Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders "Call Me Maybe" vs U.S. Troops "Call Me Maybe"

Another year and another Christmas our soldiers are still in Afghanistan. I'm glad to see that some of the soldiers can embrace the moment and have a little fun.

Please don't forget them. Let's make an effort to make sure our government knows we want them home! We want our soldiers out of Afghanistan!

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders "Call Me Maybe" vs U.S. Troops "Call Me Maybe"

Another year and another Christmas our soldiers are still in Afghanistan. I'm glad to see that some of the soldiers can embrace the moment and have a little fun.

Please don't forget them. Let's make an effort to make sure our government knows we want them home! We want our soldiers out of Afghanistan!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The right of the US Military to Vote

We are still in Afghanistan. I've hesitated to write this post as it saddens my heart, all the soldiers lost forever physically and mentally.

The latest US casualty is:

11-03-2013 Forest W. Roberston, US, Sergeant 1st Class age 35 small arms hostile fire in Logar Province. He will be remembered by all who knew him, his family, friends and brothers and sisters in arms. He has become a statistic in a war that continues indefinitely whether we the United States are a part of it or not because our President elected to go to war.

Ironically, Veteran's Day falls one week after, Election Day, our national day to vote. Did you know that unless a service member files for an absentee ballot he or she isn't allowed to vote for the President of the United States who makes the decision to go or not to go to war. Isn't this crazy! Our military representative, who oftentimes is deployed overseas and cannot vote or whose vote isn't counted because it's absentee ballot.

I believe all active members of the military should be allowed to vote anywhere in the United States using their current Military I.D. and if they're deployed they should have a separate Military Ballot that is counted.

I mean…it's only fair.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Shutdown does affect Military Families -

There are no words to write about this.

Our military is still in Afghanistan and still dying. The Afghan Taliban is now supporting Pakistani militants and providing sanctuary for them...
Shutdown outrage: Military death benefits denied to families of fallen troops

The Washington Times
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

At least five families of U.S. military members killed during in Afghanistan over the weekend were given a double-whammy by federal officials: Not only have your loved ones died, but due to the government shutdown, you won’t receive a death benefit.
The benefit is $100,000 and is wired to family members of the killed military member within 36 hours of the death. The so-called “death gratuity” is aimed at paying for funeral costs and to help with those living expenses normally covered by the soldier’s paycheck.

Read more:
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Afghanistan Through My Eyes

Most of you know that I'm now living in S. Korea. While I will continue to follow the friends I met in Afghanistan and follow the conflict over there, I will begin posting on my new blog: soon!

I'm super excited to be living on Camp Red Cloud (CRC). It took me a full week to understand that everyone who referred to CRC as Camp Red Cloud. You've got to love military acronyms!

When I'm up and running I'll let everyone know.

Meantime: Let's not ever forget we've got military personnel still over in Afghanistan that need our support!

MADISON - Thousands of Badgers fans witnessed an emotional moment in Madison on Saturday when an Army captain surprised her daughter during halftime at the UW-Madison game.
Captain J.R. Lund has been serving in Afghanistan for the last six months and gave her daughter the surprise of a lifetime. Bella said she is still in shock from the surprise.
“It still feels like a dream, nothing feels real,” Bella said. “When I saw her I was like, ‘whoa, that's my mom. She's here.'”

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Buzkashi Boys - Afghanistan Through Their Eyes

I don't usually promote films, but my dear friend: Sid Goldman, who participates at the camp: Seeds For Peace every year as the Doc, sent this too me. I wanted to show all of my followers Afghanistan today. This is what it's like. This is where our troops have been for the last eleven years.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day - what's it about

Americans have fought on battlefields both near and far, in clashes both large and small, alone and with allies at their sides. These conflicts have shaped the country's policies, influenced its culture, defined its borders and cost thousands of lives.

