Sunday, December 31, 2006

To USS Rushmore and Singapore

Photo of the Day: Plays of Light. The light on top of my bookcase is reflecting off the glass that my sand and rubble from where Aaron was killed is in. The other reflections and the shadow of the tree are beautiful, don't you think?

Made You Look.

2007 Gifties from De'on

I'm out shopping for you! Check throughout the day for your name. If it's not there, come shoot me.

Or tell me your name.

Then, just clink the link (cute, huh?) with your tiny laptop hammer (didn't you get one?) on your name. If you clink on other names with your tiny hammer, that's fine too. It's strictly who first came to mind when I saw the gifty.

If a photo strikes my fancy, that may be your gift. If this is the case, please refrain from using the tiny hammer.

This New Year's Eve gift comes to you from Your Biggest Fan.

Love to all, and have a blessed 2007.

I'll be back! Let the good times begin!


To Doc, Rett, and Doug

Sgt. Rett

Sgt. Rett & Riflemen

Cpl. Rett

Photos for Doc and Rett

Happy New Year to Americans Near and Far

Don't forget to Refresh the page if you've been here a while.

Happy New Year to Julia

now unto him
that is able to do
exceeding abundantly
above all that
we ask or think
according to the power
that worketh in us
unto him be glory
in the church
by christ jesus
throughout all ages
world without end


the book of common worship

To Room 211. To Brown, Koci, and Aaron.
Semper Fi

Happy New Year Greg and De'on
And Happy New Year to all of the Gunz Up family

I was tagged.

Since I was tagged by Ebyjo, here are 5 weird things about me:

1. I like my ice put in the glass before adding 1/4 Jar Lipton tea (large) and water. It tastes funny if ice is added after it's mixed.

2. I hate elastic of any form, anywhere on my body.

3. I don't like too many butts in the ashtray which is hard b/c of my habit. I haven't yet set a trash can beside me here, but I'm close.

4. Right now, I'm a night person. Love the nights, hate the days. This started when Steve was in Iraq. He's fine and in bed at 8:30. I'm moving to Afghanistan. I'm clearly not getting over it.

5. I save my "new stuff" until it's old.

There's that little hammer! Happy New Year, Seabees.
Semper Fi

Happy New Year to the Air Force. This is the F-117 Stealth Fighter that flew over us at the end of Time of Remembrance on May 21, 2006.
Semper Fi

Happy New Year and ...

Thank you to Flag Gazer for the e-card she sent to Gunz Up.

She's in our links!

Must take a bath and supper to cook, oh yuk, break. When I come back, I'll have thought of five weird things about me. Ebyjo tagged me, and of course, I didn't know what tagging was.

Now I know. They explain in their blog, which is in our links too. I don't think I have 5 weird things, but I've been thinking. Gunz is perfect too. :)

Back later. Still a great many names. It has to be special, not just something splashed up there with your name on it.

Happy New Year to ...

Gawfer and Sailors everywhere!

Click on his name to check out his site. He's added to our links.

This image is his. It comes up when you comment.

Happy New Year to Doc

Study notes. Perhaps you should review the old post, Corpsman, I'm not highlighting them again!

You'll see some of this again. I did tell you that you have to take tests, didn't I?

The hospital corps has, after a fashion, been a part of the United States Naval service since 1799 when a provision of congress was instituted service-wide to include a surgeon's assistant on all ships of the fleet.The title of this specialty of training, also known as rating in naval terminology has changed over the years from loblolly boy, surgeon's steward, apothecary and bayman, the latter three all requiring the rate holder to be a recipient of some private medical instruction.On 17 June 1898 by act of congress, the Hospital Corps was established, though the actual name of the servicemen under that rating would change several times (being known as "Pharmacist's Mates" throughout the World Wars) before ultimately becoming simply "Hospital Corpsman". The modern rating abbreviation is HM.During World War I, there were 684 personal awards issued to Hospital Corpsmen, who distinguished themselves while serving with the United States Marines in numerous battles, among them Belleau Wood.In World War II, Hospital Corpsmen hit the beach with the U.S. Marines in every battle in the Pacific. A Hospital Corpsman named John Bradley was among the group of Marines in the famous flag raising on Mt.Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. They also served on ships and submarines. They performed 14 unassisted appendectomies while in a submarine. The Hospital Corps has the distinction of being the only corps in the U.S. Navy to be singled out in a famous speech by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal after the conclusion of World War II.

Virgie Bell's View

It is almost time to bid another year good-bye and to welcome a new year in, and as per usual, I shall do my celebration by having my nose buried in a book while Jerry slumbers beside me. It is really not a bad way to greet the coming year and bid adieu to things past. In fact, I rather like this part of the year, seems we can all sort of clean the slate of past mistakes and look forward to some achievement, if we don't aim too high.

I guess Ellen DeGeneres gave pretty good advice in today's Parade Magazine. The little newsy tucked into to the Sunday edition of my newspaper. She gives this advice to keep New Year’s resolutions: keep your list, keep it short, keep it real, and keep on truckin. Ms … Miss ... whatever her prefix to her name is called, says in the article that she underwent hypnosis in order to quit smoking and that she achieved success with this form of treatment. I think I read somewhere that the first requirement is to genuinely have a desire to quit. Well to be honest, it is the one thing I enjoy and it is very hard to give up something you really like. I have remained in a suspended state of longing to want to, but have somehow never got beyond that desiring to desire. Addiction to nicotine is possibly one of the hardest addictions to overcome, so kudos to Ms … Miss ... oh well ... at least she was able to succeed and is now smoke free.... She is also able to brag about the fact (as I have noticed most that quit smoking are prone to do, in fact, that has almost become part of the name they have for themselves). She also recommends using this list of resolutions celebrating what is right about yourself (as in she is now a non-smoker.) She also has a goal of not going to beauty school in this coming year, as well as to not exercise until the summer of 2007. Now that I can relate to, and will probably be successful in at least one of these endeavors. I am pretty sure I won’t go to beauty school, but on to the next subject which is not about prefix or titles before one's name but about names given by parents.

