Poli Stew Cafe has just become my favorite online t-shirt store. You might have read about the threats to Poli Stew Cafe from the organization that will not be named (you know, the one with the words ‘move’, ‘on’ and ‘org’ in it’s name) when the folks put this t-shirt up for sale that had this on it:
This was in response to the Gen Petraeus ad that the organization that will not be named (you know, the one with the words ‘move’, ‘on’ and ‘org’ in it’s name) had placed in the NYT on September 10.
Well, the fine folks at Poli Stew Cafe didn’t let themselves be bullied. Nope. Follow the link to watch this video:
In fact, they are upping the decency factor in this whole situation:
A FUND RAISER: We are pleased to introduce our latest designs, which highlight the General, and the importance of the First Amendment. This store will be open through January 17. After a lot of searching, we decided to direct all our profits from Cafe Press to go directly toThe National Military Family Association, Inc., which was named a 4-Star charity by Charity Navigator. (Please read a disclaimer on the sidebar).
The NMFA helps military families through stressful times. They help spouses and children with upcoming deployments, ease school transitions, assist people through the TriCare health system, learn money management skills, and best of all, through Operation Purple, they send children to summer camp. The goal of this fund raiser is to help send kids to camp. But we can’t do it without your help!
And they haven’t left the kids out of the fun either:
Four Star Military Kid Shirts and other cute things for the little ones.
I’m definitely going to have to get this:
What with the holidays coming up quicker than I care to think about, there are some great items to get a start on that shopping. You’re supporting a good organization too. And be sure to check out their blog.
Okay, sales pitch over. I just really like these folks’ attitude. And we could all use a little more decency around here, and that’s a fact. All the while exercising our First Amendment Rights ~ and that right belongs to all of us. Not just the organization that will not be named (you know, the one with the words ‘move’, ‘on’ and ‘org’ in it’s name.
ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH
Buck Sargent taking the Oath of Reenlistment in April 2007, thus simultaneously awarding the gift of flight to pigs while sending the temperature in Hell into an irrecoverable nosedive.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.
–Shakespeare, King Henry V
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
I have so missed your posts and am damn glad to see you back, Sir!!
You keep that helmet on, y’hear ~
I thought I would start the week off with an assortment of good news stories. Refresh our batteries, so to speak. I have the impression that things are going to get a bit uglier as the debate in Iraq continues, the anti-war groups ramp up their nonsense as more good news comes out of Iraq and Afghanistan and the presidential candidates try to draw blood as we get closer to the primaries.
But today, let’s give a look at how our troops are doing in other places besides Iraq:
Surgical team members Maj. (Dr.) Christopher Dress, Maj. (Dr.) Dmitry Tuder and Airman 1st Class Angelia Sneed perform a free-flap operation on a 9-year-old girl suffering from a badly mangled leg.
Hospitalman Brian Robinson removes a blood pressure cuff from a local resident at Modilon General Hospital.
OZA, Solomon Islands (Aug. 23, 2007) – Lt. Tracy Branch of the United States Public Health Services (USPHS) comforts a local child before examining him during a medical screening at Voza Medical Clinic in support of Pacific Partnership. During Pacific Partnership, USPHS works with the Solomon Islands and non-governmental organizations to provide medical programs demonstrating commitment to the health and stability of the Pacific region. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Patrick M. Kearney (RELEASED)
Students from Cape Verdenan orphanages and other guests listen to USS Doyle Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Michael Elliot. (Department of Defense photo by Ensign Jason Bilbro)
- USS Doyle, Senegal, France partner for trilateral Search and Rescue Exercise
- USS Doyle is Primed for Praia
- USS Doyle Advances Maritime Partnership with Cape Verde
Army Maj. Lisa Dewitt instructs students during medical military-to-military training in Uganda. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Osborne)
Yep, “baby-killers” and terrorizing “warmongers”, one and all….NOT!!!
From Fox News’ Big Story, here’s Rich Lowry on the case of Dr. Esam Omeish, head of the Muslim Brotherhood front group calling itself the Muslim American Society.
Click on the title to read the rest and watch the video.
I can’t get behind all of (Fox’s political analyst) Rich Lowry’s points. I hold Gov. Kaine responsible for knowing who he appoints to any position.
Have to say I’m losing more trust in Fox New’s “fair and balanced” declaration lately. Seems to be less and less reporting on the reality of the Jihadists and more on the appeasing the Muslim point of view. I could be wrong – I don’t watch any of the cable news on a regular basis. I’m a CSPAN-er, myself. As I’ve said before, I’d rather hear it directly out of the horse’s tookus than some talking head’s interpretation.
Thanks to Sherri, who sent me an email linking me to a post about John Kerry, I have discovered another light in the darkness that shadows my country.