18th Century
American Revolution
Dates: 1775-1783
Ended: Sept 3, 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris
American Battle Deaths: 4,435 (approximately)

19th Century
War of 1812
Dates: 1812-1815
Ended: Signing of the Treaty of Ghent December 24, 1814
Side note: Unaware of the treaty, Gen. Andrew Jackson engaged and crushed the British at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.
American Battle Deaths: 2,260 (approximately)

Mexican-American War
Dates: 1846-1848
Ended: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2, 1848
American Battle Deaths: 1,733 (approximately)

Civil War
Dates: 1861-1865
Ended: Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in southwestern Virginia at Appomattox on April 9, 1865
American Battle Deaths: Union 140,414, Confederate 74,524 (approximately)

Spanish-American War
Dates: April 25 - August 12, 1898
Ended: The treaty of Paris signed December 10, 1898
American Battle Deaths: 385 (approximately)

20th Century
World War I
Dates 1914-1918
Ended: Treaty of Versailles signed June 28, 1919
American Battle Deaths: 53,402 (approximately)

World War II
Dates: 1939-1945
Ended: Japan surrendered August 14, 1945 after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
American Battle Deaths: 291,557 (approximately)

Korean War
Dates 1950-1953
Ended: An Armistice was reached on July 27, 1953
American Battle Deaths: 33,741 (approximately)

Vietnam War
Dates: 1954-1975
Dates: U.S. withdrew after ceasefire in 1973. Saigon fell in April 1975
American Battle Deaths: 47,424 (approximately)

Persian Gulf War
Dates August 1990-April 1991
Ended: Cease-fire agreement was signed April 9, 1991
American Battle Deaths: 147 (approximately)

21st Century
War in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom)
Dates: October 7, 2001 - Conflict continues
Battle Deaths: 2209 (records found as of today May 27, 2013)

Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom)
Dates: March 19, 2003 - December 21, 2011
American Battle Deaths: 4403 (records found)

Joseph Ambrose, an 86-year-old World War I veteran, attends the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982, holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Armed Forces Day

Today is Armed Forces Day. Most Americans do not even realize that Armed Forces Day is a legitimate holiday! More and more I find a great apathy for our county among it's citizens and the 'me' generation. It is disappointing. This country was created on unity and a strong belief for a country that is based on freedom. Especially in the world today, freedom must be guarded by those who will keep vigil, the men and women in the military who swear their oath to serve and protect the Constitution and the nation.

So here's a history lesson for those that are interested.

Armed Forces Day was established to be celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It started during Harry Truman’s administration when he led an effort to consolidate the various holidays supporting each separate branch of the military into a simple unified holiday to honor the four branches together. The actual initiation of this day occurred on August 31, 1949.

In 1950, the new Department of Defense explained that Armed Forces Day was intended to help the people better understand the function and role of the military in American society, but the essential intent was to enable public recognition and appreciation of the military, and to provide a means for the public to thank men and women in uniform for their service to their country. Ironically, in June of 1950, the American military would be mustered for action as North Korean Communists attacked South Korea.

I've said it a lot...when you see someone wearing a uniform, or something that signifies they're a Veteran, or you find out through a conversation...please thank them for their service.

Sergeant Major Patrick Corcoran

Here'a a picture of one of my newest hero's Pat Corcoran. He helped me out with an amazing interview for an article I'm writing for the Civil Society Partnership Program of the Eurasia Foundation.

The least we can do is offer our genuine gratitude toward the men an women who put their lives on the line, despite's their job.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Being Mare Contrare I generally think of things backward. For instance, I feel that Mother's should give their children gifts on Mother's Day because the child made the Mother and that on birthdays the child should give the Mom gifts because after all, the Mom grew the child in her belly for nine months and then gave birth.

Either way, Mother's Day is a joyous occasion celebrating the birth of a child and the Mom...unless the child you gave life to gave their life for our country. Then today is a day of remembrance. Remembrance of what was and what could have been.

Here is a list of the casualties in Afghanistan for the month of May, 2013 alone. May our thoughts and prayers be with their Mothers today. I urge you to click on the link associated with the photograph. These warriors will not be forgotten...especially by their Mothers.

  Army Spc. Kevin Cardoza

  Marine Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian

  Army 1st Lt. Brandon J. Landrum

  Army Spc. Thomas P. Murach

  Army Staff Sgt. Francis G. Phillips IV

  Army Spc. Brandon J. Prescott

  Marine Cpl. David M. Sonka

Friday, May 10, 2013

Afghanistan update:

Acting Deputy Spokesperson, Patrick Ventrell for Secretary of State meet with press yesterday and spoke about Karzi's statement regarding a request from the U.S. for nine bases after 2014.

According to President Obama, the U.S. does not seek permanent military bases in Afghanistan. We envision that the bilateral security agreement will address access to and use of Afghan facilities by U.S. forces. The bilateral security agreement is still being negotiated. 

