Christmas 2009 – Operation Iraqi Freedom
You May Be Taliban If:
1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.
2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes.
3. You have more wives than teeth.
4. You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon “unclean.”
5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You can’t think of anyone you haven’t declared Jihad against.
7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
9. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least one.
10. You’ve always had a crush on your neighbor’s goat.
Courtesy of the Patriot Post
You Know You’re Older Than Dirt When……
Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about. Ratings at the bottom.
1. Blackjack chewing gum & Teaberry – (my favorites)
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines on the telephone
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P .F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels [if you were fortunate])
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S& H greenstamps
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulb
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
25. Wash tub wringers
If you remembered 0-5 = You’re still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don’t tell your age,
If you remembered 16-25 = You’re older than dirt!
Company F Mailing Address
If you want to get a penpal with the unit while they are deployed, you can send them mail and CARE packages at:
Rank, Full Name
F / 425th IN, 504th BFSB
APO AE 09351
An address was given out to the men earlier that will still get the mail here if anything has been sent using it. The only thing missing off of the first address we got was the “504th BFSB”
By the way – BFSB stands for “Battlefield Surveillance Brigade”
Company F Deployment Update
We hope this note finds you and your family well. After a busy couple of months at Ft. Lewis, it’s time to move on to the next stop in our journey. The men trained hard and stayed focused on getting themselves and the whole team ready for the deployment. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from all of the folks we interacted with. It was great to have a four-day pass with our families…That was a well-deserved break that meant a lot to everyone.
What Comes Next
- We’ll be moving to an interim location before heading to Iraq. Our advance party (ADVON) is already on the ground there, and they tell us the phone and email is not widely available at their location, especially during sand storms.
- We expect the communications to be limited for a little over a week while we conduct some final training at the interim location.
- After we complete that training, we’ll move to our final destination.
- When we arrive, we will begin “Left Seat / Right Seat” activities where the unit we’re replacing orients us to the environment we’ll be working in.
- We’ll do our best to send some updates over the next week or so while Soldiers have limited access to phone and internet.
Please remember that the leaders of F Company, starting with the Commander and First Sergeant through every level of our organization, are committed to two things:
- We will do everything we can, every day, to ensure that we bring each man home safely to his family and loved ones.
- While we are taking care of each other overseas, we will work hard to add value and perform our duties to the highest standard possible
When we all focus on those basics overseas, we will stay focused as one team moving in the right direction
Thank you for all of the support we receive from our families. We could do this challenging job without you!
And still more recent news:
Kuwait is the “Theater Gateway” for troops headed to Iraq or Afghanistan. The first couple of days on the ground are supposed to be “down days” to give Soldiers a chance to get adjusted to the climate. It’s 2 am on Monday, July 13th as I’m writing this–Saturday and Sunday were the down days for us. The guys got situated in the air-conditioned tents, & had a chance to catch up on some sleep and get the body clock adjusted to the local time.
Today, Monday the 13th, we start a series of training events including mandatory briefings, MRAP driver training (these are the mine-resistant vehicles that make up part of our vehicle inventory in country), some quick range time for shooting / zeroing our weapons, and some general classes. The majority of this training is scheduled for “normal business hours”, so Soldiers should be able to continue getting acclimatized and adjusted to this environment.
The weather here is about what we expected…Kind of like someone blowing a giant hair dryer at you all day…windy and 130 degrees, with lots of sand blowing all over. Other guys have said that it feels like standing behind a C-130 (aircraft) with the exhaust blowing hot air.
When the guys aren’t training, a lot of them are going to the gym, the 24 hour PX, the recreation center (There are movie stations and a few X-Box 360 stations.) Most people will be over the jet lag in the next day or so, I think. There are a lot (and I mean a LOT) of rules in Kuwait. Everyone is being a good sport about playing along and staying focused on getting through Kuwait to our final destination ready to work.
As with the last major movement, we’ve told everyone not to discuss timelines / details. In general, I expect to be in Kuwait for a little over a week. We’ll send confirmation once we’ve arrived at our final destination.
Our first two Soldiers, SGT Beaver and SGT Tinkham, have already pushed up north to our final destination in order to get started on the inventories of equipment we’re falling in on. We also have some follow-on personnel that moved to Ft. Benning on July 11th. They will be at the CRC (facility for individual mobilizations) for a little over a week, then moving to Kuwait. We’re looking forward to the gang getting back together soon!
I hope everyone has a good week!
Freedom is NEVER Free!
This was sent to me by our historian Don Bugg:
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;
another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants,
nine were farmers and large plantation owners;
men of means, well educated,
but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.
So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and
silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.
Remember: freedom is never free!
I hope you will show your support by sending this to as many people as you can, please. It’s time we get the word out that the term “patriot” is NOT politically incorrect, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.
Memorial Day – 2009
Today my family and I attended the Memorial Day Parade in DeWitt, MI. The parade in DeWitt is true “small town Americana,” with the VFW and the American Legion, some fire trucks and the high school marching band. Although we had lived in DeWitt since 1985, I wanted to make sure we would be on time and couldn’t find ANY announcement whatsoever about the time of the parade. But anyone who has lived in DeWitt for any amount of time will tell you the parade is always on Memorial Day (not Saturday) and it is at 10:00. As always the parade was well attended and the ceremony solemn and respectful. But as we drove into town I saw people out running and walking, working in their yards, going to the store to pick up a few things and I couldn’t help but think, “At this time, when we are truely at war and our sons and daughters are in harm’s way, couldn’t you take an hour out of your day to says thanks to those who, in Lincoln’s words, ‘Gave the last full measure of devotion’ to keep us free?”
So this afternoon I did some research to check some facts and made this entry as my own, humble step to remind people of why we celebrate this day.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, as Decoration Day, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. In 1915 inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never die
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.
There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.
To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”
_________________________________________________End of 2009 Posts