I have just spent the last half hour reading his archives and I feel so much more hopeful to know that I am not mistaken in my belief that the dark times are being brought into the light and found unacceptable.
So for those of you who, like myself, had not discovered this person, let me introduce you to Ronald Winter:
Ronald Winter, a descendant of Scottish Highlanders, (themselves descendants of Viking raiders,) grew up in the farming country of upstate New York. He gave up an academic scholarship at SUNY Albany in 1966 to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam.
Winter served as a helicopter machine gunner, flying 300 missions, and earning numerous decorations, including 15 Air Medals, Combat Aircrew Wings, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After Vietnam he returned to his studies earning undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and English Literature.
In a two-decade journalism career that included stints as investigative reporter, supervising editor, and columnist, Winter received several prestigious awards and a Pulitzer nomination. He currently works as a writer specializing in media relations and is a fierce advocate of veterans’ rights. Winter speaks regularly to school and community groups on the history of the Vietnam War.
Please visit Ronald Winter’s interviews at the Library of Congresses online site, “Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project“.
He spoke at the Gathering of Eagles rally in DC on March 17, 2007. Here’s the link to his speech:
So please grab a cuppa, go to his website, and read his blog. If you’re feeling like me, a bit frustrated these days ~ well, a lot frustrated actually ~ I think you’ll find it’s hard to stop reading his posts. And I believe you’ll come away with a lighter heart and a boost to your faith in the people in this country. Start with this one if you need a good lift this morning.
My husband has a saying that I love:
“There’s more of us out there than you really care to know.”
Thank you, Sherri and Ronald Winter, for being among the ones who do care.
DevilDog over at Hello Iraq has just started a forum:
I am not going to stop blogging. I don’t have a very big following like a lot of forums but I do enjoy those who come by. But, mostly I enjoy feeling I am in some way supporting our troops. Like with anything we do, we can get a feeling of straying from our intended purpose. Lately I have felt that way with my blog. I couldn’t understand why one post drew so much attention and other post that I spent lots of time and effort on barely drew attention. Then it dawned on me that I was looking at everything all wrong.
If a post drew a lot of responses I had hit a nerve or a need. That is why I added a forum. I saw a need for military families to seek and give support when cheating occurred. With multiple deployments, even if more cheating doesn’t occur, the fear is more pronounced.
Other than the welfare or safety of the deployed and likewise for those at home, the welfare of the family or a future family is of paramount importance to all soldiers and veterans. The monumental stress of war and deployments make this an issue that can not be ignored. The same thing applies to the constant blackouts that occur, and PTSD. I realized that there are many ways to help our troops and their families.
But lately with the political rhetoric and threats to stop funding and or stop the war, along with the everyday stress of defending a country gone mad, our soldiers and their families would begin to have greater needs on a more personal level. Support during crisis of any type is a crucial part of handling the job of soldiering effectively.
These are my thoughts on this topic. Let me hear yours. Check out the forum. Let me know what you think. Be honest. That is the only way I or any supporter can help you all. This is for you, our soldiers and your families. God Bless you all and thank you all for your faithful and continuous service even though at times it seems we back home are clueless!
You can get to the forum here. So go on over and check it out. Looks like it has a bit of something for everyone.
I have to leave in a few minutes so I’ll be over a bit later to give it a closer look. I just wanted to let you know ~ :o)
The 3rd ID
The Marne Torch shines with Soldier efforts 2A Frontline July 12, 2007 3rd Infantry Division
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch
3rd Inf. Div. commanding general
The summer months here are known for ppressive heat. The winds make this
country like a convection oven to the brave en and women deployed here. In spite of
the conditions, Soldiers are pressing on and hat is always inspiring to me.
They manage to smile and find comfort in simple things. The expressions of love
and support, mail, outreach from the community all mean so much. Thank you for
what you do.
Operation Marne Torch continues here. Our 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams
along with the Combat Aviation Brigade have had magnificent success in this
So far, we have interdicted the shipping of explosives and accelerants on the Tigris
River. The local population told us that all the boats on the Tigris were being used to
transport the tools of terror to Baghdad. We have struck and destroyed over four dozen
boats. We’ve observed secondary explosives that proved what they told us true.
Our troops have m e t h o d i c a l l y cleared over 1100 buildings, a task that is fraught with danger but necessary in the whole scheme. In many cases we have been
forewarned that buildings were rigged by terrorists beforehand. So, we have struck from
the land and sky with precision weapons to keep our troops safe but still accomplish the
We have killed five dozen of the enemy and taken for detention nearly 250. All of this has
come as a result of close cooperation with the Iraqis who are more and more fed up with the al Qaeda thugs on their streets. The same Iraqis have pointed out where IEDs have been placed and this has helped save their lives and ours.