The list of democratic contenders is getting a bit long. As in Hillary, a one-word-no-prefix-or-title required. (As in Elvis). She pointed this fact out while she was still first lady, gleefully I might add. Another one that has thrown his hat in the ring as a challenger is Senator John Edwards, 'Not to be confused with a Ken Doll.' His words not mine. If he hadn't used the comparison I don't think I would have ever made the connection. When I look at him now, my mind jumps to connect the two. Is this good or is this just smart politically, name recognition? What about The as in The Donald? Or even Theresa Heinz also known as Theresa Heinz Kerry, until she dropped the Kerry part in favor of Heinz, as in ketchup on your grocery shelf. For a little while when her husband was the candidate for president, she told a room full of toughs that she wanted to be known as their Mama T. You know, as in Mr. T.? Also known for the quote: “I pity the fool,” or what about "That Woman" or “that Monica Lewinsky" as in Hillary & Bill or Hillary Rodom Clinton? Who also would like to be known as Madam President. Get it? Well, at least I can assure the readers that no matter what I am called, I WILL SUPPORT THE TROOPS!

Happy New Year to ...


My niece

Kayla De'on

Weston & Mimi


Lisa :):):)

Me & Aaron. This is perfect. Please listen and watch to the end. It's worth it.

Happy New Year to ...

Greg & Mom

Those who've served near Ramadi, lived in my husband's native state and Karen

Texas Football Fans, to include: Roy, Zach, Gary & Dad. Amherst, Texas

The photo is for Donna, Jerrod, Michael.

Karen, again, for sure. Also DAR members everywhere, Ft. Mead, and Granbury (did I spell that right?), TX

Karen and Steve. Geez, Karen.

Flag Gazer.

A Warrior Not Forgotten

The American flag at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., flies at half staff Dec. 29 in honor of former President Gerald Ford who died Dec. 26 at age 93. President Bush has declared Jan. 2 a national day of mourning. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Christopher J. Matthews)

The Air Force Song

Off we go into the wild blue younder,
climbing high into the sun,
here they come, zooming to meet our thunder;
at 'em boys, give 'er the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
off with one Hell-of-a roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame,
(shout) Nothing will stop the U.S. Air Force!

Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high into the blue;
Hands of men blasted the world asunder,
How they lived God only knew!
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wing, ever to soar.
With scouts before and bombers galore,
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

Here's a toast to the host of those who
love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send this message
of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast
The U.S. Air Force!

Off we go into the wild sky yonder
Keep the wing level and true
If you'd live to be a gray haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue
Flying men, guarding our nation's borders
We'll be there followed by more
In echelon, we carry on
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

Liberty Magazine sponsored a song contest in 1938 for an official song of the Army Air Corps. The winning composition was a tune written in 6/8 time by Robert Crawford. It officially premiered at the Cleveland Air Races in 1939. The original title was "What do you think of the Air Corps Now?" but it was later changed to "The Air Force Song" when the separate U.S. Air Force was created in 1947.

Hey, We're Smart!!

When I was in the Air Force, our commanders never tired of telling us that we were the intellectual elite of the U.S. military. They told us, over and over, that the Marines and the Army were the babysitters, taking the men and women the Air Force wouldn't have. Now, don't start chunking things at me. I'm just telling you what they would say to us ... don't kill the messenger, OK?!!

Anyway, an incident during basic training made me wonder about the intellectual might of the Air Force. We were in the dayroom, receiving some kind of instruction from our TI when he was interrupted by a voice coming in over the speaker. Our TI was told his wife just called, and she said "the rabbit died." We all cheered in congratulations. For those of you too young to remember this euphemism, it meant that a woman was pregnant. Decades ago, rabbits were used in the pregnancy tests.

A few days later, my flight was in the middle of a GI party, and for some reason, we were wondering if our TI lived on or off base. I don't remember why we were discussing that -- it's just more evidence of our superior brains. Anyway, one of the guys said, "I think he lives off base in the country somewhere."

I asked him whey he thought that, and he said, "He has to live out in the country if he has animals. Don't you remember when they told him his rabbit died?"

Footnote: The Air Force failed to mention that our brains also were pickled. While I was stationed at Sheppard in Wichita Falls, our Airman's Club had the distinction of having the highest alcohol consumption rate in Texas. GO AIR FORCE!

Focus On The Good

The following article, written by Erik German, appeared in Newsday on Dec. 17. Good deeds occur everyday, but so many people want to hear only bad or shocking news. There are good people in the world, doing good things. If we focus on the good that is being done, while still maintaining an awareness of the bad, we'd be in much better spirits.

Teen finds, returns $24K in movie theater

Imagine stumbling upon $24,000 cash. What would you do with the money?

The untraceable wad of $100 bills, rubber-banded together inside a zippered bank pouch, tumbled unnoticed from the purse of RoseMarie Limoncelli, 39, as she sat Friday inside the AMC Fantasy theater in Rockville Centre.

Christopher Montgomery, 19, found the money as he was cleaning between seats.

The Lynbrook student returned it. Every dollar.

"I was shocked," Limoncelli said. "It's so commendable to see a teenager do something so wonderful for someone else. My life could have been flipped upside down."

Montgomery, a liberal arts student at Nassau Community College, yesterday was reluctant to talk about his choice.

"He won't come out; he's not the type of kid that likes attention," said his mother, Donna Montgomery, 49, outside the family's Lynbrook home. "He said, 'It's no big deal.' I think he's embarrassed."

But for the Hewlett woman who nearly lost the $24,000, it was a very big deal indeed. Before recovering the cash, Limoncelli endured what amounted to a brief waking nightmare.

Limoncelli runs a business, and like many this time of year, she's been a bit harried lately.

"It's the holidays and I'm running in all different directions and trying to do my shopping in between," she said.

On Friday, she still hadn't made it to the bank when it came time to accompany her 8-year-old daughter, Sabrina, to see "Happy Feet" at 7:15 p.m.

Halfway through the film, Sabrina climbed onto Limoncelli's lap. To make room for her daughter, Limoncelli slid the purse under her seat, where it tipped over. The bank pouch must have fallen out in the dark, she said.

On the way home, mother and daughter stopped for ice cream. In line at the cash register, pint of Häagen-Dazs in hand, Limoncelli made the the blood-chilling discovery. The deposit bag was gone.

"My heart stopped," she said. "My whole body was shaking."

Frantic, she called her husband at home. The money wasn't there. She dialed information for the movie theater's number -- and was apoplectic when they placed her on hold.

"It was like the longest two minutes of my life," she said. "I screamed at the operator when she tried to give me the address and I said, 'I don't care, just give me the number!' ... I was hysterical, crying."

When she called the theater, Limoncelli experienced the holiday miracle she will likely recount for years to come.

After examining the cash, Christopher Montgomery had handed the pouch over to his manager.