In 2014 Afghanistan will be under a full Afghan lead. The U.S. is working through and negotiating the civilian and development assistance.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

V (Victory) Corps Being Deactivated

As part of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) Joint Command Headquarters in Afghanistan, V Corps out of Wiesbaden, Germany has served as the "framework nation" for the operational command. Working alongside NATO and Afghan partners since 2009, V Corps has contributed to the stability and security to Afghanistan.

Although V Corps has maintained its presence in Germany since 1051, the DOD (Department Of Defense) made the decision to inactivate theV Corps headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, the summer of 2013.

Upon it's return for Afghanistan, the V Corps will case its colors indefinitely. Once redeployed, the approximately 750 Soldiers of the V Corps will move on to other assignments around the globe.

GIRoA (the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) has assumed the lead for the majority of security operation in their country.

Soldiers of V Corps march out of the Wiesbaden Army Airfield fitness center following a casing of the colors ceremony for the corps on Thursday. The corps is headed for an Afghanistan deployment and is leaving Germany for good after more than 60 years.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boston Bombers - Kyrgyzstan

How do the Boston bombers relate to Afghanistan you ask...

The brothers Tsamaeva (Tsarnaev) were born in Kyrgyzstan. Anyone who's fought in Afghanistan with the US military knows that Manas is the transit center. We (you and me US taxpayers) built the International Airport, near Bishkek and it's runway to the tune of 8 billion dollars and lease what we built annually for $60 million. While we have poured money into Kyrgyztan to make these amazing improvements and helped to improve the local medical facilities and loaned physicians to help set up clinics, our time allotment was temporary. It seems our lease is just about up and will not be extended after its expiration in July 2014. This is a few months before the completion of the drawdown!

Interesting that Kyrgyzstan has become a cell for Islamic extremism. However the rebel movement, specifically Vilyat Dagestan, denies any links to the deadly bombing. The mujahideen from the Caucasus are not at war with the US but Russia for their heinous crimes against Muslims. They seem to think the Russian Special Services have some connection to the bombings.

Could these two young men be part of a plot thicker than any Hollywood thriller masterpiece.

I am still at a loss for why someone plants a bomb and then runs. While I don't like to use my blog to make personal judgement, I cannot help but wonder. If you're going to commit a terrorist attack step forward and take responsibility! COWARDS.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - Women In Combat

We have now joined the ranks of several countries that allow women in front-line combat positions. In Europe: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Elsewhere: Australia, Canada and New Zealand in the Anglosphere; plus Eritrea, Israel and North Korea.

Here are some of the countries that allow women in positions such as fighter pilots. Pakistan, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Formally, American servicewomen up until now may only serve in combat as support, although many of these women do end up seeing combat.

(Anwar Amro - AFP/Getty Images)

Here is a new member of Syria's National Defense Force at a training center in Homs. The Syrian regime is arming and training Syrian women to fight.

I've been speaking to several women who are Veteran's and Active Duty service members as well some male counterparts on their reaction to the US allowing women assigned combat duty. The response actually surprised me. While the press is celebrating, the people I spoke to agree the positions should be open, but were not quite as thrilled about it. I believe it's because we had all seen combat...we wonder why anyone would want to go there.  

The old adage that if women decided who would go to war there wouldn't be my opinion is totally false. As Margaret Mead stated: Women should not be accepted as combat soldiers because they are too fierce.

"Women should be permitted to volunteer for non-combat service,… they should not be accepted, voluntarily or through the draft, as combat soldiers…. We know of no comparable ways of training women and girls, and we have no real way of knowing whether the kinds of training that teach men both courage and restraint would be adaptable to women or effective in a crisis. But the evidence of history and comparative studies of other species suggest that women as a fighting body might be far less amenable to the rules that prevent warfare from becoming a massacre and, with the use of modern weapons, that protect the survival of all humanity. This is what I meant by saying that women in combat might be too fierce." Margaret Mead: June 1968

But yes we all agree women should not be discriminated against. 

My question is about birth control. No one wants to address this issue, but there is sex in combat. Everyone I've spoken with wants to deny it happens, but now with the rape cases coming out it's obvious that there is sex going on...and some of it is consensual! So let's not have the military be like stupid parents and believe 'their' children aren't having sex unless they're married and only to whom their married too. Hello...look at the divorce rate. 

If I could be on any platform it would be: Birth control is required for both male and female combat soldiers while serving in country. Maybe Dr. Ruth Westheimer can address this. She was a sniper in Israel and wounded int he 1948 Arab-Israeli war...