaign in Sayafiyah and Arab Jabour targeted pests, which had caused countless damage to palm trees over the past year.
“Left unchecked, the dubas beetle, which bores into the tree and kills it, can seriously disrupt the production of dates in the area,” said Mike Stevens, a Baghdad-7 embedded PRT agriculture adviser. “Behind oil, dates were once the main export of Iraq.”
The spraying had no CF involvement. Unlike many previous projects in the area, this one was conducted solely by the Ministry of Agriculture, using their helicopter fleet.
The entire campaign represents a significant step for local farmers and shows the population that the GoI is taking action to bring support to the area.
IPs find large cache, detain 5 suspected terrorists
TIKRIT- IP conducted an op in Mosul, May 25, discovered a large cache and detained 5 suspected AQI.
The cache consisted of more than 80 uncompleted IEDs, more than 60 complete IEDs, 250 pounds of TNT, more than 40 homemade sticks of dynamite and more than 10 artillery rounds.
This find marks the 8th cache found in the Ninewah province within the last 72 hours.
Operation Charge of the Knights continues operations in Az Zubayr
BASRA – Op Charge of the Knights, continued ops in Az Zubayr, 20 km southwest of Basra, May 25.
The op, which began March 24 in Basra, is clearing towns surrounding the Basra area of suspected criminal elements, securing detainees and weapons caches.
IA Soldiers led the planning and execution of the most recent mission. UK and US Mitts remain, with U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps, embedded with their Iraqi SF counterparts to enable the application of Coalition assets, if necessary.
Humanitarian support missions continue as well as provincial reconstruction efforts in the Basra area. They are also continuing cooperative medical engagements, and planning large scale engineering projects for the future.
ISF and Regimental Combat Team 1 discover significant caches
CAMP FALLUJAH – Elements of Regimental Combat team 1, including IP and IA units, working off tips from Iraqi civilians uncovered numerous caches in AO East this week.
Between May 18 and 24, caches were found that consisted of 1,329 types of indirect fire munitions such as mortar rounds, rockets and artillery rounds.
The caches consisted of 33 RPGs, along with fuses and other miscellaneous equipment, 1,200 pounds of
explosives, 19 weapons, including light and heavy machine guns, anti-aircraft weapons and sniper rifles, approx. 5,000 types of small-arms ammo such as .50-caliber, 7.62 mm, 9 mm and sniper rifle ammo, approx. 1,600 types of IED making materials, such as detonation cord, electronic initiating devices and command wire, more than 580 other types of ordnance, such as a 136 mm rocket, 380 23 mm high-explosive incendiary anti-aircraft rounds, and an air-surface/surface-surface round.
ISF, MND-B Soldiers continue to take weapons off streets in Baghdad
BAGHDAD – Iraqi Security Forces and Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers confiscated a number of weapons and munitions throughout Baghdad May 25, consisting of 15 RPGs, 4 RPG rounds, more than 80 AK-47s, 3 SKS rifles, 3 9 mm pistols, a 38 mm pistol, 4 radio handsets with batteries, 3 EFPs, 4 two-way radios, 9 fuses, and other weapon components.
IA Soldiers seize weapons caches during Sadr City operation
BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers conducting ops in the Sadr City district of Baghdad during Op Peace uncovered several weapons caches May 24, as they continue to secure the area to protect the local population.
Weapon caches seized consisted of a 155 mm round, 13 RPGs, 41 AK-47 rifles, 2 Smirnov sniper rifles, 18 anti-aircraft rounds, 209 7.62 mm magazines, 9 EFPs, more than 200 lbs. of homemade explosives, an RPK machine gun, a SKS rifle, a bayonet, 77 AK-47 magazines, 82 7.62 mm rounds, 7 hand grenades, 500 PKC rounds, 120 rounds of ammo, 2 IEDs, a set of Russian night-vision goggles, and a crate of TNT.
Government officials, U.S. work to heal, unite
By Capt. Drew Sandstrum
PB KEMPLE – For the first time in recent history, the GoI came to the aid of local residents requiring medical care in al-Betra and Owesat, about 25 km southwest of Baghdad, May 20.
Assisted by Soldiers of Co A, 3rd Bn, 187th Inf Regt, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT), GoI officials and Iraqi doctors flew to a school in the remote community of al-Betra to provide medical care and discuss the extension of govt services to the area.
The adjoining communities of al-Betra and Owesat sit on the western shores of the Euphrates River. The area falls under the jurisdiction of Anbar Province and Ameriyah-Fallujah Nahia, despite being more than 30 kms from the nahia govt and more than 40 km from Fallujah, the seat of provincial govt.