Limoncelli said he refused a cash reward, but she hopes he'll at least accept a gift certificate to P.C. Richard & Son.

"I always tell my kids, 'I believe: a good deed -- you do one, you get one in return,'" Donna Montgomery said.

An Opportunity

Check out these angels at Flag Gazer's.

goodnight, kids.
Semper Fi

WWII History Question: What about Ensign Gay?
Semper Fi

Coffee Shortage

Top: No more coffee in Sunfax Market, Hollywood, so sign begs customers not to blame grocer. The real blame is on U-boats' attacks on the coffee freighters up from Brazil.

Bottom: To prevent hoarding, grocer shows customer how he punctures or unseals cans of vacuum-packed coffee. Coffee in cans thus punctured must be used within a short time.

Life November 30, 1942


How do you think Hollywood would fare today?

More (or less) about coffee

Top: "Plenty of coffee," says sign in George Paris' cafe in Hollywood. Joker is that the second cup costs $100. Problem of customer who walks out, comes back, is unsolved.

Middle: Placards like one below have been up for some time in "B/G" chain of restaurants. Before April they featured the "bottomless cup" or all that one could drink for 10 cents. [editor's note: this is the first time I realized the keyboards do not have a "cent" sign! What happended to them?]

Bottom: Coffee queues have been the result of delay in rationing. The peaceful crowd above at Broadway & Bank Street, Baltimore, is not church-bound but waiting for coffee.

Life November 30, 1942

Life 1942
Semper Fi

Why Martex Towels Are Scarce ...

Army-Navy "E" Awards at the West Point Manufacturing Company mills
You won't find as many of those lovely, long wearing Martex Towels at your favorite store as usual ... but you will find that the Army medical Corps and the Navy Department's Bureau of Medicine & Surgery, and the boys in the armed services have the towels they need, and that many of these towels come from the same mill that makes your Martex Towels.

If you have bought Martex Towels in recent years, you are fortunate in owning the longest wearing towels, with the plied yarn underweave. Stores will have limited quantities.

Buy only what you really need--and conserve them carefully. They will last for years.

Life 1942

This morning is the continuing series of the landing on Guadalcanal. 2/1 was at Guadalcanal. Don't forget about Guadalcanal Journal, which is in the links. It is a personal journal of a Marine from 2/1.
Semper Fi

Marines on Guadalcanal
Semper Fi

1st Marines storm Guadalcanal
Semper Fi
Click here
Yeah ...
Made You Look.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Blood Is Thicker Than Water: Guadalcanal, The Landing and August Battles*2

FIRST OFFENSIVE: The Marine Campaign for Guadalcanal
by Henry I. Shaw, Jr.
The Landing and August Battles

where we ended last time:.... Unfortunately, the division's heaviest ordnance had been left behind in New Zealand. Limited ships' space and time meant that the division's big guns, a 155mm howitzer battalion, and all the motor transport battalion's two-and-a-half-ton trucks were not loaded. Colonel Pedro A. del Valle, commanding the 11th Marines, was unhappy at the loss of his heavy howitzers and equally distressed that essential sound and flash-ranging equipment necessary for effective counterbattery fire was left behind. Also failing to make the cut in the battle for shipping space, were all spare clothing, bedding rolls, and supplies necessary to support the reinforced division beyond 60 days of combat. Ten days supply of ammunition for each of the division's weapons remained in New Zealand.


In the opinion of the 1st Division's historian and a veteran of the landing, the men on the approaching transports "thought they'd have a bad time getting ashore." They were confident, certainly, and sure that they could not be defeated, but most of the men were entering combat for the first time. There were combat veteran officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) throughout the division, but the majority of the men were going into their initial battle. The commanding officer of the 1st Marines, Colonel Clifton B. Cates, estimated that 90 percent of his men had enlisted after Pearl Harbor. The fabled 1st Marine Division of later World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Persian Gulf War fame, the most highly decorated division in the U.S. Armed Forces, had not yet established its reputation.

The convoy of ships, with its outriding protective screen of carriers, reached Koro in the Fiji Islands on 26 July. Practice landings did little more than exercise the transports' landing craft, since reefs precluded an actual beach landing. The rendezvous at Koro did give the senior commanders a chance to have a face-to-face meeting. Fletcher, McCain, Turner, and Vandegrift got together with Ghormley's chief of staff, Rear Admiral Callaghan, who notified the conferees that ComSoPac had ordered the 7th Marines on Samoa to be prepared to embark on four days notice as a reinforcement for Watchtower. To this decidedly good news, Admiral Fletcher added some bad news. In view of the threat from enemy land-based air, he could not "keep the carriers in the area for more than 48 hours after the landing." Vandegrift protested that he needed at least four days to get the division's gear ashore, and Fletcher reluctantly agreed to keep his carriers at risk another day.

On the 28th the ships sailed from the Fijis, proceeding as if they were headed for Australia. At noon on 5 August, the convoy and its escorts turned north for the Solomons. Undetected by the Japanese, the assault force reached its target during the night of 6-7 August and split into two landing groups, Transport Division X-Ray, 15 transports heading for the north shore of Guadalcanal east of Lunga Point, and Transport Division Yoke, eight transports headed for Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo, and the nearby Florida Island, which loomed over the smaller islands.

1 of 2

Blood Is Thicker Than Water: Guadalcanal, The Landing and August Battles *3

Vandegrift's plans for the landings would put two of his infantry regiments (Colonel LeRoy P. Hunt's 5th Marines and Colonel Cates' 1st Marines) ashore on both sides of the Lunga River prepared to attack inland to seize the airfield. The 11th Marines, the 3d Defense Battalion, and most of the division's supporting units would also land near the Lung, prepared to exploit the beachhead. Across the 20 miles of Sealark Channel, the division's assistant commander, Brigadier General William H. Rupertus, led the assault forces slated to take Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo: the 1st Raider Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson); the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines (Lieutenant Colonel Harold E. Rosecrans); and the 1st Parachute Battalion (Major Robert H. Williams). Company A of the 2d Marines would reconnoiter the nearby shores of Florida Island and the rest of Colonel John A. Arthur's regiment would stand by in reserve to land where needed.

As the ships slipped through the channels on either side of rugged Savo Island, which split Sealark near its western end, heavy clouds and dense rain blanketed the task force. Later the moon came out and silhouetted the islands. On board his command ship, Vandegrift wrote to his wife: "Tomorrow morning at dawn we land in our first major offensive of the war. Our plans have been made and God grant that our judgement has been sound ... whatever happens you'll know I did my best. Let us hope that best will be good enough."