We have located and killed or captured the worst of the worst. Recently a group of people
have come forward across our operations area and pointed out the storage areas of insurgent ammunition. We have found ammunition and material that is clearly tied to foreign influences and with them the men who used these tools for violence.
Along with the materials of violence, Iraqis have pointed out the leaders of insurgent
groups. We capture these men and move them to areas where they are interrogated.
In turn we gain intelligence that helps us to find still others. And all the time
we keep careful records that will ensure that these people never pose a threat to
America ever again.
So, our Soldiers are doing magnificent things and they will continue to make us
proud. Marne Torch continues and other operations are planned. It has been tough
and it will remain so.
For all our successes there have been dear sacrifices. Our fallen will never be forgotten
and their loved ones are always in our prayers.
Thank you for your continued expressions of support and may God bless our 3rd
Infantry Division, its Families, and our nation.
Rock of the Marne!
U.S. Army Soldier Show to lift spirits of Soldiers and FamiliesDate Posted: 5/1/2007 Story & photos by Tim Hipps
FMWRC Public Affairs
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The cast and crew of the 2007 U.S. Army Soldier Show promise to lift the spirits of Families and Soldiers during their six-month tour that opened May 4 at Fort Belvoir, Va.
“Hopefully the edges of the seats in the theatres are comfortable,” Soldier Show artistic director Victor Hurtado said. “Because that’s where you’re going to spend most of your time.”
Hurtado is particularly excited about this year’s show because live musicians replace much of the pre-recorded sounds of past performances to make the song-and-dance extravaganza feel more like a concert.
“It’s going to change the show drastically,” he said. “We did what we call a ‘stumble through’ the other night and took a look at the material, and we were really pleased that almost two-thirds of the show has a very live feel.
“Aside from the show feeling more live, the material has a lot of energy,” Hurtado continued. “And the energy is derived from the ‘less is more’ feel of the show. We challenged the Soldiers this year, and they’re stepping up to the plate. It’s remarkable.”
Many of the Soldier-performers will double as musicians, and as much as they cherish gaining priceless entertainment training, they hope even more to give back to fellow Soldiers and their Families.
Read the rest here.
Sasha McBrayer Fort Stewart Museum
It was July of 1942 when a very special animal was donated to the Army. “Chips” was a
German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix belonging to private citizen Edward J. Wren of
Pleasantville, N. Y.
Wren was one of thousands of families who responded to the Dogs for Defense program,
which began right after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Chips received formal training at the War Dog Training Center at Front Royal, Va., where he learned to be a sentry. From there Chips journeyed overseas to French Morocco where
he guarded the perimeter of the division camp by night. While there, he caught some natives stealing clothing and equipment and foiled their plans.
Assigned to handler Pvt. John P. Rowell, Chips went on to serve as perimeter guard for
Roosevelt and Churchill at Casablanca in January of 1943. From there he went on to Sicily where a list of heroic actions would make him the most decorated war dog of WWII.
First, he broke free of his handler and plowed into a machine-gun nest, forcefully removing one enemy by dragging him by the neck. The four crewmen inside the pillbox surrendered to I Company after that.
Despite a wound to the scalp and some powder burns, later that same day Chips went on
to help take 10 Italians prisoner. The spirited K-9 would have also made courageous runs with phone cable attached to his collar to establish communication lines.
He would have dodged bullets the entire way.
Chips was officially discharged in December of 1945 and returned to the Wren family. In 1990, Disney based a movie on his life called “Chips the War Dog”. Though many of
his medals were revoked because dogs were categorized as equipment and not as soldiers,
Chips remains a proud and interesting part of Division heritage.
Just cuz videos ~
Remember the call to send 6,000 support emails to RCT 6? Remember how the magnificent bastards out there taunted us, suggesting that we’d never make the mark, much less melt down their servers?
Well guess WHAT?
Email 20,000 came in today, from a corporal in the British Army.
That’s highly satisfying. But not quite as satisfying as this:
The bandwidth demands for the inflow of emails have become so severe that the RCT’s staff has been forced to order the end of the project for security reasons. Sgt. Deboard regretfully informs us that, after next Sunday, the address will be closed.
How do you like them apples, Jarheads?
Seriously, though, we’re glad to hear that we made it, you deserve a hundred times that many letters every single day, and we hope you don’t mind clogging up your mailbox too much. If you do, tough shit. You asked for it.
And, again and most importantly: Thanks to every single one of you who took the time to be part of this. Thanks for answering the call by sending a letter, and keep in mind that nothing is keeping you from doing so in the future as well, even without an official challenge. It’s the least we can do.
So, from the Empire to all of you who were part of Operation “Emails for RCT 6″, a big OO-RAH!