This mission marks a turning point in the effort to integrate the communities into govt ops.
Following a recent meeting concerning the al-Betra area with Mayor Hassan, of Ameriyah, Capt. Nathan Raymond, cmdr. of Co. A, 3-187th Inf. Regt., said an upcoming air assault mission was an excellent occasion for the mayor to visit the area. “It seemed like a perfect opportunity,” Raymond said. “These people want to take care of themselves, so the best thing we can do for them is help them make contact with the govt officials who can help them do that.”
After picking up Hassan at a Coalition patrol base in Ameriyah, helicopters loaded with Soldiers of Co A, doctors and Iraqi advisers touched down outside the school in al-Betra shortly after sunrise. While locals lined up to be seen, 2 helicopters dropped medical supplies in the school’s courtyard.
Najim Jassim, a local nurse, arrived with the helicopters and quickly began organizing patients for care. Assisted by Dr. Ali, an Iraqi medical adviser to CF, and Dr. (Maj.) Angela Uy, of Co C, 626th BSB, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT), Jassim helped treat 128 local residents throughout the day. “I’m glad we were able to do this,” she said. “Normally, there are so many people that I do not have enough supplies to help everyone, but today has been good.”
Local sheikhs were pleased with the op and its outcome, and expressed their gratitude to CF for helping bring GoI attention to their community. “Screaming Eagles are a part of us now,” said Sheikh Ismael. “Nobody put any effort into this area until the Screaming Eagles did. We are looking forward to our own govt taking care of us now, but we will always remember what Screaming Eagles did for us.”
Doctor (Maj.) Angela Uy, examines a child.
MPs screen possible IP recruits
MP Sgt. 1st Class Jim Meneley, 18th MP Bde explains the reviewing process of a SoI application packet to a civilian translator as they review and assist the Iraqi Provincial Directorate of Police (Baghdad) with hundreds of SOI application packets. The packets subsequently are submitted to the Ministry of Interior to be processed into hiring orders. The hiring orders will give SOI members the opportunity to serve their country by becoming IP. The packets being reviewed are part of the IP expansion program to hire SOI members to become future IP.
MND-B Soldiers seize weapons caches, detain two criminals
BAGHDAD – May 24, Soldiers with 1st BCT, 4th ID, seized 3 60 mm mortar rounds at approx. 6:45 a.m. in West Rashid.
Soldiers from 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID discovered a weapons cache northwest of Baghdad at approx. 12:30 p.m. consisting of 2 122 mm mortar rounds, 5 105 mm projectile rounds,4 85 mm mortar rounds, 3 82 mm mortar rounds, a 60 mm mortar round, an 80 mm mortar round, a 106 mm inert projectile, a .50-caliber machine gun, an MG42 machine gun and the remnants of an anti-tank mine.
SoI members, along with Soldiers with 3rd Sqdrn, 7th Cav Regt, currently supporting the 3rd BCT, 4th ID, detained a suspected criminal in the northern Baghdad district of Adhamiyah.
At approx. 10:50 p.m. in the New Baghdad district, Soldiers with the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div, spotted criminals transporting weapons. The Soldiers wounded and detained one criminal.
VFW Post 3175 and Renegade Classics are sponsoring a Wounded Warrior Charity Benefit & Run on Saturday, May 31, 2008 in Middletown, NY. Proceeds to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
Who: VFW Post 3175 and Renegade Classics
What: Wounded Warrior Charity Benefit & Run
Where: Renegade Classics, Rte 78, Middletown, NY
When: Saturday, May 31, 2008, 11am – 10pm
Donation: $15/adult, $7/Children ages 4-12
Party at VFW 3175, Rte 6, Greenville, NY from 2pm to 10pm
Music by Nailed Shut Band and Ruppert Snap Dog Band
Entertainment by the W.K. Wilcox Magic Show
Cash bar, raffles, door prizes
Ride through Sullivan County sponsored by Rolling Thunder NY4 and the Monticello Elks. The ride will be followed by a Poker Run and Chicken BBQ at the Monticello Elks Lodge to benefit “Operation Support Our Troops”.
Who: Rolling Thunder NY4 and Monticello Elks Lodge 1544
What: Yellow Ribbon Ride – Poker Run and Chicken BBQ
Where: Monticello Elks Lodge, 46 North Street, Monticello
When: Sunday, June 1, 2008, 9am to 6pm
Registration 9am to 11am
Ride 11am to 2pm
Chicken BBQ 2pm at Monticello Elks
Donation: $20/person, $30/couple
Call 845-794-1544, 845-482-4176 or 845-796-2339 for more information