At 0641 on 7 August, Turner signalled his ships to "land the landing force." Just 28 minutes before, the heavy cruiser Quincy (CA-39) had begun shelling the landing beaches at Guadalcanal. The sun came up that fateful Friday at 0650, and the first landing craft carrying assault troops of the 5th Marines touched down at 0909 on Red Beach. To the men's surprise (and relief), no Japanese appeared to resist the landing. Hunt immediately moved his assault troops off the beach and into the surrounding jungle, waded the steep-banked Ilu River, and headed for the enemy airfield. The following 1st Marines were able to cross the Ilu on a bridge the engineers had hastily thrown up with an amphibian tractor bracing its middle. The silence was eerie and the absence of opposition was worrisome to me riflemen. The Japanese troops, most of whom were Korean laborers, had fled to the west, spooked by a week's B-17 bombardment, the pre-assault naval gunfire, and the sight of the ships offshore. The situation was not the same across Sealark. The Marines on Guadalcanal could hear faint rumbles of a firefight across the waters.

The Japanese on Tulagi were special naval landing force sailors and they had no intention of giving up what they held without a vicious, no-surrender battle. Edson's men landed first, followed by Rosecrans' battalion, hitting Tulagi's south coast and moving inland towards the ridge which ran lengthwise through the island. The battalions encountered pockets of resistance in the undergrowth of the island's thick vegetation and maneuvered to outflank and overrun the opposition. The advance of the Marines was steady but casualties were frequent. By nightfall, Edson had reached the former British residency overlooking Tulagi's harbor and dug in for the night across a hill that overlooked the Japanese final position, a ravine on the island's southern tip. The 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, had driven through to the northern shore, cleaning its sector of enemy; Rosecrans moved into position to back up the raiders. By the end of its first day ashore, 2d Battalion had lost 56 men killed and wounded; 1st Raider Battalion casualties were 99 Marines.
to be continued or read more now: source

Always Faithful

Good News

No doubt, you Marines and families already know this!

Marines receive increase in BAH

Cpl. Brian Reimers

New rates allotted to Camp Pendleton Marines for housing allowances were recently released and with significant increases in dollar amounts. Marines can see the changes take effect Jan. 1, 2007. An average of 4.5 to 6 percent increase throughout the ranks is helping Camp Pendleton Marines living off base pay less out-of-pocket costs for rent...

Photo of the Day: Boots & Rubble

If they could talk.... These are Aaron's boots from OIF 1, a bulldog with his name, DOB, DOD, and KIA Vigilant Resolve inscribed on it, and his cap from OIF 2 atop my snuggle pillow: the pillow Aaron and I argued over and I ended up sending to him in Iraq.

He got the pillow right after 2/1 lost 2 on April 12, 2004.

The pillow my son held so desperately that night, I cling to every night now.

And up front, Doc, Sgt. Rett, is some of the sand and rubble where 2/1 walked, fought, killed, and died a little bit themselves that day. It is the sand and rubble Steve brought back to me from the site where Aaron was hit.

I gathered it tonight for you both. Arranged it as if it were my heart.

I wish I could get closer to share it with you. I will never be able to repay either one of you for the love you shared with my son, for the pain brought into your own lives that day; I can't give back much of anything. But I love you both so much. I know more than a few fought to save my baby on that day, but somehow, you two have returned to me, and remain beside me as much as is possible ... while we heal.

God bless you both and keep you safe. May He make your heart light when it should be and heavy at times as well. May He never take His eye off you or His Spirit from you.

God be with each of you on your journeys and give you strength and boldness to complete that which He purposed you for.

Semper Fi,

Some Thoughts

Gannett, the newspaper corporation with the largest circulation (USA Today), provides its employees with excellent training. During the time I worked for them, they helped hone my skills as a journalist and manager. The company operates like the military, though. When I encountered the publisher in the hall, I didn't know if I should salute or genuflect.

I came across the following list that was used in some instruction I received from the company. Good stuff.

1. Sometimes the best management is no management at all -- first do no harm!

2. Indifference is as important as passion.

3. In organizational life, you can have influence over others or you can have freedom from others, but you can't have both at the same time.

4. Learning how to say smart things and give smart answers is important. Learning to listen to others and to ask smart questions is more important.

5. You get what you expect from people. This is especially true when it comes to selfish behavior; self-interest is a learned social norm, not an inherent feature of human behavior.

6. Getting a little power can turn you into an insensitive self-centered jerk.

7. Avoid pompous jerks whenever possible. They not only can make you feel bad about yourself, chances are that you will eventually start acting like them.

8. The best test of a person's character is how he or she treats those with less power.

9. Err on the side of optimism and positive energy in all things.

10. Work is an over-rated activity.

Virgie Bell's View

Saddam Hussein is gone today and last night the talk show hosts were going at it full force, both pro and against his hanging. Lately Allen Colmes has amazed me. I have frequently referred to my getting in and out of a snit by the time I've checked out my newspapers and drank my morning coffee, something required of my daily routine for so long that I cannot imagine what it would be like to be snit-less. But as for Allen Colmes of Hannity and Colmes let me say that if he were to teach a class in snit-ness I would be the first to grant him a lifetime achievement award. He wins hand down in a self righteous "anti-everything conservative"view of every opinion differing with his view.

I posted a view not long ago about Allen’s difference and defiance in all things political or news-worthy. I wondered what had become of the even-tempered Allen. After last night on hearing his defiance toward our military handing over Saddam to the Iraq government for hanging, I was amazed at his attitude of personal injury and righteousness of his view. I have become used to him defending O.J. and the accuser in the Duke rape case, and just about anything my snit is against, his snit is for. I concede and to him goes the victory. Allen Colmes is the winner. The last battle fought by me with my T.V. and Allen was last night as the world was awaiting the hanging of the Butcher of Baghdad.

I have to admit Colmes won by a knock-out as far as snits go. I nearly got down on my knees to ask forgiveness that I ever harbored ill will toward O.J. or Cindy Sheehan. But as the readers of Gunz-up have now been able to observe, I am the crazy old aunt locked in the attic as far as this blog is concerned. I cannot say I have ever risked my life or limb for my country or other glorious achievement. In fact, Kayla and I stand alone as contributors to this blog when it comes to military service. We have never been on a battlefield with first hand knowledge of achievement. In all things military and every political opinion pro or con, if some of us don't agree with those who disagree with us, we won't be speaking to one another by 2007, so that's my minefield, and I have not yet decided as to give it a go or not.