I second that!!!!
“…Because Team Badger working in conjunction with RCT–6 has done such a great job reducing the road side bomb threat in the city Al Qaeda has had to resort to the car bomb as their terror weapon of choice.
After a couple of attacks the Mayor of Falluja had an answer to that problem. Simply allow no cars or trucks into the city….”
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Sweetheart, Jackson and Ellie Mae, three four-legged pooches, are helping to change the lives of wounded warriors and injured Soldiers at Brooke Army Medical Center.
The mixed beagle, German shepherd and Lhasa Apso are therapy dogs trained to console Soldiers, Family Members and sometimes medical staff with reassuring hugs and occasionally dog kisses.
“There’s a bond between humans and animals,” explained dog trainer, Charlie Brugnola of Silver Lakes, Calif. “Pets help us to deal with stress and put us in a mood that is beneficial to us.”
Mr. Brugnola and his wife, Sally, brought the dogs to the hospital last month as part of the Delta Society of San Antonio Chapter Therapy Dog Program at BAMC.
“In the eyes of the wounded warriors we see a light, a light of determination and tenacity. That light glows when making contact with the eyes of Sweetheart,” Mr. Brugnola said. “She looks deep into their eyes, conveying a message. A message only she and the Soldier truly comprehend. And therein lies the magic; the wonderment and the connection these animals give to humans; the ability to bond and heal in very profound ways – beyond human ability.”
Read the rest here.
(h/t to A Soldier’s Mind)
And it’s not only dogs:
Marge Tautkus Gunnar believes her therapy horses have a healing power that could help wounded veterans.
So she turned to Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, a veteran who lost both legs after her helicopter was shot down in Iraq.
With a $100,000 grant from the state, Gunnar is poised to offer programs next month at the sprawling BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center in McHenry County for veterans, particularly those whose limbs have been amputated or who are paraplegic.
The grant will help the center, near Harvard, expand its indoor arena and provide funds to support its programs, which will be free to veterans.
Read the rest here. And another wonderful article about this program:
Gregory Rodriguez wanted to serve his country in Iraq or Afghanistan, but a devastating car crash left the Marine with brain injuries that have affected his speech and ability to walk. Though Rodriguez wasn’t injured in battle, he recently found himself engaged in a therapy that offers promise for helping wounded soldiers, said officials with BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center. During a visit to the center’s farm in Harvard, Rodriguez, 23, reached up from his wheelchair and brushed the flank of Tali, a gentle 7-year-old mare. His eyes gleamed when therapists hoisted him into the saddle. ‘When I was a little kid, 4-years-old, I was living in Mexico for a while and I got on a horse,’ said Rodriguez, who lives in Stickney. ‘And that was the last time I was on a horse.’ BraveHearts founder and executive director Marge Gunnar hopes the program can serve veterans injured in battle and those debilitated by illness or other injuries….
Charles Dharapak / APArmy Sgt. Christian Valle, 23, from Hayward, Calif., who lost both his legs in Iraq, trots on a white Percheron horse, with the help of members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment (Old Guard), at the Caisson Stables at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va., on Friday.ARLINGTON, Va.
June 3, 2006 – Spec. Maxwell Ramsey made small kissing sounds as he tried to coax Wylie, a muscular black Percheron horse, over to the platform where the soldier stood. He swung the metal and plastic limb that is his new left leg over Wylie’s back and sat down in the saddle.
“Relax your leg. Take a deep breath. Remember you are sitting on a big old cushion,” Mary Jo Beckman, a therapeutic riding instructor, said to Ramsey as he and Wylie headed out into a dusty yard at Fort Myer….
Charles Dharapak / AP
Army Specialist Maxwell Ramsey, 36, of Hilton Head, S.C., who lost his leg from a 155mm Iraqi artillery round in Ramadi, rides Wiley, a Percheron horse, at the Caisson Stables, 3rd Infantry Regiment (Old Guard), at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va., on Friday.
Beer For My Horses
From the Letters to the Editor today in the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
As I drove by 41st and saw all those protesters, it made my eyes well up and my hair stand on end. Last week, I was lucky enough to get a phone call from one of our soldiers. He was telling me how his troop was attacked by rockets. Luckily, he survived, but he then proceeded to tell me that he caught some U.S. news and saw that people were protesting the war. He was so upset, offended and irritated by it all. He is coming home in about 40 days. I just hope that if you see him walking down the street, you thank him for risking his life for almost three years in Talliel, Iraq. Just think about it. When you are protesting the war, our soldiers are watching and it looks like we are not supporting them. Be sensitive and aware that these men and women need all the support they can get.
Thank you, JH!!!!!
(Graphic from Ellie’s Treasures ~ a wonderful site I just discovered. Go visit!)