Allen Colmes was of the opinion that the U.S. government should have stepped in and stopped the hanging of Saddam. The U.S. military had Saddam in their custody therefore his death is on us? Pulleeez.

I know that Allen desperately wants a Democratic President next time; nonetheless, said news correspondent should honor the fact that Bush was duly elected to the office of the President by the citizens of the USA, and give up his concern with how stupid we of other opinions are. As far as I am concerned, I think O.J. Simpson got away with murder, Saddam Hussein was guilty of crimes against humanity...and Cindy Sheehan is ignorant as well. Unlike Mr. Colmes, I SUPPORT THE TROOPS.

P.S. Having just read in the internet headlines that democratic controlled congress plans to hold investigative hearings into whether Bush used manipulations to advance support for the public on the war on terror ... duh ... remember what happened on 9/11? I think I'll go watch Al Sharpton preach at the King of Soul’s funeral.... There they are: the Reverend Jesse Jackson, the Reverend Al Sharpton and Father of the Year, Michael Jackson. Democrats all.

Goodnight, kids.
Made You Look.

Docs Duty: Snippets from NC Aug 2004

Marines recount Fallujah firefight

"It was total chaos," said Navy Corpsman Jason Duty, 20, of New Concord, Ohio, one of the medics who pulled wounded men out of buildings and streets during the worst of the fighting. "It was just gunshots everywhere."

"They waited a few hours after we went in and then they attacked," said a stunned and angry Skiles several hours after the fighting Monday, staring off and shaking his head slowly from side to side as he repeated his words: "They waited, and then they attacked."

Duty and Skiles said the Marine killed and most of the wounded Monday were hit with shrapnel from grenades tossed by rebels into open windows. At least two of the Marines were also shot, said Duty, whose boots were black with the blood of his comrades as he recounted the fight.

Duty said he had to fire his pistol at gunmen just to get into the building where Marines lay bleeding, still fighting off insurgents, some of whom were only 10 yards away.

"I walk into a place like that -- everyone's down -- and you just don't know where to start," he said. "You just have to calm down and think, and then it all comes to you."

Skiles said Duty saved several of the Marines, and worked to save a fatally wounded Marine by continuing CPR in the back of a humvee as it sped through enemy fire over a jarring ride to a field hospital.... [this fatally wounded Marine, most of you know by now, was Aaron.]

Full Story

Docs Duty: Texas and Afghanistan

I felt fortunate to be meeting Doc Duty at Aaron's posthumous Silver Star ceremony on July 22, 2005 in Amarillo, TX. I mean fortunate in every sense of the word. Doc drove in his own car from Chicago, I think it was. I do remember him saying he finally pulled over and slept for a little while in his car in OKC, but outside of that, there'd been very little rest during a twenty-four hour drive.

The night before the ceremony, I remember him sitting slightly across from me at a long table topped with the typical Texas red and white checkered BBQ cloth. Ribs, brisket and chicken, enough animal protein to cause PITA to pass out or Oprah to OPT out, was served on huge platters, passed up and over faces and around backs and between elbows of Marines and the family they were in Texas to pay tribute to. Sides included cole slaw, potatoe salad and more slaw. Not enough sides, well then, how about a side of beef? Slaughtered, dressed and packaged by morning.

This is Texas!

Aaron would've loved it.

Doc Duty and Sgt. Rett sat next to each other and had their food downed before I even got my plate. It tickled me then, and I was reminded of what my drills used to holler out in the chow hall at Basic Training, "Inhale, exhale, you should be through!"

It tickled me because they reminded me of Aaron. So full of life.


At times, I'd look toward those faces that I can picture so well right now, even at this late or early hour. It brings tears to my eyes as I remember the two, now as well as then, deep friends, brothers, laughing and joking and telling the tales of combat, and occassionally, blinking back tears.

I'm sure the moisture in their eyes was for their losses, their missing friends, and the huge family they now found themselves surrounded by, stealing glances at them. Marveling at them....

Currently, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jason “Doc” Duty is with the Navy ETT (Embedded Training Team) 620A in Afghanistan. Doc has been at Camp Phoenix since Nov 15th 2006 and will be going home about the first of December 2007. It’s a year long tour.

When I asked Doc how this duty came about, he wrote, “I spent 3 1/2 years with Aaron's unit out in Camp Pendleton, and then transferred to the Corpsman school to be an instructor. During my time there, the Navy asked for experienced Corpsman to come here and train the ANA (afghan national army) medics. Me being experienced in Iraq and being an instructor, I was a shoe-in for the job.”

There are five Instructors at Camp Phoenix. They travel to the different ANA training camps and conduct classes for their medics there. Camp Phoenix in Kabul is Doc Duty’s "permanent" base for the next eleven months.

Doc is from New Concord, Ohio and has a four year old son he misses deeply. He’s served in the Navy for six years and his pay grade is E-5.

The next time we join Doc, we’ll look at some photos he emailed me of the work his unit is doing there. We’ll also get his take on one of the differences between the Iraqis and the Afghanis when it comes to fighting terror.

Until then, Cowboy, oops, I meant, Corpsman Up!
Semper Fi!

Docs Duty: Did You Know?

about the History Break ? ... you can also have peanut and apple butter on bread while you read. I just did.

Join in. It'll be like school.

Doc, you let me know if there's something in here you DIDN'T know.


The hospital corps has, after a fashion, been a part of the United States Naval service since 1799 when a provision of congress was instituted service-wide to include a surgeon's assistant on all ships of the fleet.
The title of this specialty of training, also known as rating in naval terminology has changed over the years from loblolly boy, surgeon's steward, apothecary and bayman, the latter three all requiring the rate holder to be a recipient of some private medical instruction.

On 17 June 1898 by act of congress, the Hospital Corps was established, though the actual name of the servicemen under that rating would change several times (being known as "Pharmacist's Mates" throughout the World Wars) before ultimately becoming simply "Hospital Corpsman". The modern rating abbreviation is HM.

During World War I, there were 684 personal awards issued to Hospital Corpsmen, who distinguished themselves while serving with the United States Marines in numerous battles, among them Belleau Wood.

In World War II, Hospital Corpsmen hit the beach with the U.S. Marines in every battle in the Pacific. A Hospital Corpsman named John Bradley was among the group of Marines in the famous flag raising on Mt.Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. They also served on ships and submarines. They performed 14 unassisted appendectomies while in a submarine. The Hospital Corps has the distinction of being the only corps in the U.S. Navy to be singled out in a famous speech by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal after the conclusion of World War II.

The Corpman's Oath


Docs Duty: A posting from Leatherneck in 2004

Navy hospital corpsman chooses between life and death
Submitted by: 1st Marine Division
Story Identification Number: 2004419104127
Story by Cpl. Shawn C. Rhodes

CAMP MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq (April 5, 2004) [21 days before Aaron is KIA]-- Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Barry C. Gibson makes life and death decisions every day. As 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment's triage officer, he's the one charged with deciding which wounded Marines are treated first.

"A Marine might be expected to die when he arrives, but it's my decision to judge whether he's capable of walking, whether he goes to emergency surgery, or - based on his vital signs - if he can be saved," Gibson said.

Gibson has to make those sorts of decisions in just a matter of minutes, with a minimal examination. It's a tough responsibility and that was the reason the battalion recently held a mass casualty drill.

"This mass casualty drill is done to ensure the... battalion aid station, shock trauma platoon, and the forward resuscitative surgical system know their capabilities and can run smoothly and save lives," explained Gibson, from Orottoes, Va.

As part of the drill, 20 Marines with simulated injuries were loaded into ambulances and brought to the medical facility aboard the camp. From there, they were off-loaded, assessed by the triage officer and moved to one of the three care facilities depending on their wounds.

It can be chaos when the wounded arrive in mass numbers, Gibson said. They key is to control the chaos within, so the job gets done and the patient gets to where he needs to go.

The hardest part of his job is not deciding which patients can be saved or not, but living with the decision afterwards.

"The hardest part of being the triage officer is the aftermath of your decisions, ensuring you made the right decision," Gibson explained. "The reality is some people might not make it. You have to live with that."

"Triage comes from a French word, meaning to sort. Out there when we first receive our wounded, it's the triage officer who's in charge," Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason M. Foree, the senior hospital corpsman for the battalion from Tuscaloosa, Ala. "The triage officer has to go to every patient and - not playing God - he has to decide which ones get treated first."

Foree explained the corpsman's duty is to help the living, so it's a big call for the triage officer to make. Using a clear head, decisiveness and moral strength are requirements while making the decision.

"He's got to balance the human lives at stake against the tactical situation," Foree said. That's what it comes down to."

All involved saw the drill as a success. When all the patients had been off-loaded, marked with a number for tracking and moved to the appropriate care facility, the medical staff assessed their performance.

"This went very well. It was really organized," said Gibson. "If the whole process is smooth, it means quicker access to medical care for the patients, and that saves lives."

The people in the middle of the chaos were the litter-bearers, whose job it is to offload the wounded until the triage officer can assess them.

"You have to keep your mind clear during all this. There's a lot going on around you and you have to know what your job is," said Lance Cpl. Michael W. Burgess, 21, from Jacksonville, N.C.

"You've got to know who's in charge and follow orders," explained Burgess, who worked as a litter bearer. "If you don't, it could give them less time to live."

copied from source

Questions for Doc:

1. Doc, would you like to share what happened with Aaron that day? I know family members of mine would want the details, and I'm certain many of them will not ask.

Many people don't want details, I suppose.

But I would like the details recorded. Many that you shared with me in July 2005 at Aaron's Silver Star ceremony have tossed and turned like salad in my head.

Forever I couldn't get details, and when I just got tiny pieces of the picture, it wouldn't fit. It made much more sense to me once I found out Aaron died more than once.

I apologize for asking if it's something you'd prefer to write in a more private manner, then you can email me if you'd rather.

But I don't mind sharing them here.

So, please, tell me one more time.

"Two Sailors Die After Fall from Submarine

Story Number: NNS061229-10
Release Date: 12/29/2006 7:34:00 PM
From Commander, U. S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Four Sailors from the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Minneapolis-St.Paul (SSN 708), fell overboard Dec. 29 while the submarine was getting underway from Devon Port in Plymouth, England. The four Sailors were rescued by fellow crewmembers and British authorities and taken to a local hospital where two of the Sailors were pronounced dead.

The two other Sailors involved in the accident were treated for minor injuries and have been discharged from the hospital. The names of the Sailors involved are being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.

The submarine had just completed a week long port visit to Plymouth and currently remains at sea. The cause of the accident is under investigation.Minneapolis-St. Paul is homeported in Norfolk, Va., and has been operating in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility since October.

For more news from around the fleet, visit

USS Minneapolis Saint Paul Attack Sub

030917-N-3312P-002 Norfolk, Va. (Sept. 17, 2003) -- Attack submarine USS Minneapolis Saint Paul (SSN 708) gets under way to avoid the arrival of Hurricane Isabel at the Norfolk Naval Station. The submarine was one of 40 ships ordered to sea to avoid damage from the pending storm. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Mark O. Piggot. (RELEASED)

Snowman Arms Expected

Steve is without power in the panhandle tonight and is expecting 18" of snow. Needless to say, some roads are closed, and if the ice comes again, Steve may have plenty of snowman arms.

Okay ... enough on the weather report. I'm fixing to, oh yes, fixing to get busy on some Docs Duty stuff.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Work and Prayer

December 29

Work and prayer represent the two forces that will ensure you success. Your work and My work.

For prayer, believing prayer, is based on the certainty that I am working for you and with you and in you.

Go forward gladly and unafraid. I am with you. With men your task may be impossible, but with God all things are possible.


Fishers of Men
December 30

WHEN you think of those of whom you read who are in anguish do you ever think how My Heart must ache with the woe of it, with the anguish of it?

If I beheld the city and wept over it how much more should I weep over the agony of these troubled hearts, over lives that seek to live without My sustaining Power.

“They will not come unto Me that they might have Life.”

Live to bring others to Me, the only Source of Happiness and Heart-Peace.

Russell, A.J., ed. God Calling. Barnes & Noble, 2002

Photo of the Day

Vietnam War Memorial
Washington, D.C. Sept. 2006
snapped by Greg

Aaron's dad lost two friends in Vietnam. I got waxed images of their names for Doug when I was stationed in D.C. from Oct 88 to Nov 89.

God bless the Vietnam Vet!

Hero of the Day

Petty Officer Third Class Dustin Kirby, a U.S. Navy corpsman whose efforts to save a wounded marine in Iraq were covered in an article in early November in the International Herald Tribune, was severely wounded by an Iraqi sniper on Christmas afternoon, his family and the Marine Corps said.

The bullet struck the left side of his face while he was on the roof of Outpost Omar, the position his unit occupies in Karma, a city near Falluja in Anbar Province. He suffered extensive damage to his jaw and upper palate, but after several surgeries was conscious and on a ventilator in a military hospital in Germany, his battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth DeTreux, said by telephone Thursday.
Kirby, 22, of Hiram, Georgia, was assigned to Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, serving as the trauma medic for the company's 2nd Mobile Assault Platoon. It was his second tour in Iraq.

He married weeks before leaving the United States.

DeTreux said Kirby, rendered speechless by the structural damage to his mouth, had begun writing notes to communicate within minutes of being shot, when he jotted a note to his platoon before being evacuated by helicopter.

In the first note he apologized to the company's senior enlisted man for being wounded, the colonel said. He then refused a stretcher and insisted on walking to the helicopter under his own power.

copied from source


"I Do Not Let People Die on Me!" - Corpsman Dustin Kirby - Someone You Should Know.

We could check this one out at the New York Times, but let's go Blackfive :) source

Be sure and read about this Corpsman if you haven't already. The story from November in Blackfive is really powerful. It's terrible he's been hurt this way, but he sure sounds like someone who will fight with all he has for recovery.

Please keep Corpsman Kirby and his family in your prayers.

USS Johnston and Tin Can Sailors of Texas

Greg and I were watching the story and last battle of the destroyer, the USS Johnston on This is a really moving story. When I plugged the destroyer's name into Google, a jillion links came up. Here's one I thought was really good. It's Bill Mercer's personal account. Mercer extends this invitation on his home page:

Tin Can Sailors of Texas was formed on January 1, 1989 by a group of friends with a common past, service in the United States Navy aboard the class of ship officially known as Destroyers, but known affectionately to men of the sea as "TIN CANS."Many of the members of Tin Can Sailors of Texas are WWII sailors and represent the largest known contingent of tin can sailors who participated in ship to ship engagements. Several members have survived the sinking of their ships and others sailed to Korea and to Vietnam. We are currently seeking new members from the ranks of Korean and Gulf War veterans and other interested ex-tin can sailors.

for Mercer's account of the
Battle of Samar 25 October 1944
(Battle of Leyte Gulf) USS Johnston by Bill Mercer

It's Done.

copied from Life 1942

Arab Media Report Saddam is Dead
Various Arab media outlets say former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging in Iraq VIDEOU.S. Forces Brace For Violence After ExecutionU.S. Judge Refuses to Block Saddam's Execution

Did You Wear Your Red Shirt Today?

Greg did. Me too. We got ours from Wear Red on Fridays which is in our links.

See that photograph to the left of Greg, setting on top of some books? Greg is mentally working on a post about the object which is in the photo, the Blazer, the love of Aaron and Jerrod's teen years.

Of course, Tech is struggling, so we might give his post a day or two.

Happy Friday!

English: The Endangered Language

I'm praying for patience. Lots of it.

I was raised in a Spanish-speaking home by my grandparents who couldn't speak a lick of English. I love my culture, and I've always thought I enjoy the best of both worlds. I worked for one of Mexico City's largest daily newspapers as well as several papers in the United States. I'm glad I'm bilingual.

BUT. English should be the national language in this country. I've had a frustrating day dealing with tech support for the company that will host our new Web site, and I'm mighty exhausted. Not only should English be our national language, but it should be illegal for U.S. companies to outsource their tech support to other countries. By this time, we've all had a taste of trying to resolve a problem with someone in India or the Philippines.

We don't just bend over backwards in the United States to accomodate the speakers of other languages, we contort ourselves like pretzels trying to appease them. Who else does that? I've lived in Mexico, and I assure you that they don't. Their signs, official documents, etc. are all in Spanish, and if you have to go to court and don't speak their language, you're out of luck. They're not going to provide you with a translator as we do.

We're doing everything we can to make it easier for the immigrants while we make it more difficult for Americans. It's insane. And while I know it's not the same issue and U.S. companies are free to take their business anywhere, I would desperately like to discuss my technical problems with someone I can understand. After spending about five hours with tech support in the Philippines, I finally told the last guy I dealt with that I wanted to speak to someone in the United States. He told me the only people I could speak with in my own country would be the billing department. Oh, sure. That makes sense. The company doesn't care about the service I'm getting so they send my calls to another country. But if I want to talk about money, they're all ears. Geez.

I know I've fused two issues here, but they share a root. We keep engaging in practices that make it difficult for Americans to live and do business in our own country. So ... make English the national language and tell every company you deal with that you object to their customer support being directed to a Third World nation.

I'm glad I can speak Spanish, but I don't believe that I should have to use it to conduct business in the United States. And I don't believe that I should have to try to decipher what a customer service agent in another country is trying to tell me as he reads from a manual a litany of possible solutions to my problem.

I'm in America. Speak English.

Oh, we are working on our Web site, and I wanted to put up a simple paragraph that explains what we're doing. I finally figured out what the problem was, withouth the Philippino help. When De'on and I decided to launch a Web site for Gunz Up, I thought this hosting service would be an easy one. Yeah, sure. That's like looking at Mt. Everest and saying, "Oh, we can scale this one, no problem." The problem was that I couldn't log on to their FTP site. Each time I called tech support, I got a different solution. None of them worked. I had to figure it out on my own. I can now log on, so I shouldn't have any problem launching our Web site once it's finished next week.

It's been years since I've fiddled with HTML, but it's coming back to me. They've made advancements, of course, but they're good ones. I just have to build the site so that De'on can post without having to get a degree in HTML.

I'm sure no one cares about any of my complaints (!) but I feel better now after venting. Now back to the salt mines.

She Thanks and Encourages. Perseverance at it's finest!

Dear Ms. Miller,

I saw the blog you wrote about my book and I just wanted to thank you. That means a lot to me. It took me 8 years to get this book published, and it finally came out in August.

Yes, it is doing really well on Amazon, and it's all just been by word-of-mouth so you can see why I appreciate your blog.

I see you are a Gold Star Mother. I'm sorry for your loss.

Thank you again. I appreciate the sacrifice made by your family.

Stephanie Hanson Author of "A Corpsman's Legacy"

If you missed seeing this post, here's the cover of Stephanie's book. I'm getting this one for sure.
Made You Look.

A Hot Night

My 91 year old cat left home the other night. It got so hot in here, we opened the door for a while and Sarah left without announcement. She wasn't discovered missing until the next day when I was about to feed the boys some turkey.

Normally, Sarah runs and gets in front of their pet door when she knows it's time for them to eat. She didn't come this night. We called, hunted, drove, felt sick inside when we realized what must have happened. We even shook her dry food a few times, because that usually gets her out of hiding. In fact, to trick her away from the pet door, I go feed her first, though usually she runs back to the kitchen with me to terrorize Hen and Isaac some more.

Greg was upset. I couldn't believe it. She never wants to go out, and I've dealt with this one for 13 years.

Greg went to bed early and I started working on some posts when the Princess showed up at the well lit front door I'd left open for her. About 10:30, I heard a loud meoww at my door, and there she was. A little smelly, but came in the door just as unconcerned and unbothered as she must've been when she left nearly 24 hours earlier.

What a cat. She keeps things colorful around here. Thank you, Father, for bringing the tiny Christmas angel back home. All is well.

I'll be back with some of our military greats. Tonight's concentration will be on the Navy Corpsmen, tomorrow night, back to our Marines of 1st Marine Division until we get them out of Guadalcanal. Then it's LT Rich and our Seabees again, Guam with 4/12 ...see how it works?

Do I confuse you any? If so, please ask and I'll try to help figure it out. I think on the new site Steve is working on, each of the writers will have different archives, so that will help for sure. There'll be lots of new features and I can't wait for it to be up! The address will be easy to remember since it's the same as the blog. And we'll put a link up on this blog to direct you to the new one.

Steve will be coming here soon though he's in the blizzardy Panhandle still. We'll have a lot to look forward to this upcoming year and I really hope you join us.

I really do look forward to it.

Later ... and
Semper Fi,


I also want to let my cousin, Tonya, know we've had her mom, Shirley, in our thoughts and prayers. Shirley had open heart surgery.

Where I Write to You From

Weston was here the other night. You can barely see him, but you can see his elf hat on his head, there in my lap. He's looking at his picture on Gunz Up.

The fire is wonderful right now, and I hope you're as cozy as I am. Much thanks to hubby, to Aaron, and to the Father that I am allowed to heal in such peaceful surroundings.

I'm happy here. But not up for the world yet. That works for me.

Oh yeah, I look like I have a turtle face, huh?

Ellf caps, Bubbles and Axel

Weston is in the elf stocking cap that I stuff every year. Jess, you need to bring my stocking back to me.

Weston was determined to take it, as well as Axel home with him. Axel is the black bear I got him for Christmas. The black bear's T-shirt says Nomi and Uncle Greg love me the most.

Axel, who runs about $3. per inch is the perfect snuggle bear. For $6. per inch, I could've had him here on time. Bargains galore on the final shopping days, don't you think?

Axel is precious. And Weston wanted a teddy bear to sleep with. It came at a good time. Bubbles, Weston's goldfish with lipstick and a halo, "the little girl, " Mimi called her, swam into the filter of the aquarium.

Bubbles was buried at sea.

According to Weston, she went to Heaven. I think he's right.

P.S. Meet Axel. I don't have a photo of him. Not sure about our photographer this year!


Who did bad? The subject or the verb?

A Final Look ...probably

Don't take the tree
please not yet.
I'm sorry gifts didn't
snuggle here. A train
the colors of Christmas
broken still,
from last year.
Two thousand four
slipped down
my chimney, smoked
my eyes, choked my
heart. But still, I stoked it.
Tiny angels of light
on the tree of O six
guard my hope late at night.
Ghosts of Christmases past
visit here, maybe they watch
as I write.
Don't take down the Christmas tree.

Rest your butterfly heart here. It's all good. Good morning. Yes, I'm on a time zone of my own. Missed you. I really did.
Made You Look.

A New Web Site For Gunz Up

I haven't been writing much the last few days because I'm working on a Web site for Gunz Up, and I hope to have it up next week. Our new site,, will allow us to present our support for our country and the men and women who defend it in a way that will inspire others to join us.

With our new site, we hope to stir up patriotism and encourage our fellow Americans to display their national pride openly. Our country needs that energy now. The men and women who defend us need to see and feel our support. With that in mind, we have been working on a Web site that will work with others to fuel a love for the United States -- the greatest country in the world.

Goodnight, kids.
Made You Look.

Chief of Naval OPS in Bahrain

Friday, December 29, 2006

061227-N-9594C-003 Manama, Bahrain (Dec. 27, 2006) - Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen addresses Sailors and Marines on board Naval Support Activity Bahrain during a holiday tour of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command area of operations (AOO). During their stop in Bahrain, the CNO and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Joe R. Campa Jr. addressed Sailors' issues and expressed gratitude for the Sailors' service during an all hands call. U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Julian Carroll (RELEASED)

Aaron deployed for OIF 1 on the USS Rushmore. After they left Kuwait to head back, they spent quite a bit of time in Bahrain.

Navy Numbers

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

As of the end of September 2006 more than 11,000 sailors are deployed at sea in the Middle East, and 12,000 sailors are deployed in U.S. Central Command countries, said Navy Lt. Trey Brown, a Navy spokesman. About 4,300 sailors are on the ground in Iraq, he said.

The Navy has lost 56 sailors in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 29 in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Many sailors who deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan go as “individual augmentees,” which means they are pulled from their home units to support the war on terror, Brown said. The 520 sailors coming back from Iraq this week, for example, are from more than 100 different Navy commands.

Every sailor sent to the Middle East goes through specialized training to prepare for the mission, Brown said. The level of training depends on the mission they will perform, he said. Those who will be in a staff position do two weeks of weapons and cultural training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and the sailors who work with detainees go through three months of training, he said.

In Afghanistan, about 180 sailors are working on six provincial reconstruction teams working directly with the provinces, teaching the leaders how to work with the national government and local governments, he said.

The numbers of sailors on the ground has increased continually since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and has steadily grown to its current strength, Brown said. Future levels will depend on the requirements of the commanders on the ground, he said, but he added that he expects the Navy to continue to be a valuable contributor to the war on terror. “Certainly we anticipate that our sailors are going to continue to be in high demand; the skills that we have will continue to be wanted over there,” he said.


Question: This article is from September. Have the numbers changed?

Today's Salute is to Two Two. Can you say that real fast? Thanks Seabees!
Made You Look.