I just came across the following over at Hot Air:
Another day, another political football.
Senate and House Democrats demanded Thursday to see two secret memos that reportedly authorize painful interrogation tactics against terror suspects — despite the Bush administration’s insistence that it has not violated U.S. anti-torture laws.
White House and Justice Department press officers said legal opinions written in 2005 did not reverse an administration policy issued in 2004 that publicly renounced torture as “abhorrent.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller sent a letter to the acting attorney general saying the administration’s credibility is at risk if the documents are not turned over to Congress.
The memos are “critical to an appropriate assessment” of interrogation tactics approved by the White House and the Justice Department, Rockefeller wrote to Acting Attorney General Peter D. Keisler. “Why should the public have confidence that the program is either legal or in the best interests of the United States?” the West Virginia Democrat asked.
What I can’t figure out is why anyone anywhere should have any confidence in anything that Sen. Rockefeller says. He has been operating right along the lines of a Democrat Intelligence Committee memo that surfaced way back in 2003. It outlined a Democrat strategy for using that committee to politicize nearly everything about the war. Sen. Rockefeller was the ranking member at the time, so he was certainly in the distro loop on it, if it didn’t come from his own office.
“We have carefully reviewed our options under the rules and believe we have identified the best approach. Our plan is as follows:
“1) Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or questionable conduct by administration officials. We are having some success in that regard.
“For example, in addition to the President’s State of the Union speech, the chairman [Sen. Pat Roberts] has agreed to look at the activities of the office of the Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, as well as Secretary Bolton’s office at the State Department.
“The fact that the chairman supports our investigations into these offices and cosigns our requests for information is helpful and potentially crucial. We don’t know what we will find but our prospects for getting the access we seek is far greater when we have the backing of the majority. [We can verbally mention some of the intriguing leads we are pursuing.]
“2) Assiduously prepare Democratic ‘additional views’ to attach to any interim or final reports the committee may release. Committee rules provide this opportunity and we intend to take full advantage of it.
“In that regard we may have already compiled all the public statements on Iraq made by senior administration officials. We will identify the most exaggerated claims. We will contrast them with the intelligence estimates that have since been declassified. Our additional views will also, among other things, castigate the majority for seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry.
“The Democrats will then be in a strong position to reopen the question of establishing an Independent Commission [i.e., the Corzine Amendment.]
“3) Prepare to launch an independent investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation of the administration’s use of intelligence at any time. But we can only do so once.
“The best time to do so will probably be next year, either:
“A) After we have already released our additional views on an interim report, thereby providing as many as three opportunities to make our case to the public. Additional views on the interim report (1). The announcement of our independent investigation (2). And (3) additional views on the final investigation. Or:
“B) Once we identify solid leads the majority does not want to pursue, we would attract more coverage and have greater credibility in that context than one in which we simply launch an independent investigation based on principled but vague notions regarding the use of intelligence.
“In the meantime, even without a specifically authorized independent investigation, we continue to act independently when we encounter footdragging on the part of the majority. For example, the FBI Niger investigation was done solely at the request of the vice chairman. We have independently submitted written requests to the DOD and we are preparing further independent requests for information.
“SUMMARY: Intelligence issues are clearly secondary to the public’s concern regarding the insurgency in Iraq. Yet we have an important role to play in revealing the misleading, if not flagrantly dishonest, methods and motives of senior administration officials who made the case for unilateral preemptive war.
“The approach outlined above seems to offer the best prospect for exposing the administration’s dubious motives.”
Keep in mind, this was 2003. Joseph Wilson and his wife weren’t household names yet. The Iraq war itself was only a few months old, and had been based primarily on intelligence gathered during the Clinton years, and upon which the Clinton administration had based two medium-sized actions against Iraq, one in 1998 and one in 2000. And the Democrats had investigated nothing by November of 2003, but this memo outlines the conclusions that they had already reached and the strategy that they were going to employ to discredit the war, using their seats on the Intelligence Committee to do it.
I did some extensive blogging on this memo at the time, but it went down the memory hole before too long. The MSM never really pursued the memo’s implications, which are that the Democrats have for nearly four years been operating a disinformation campaign according to this script and dragging the American people through a grueling game of political gotcha just to lead us to defeat.
So with this latest memo, the old script appears to be alive and well. Just like the 2003 script says, Democrats are trying to
1) Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or questionable conduct by administration officials. We are having some success in that regard.
They don’t know what’s in the memos that they’re seeking, but they’re raising suspicions anyway, just like the script says.
We don’t know what we will find but our prospects for getting the access we seek is far greater when we have the backing of the majority. [We can verbally mention some of the intriguing leads we are pursuing.]
Hmmm…. In 2003 this was sent out.
Gee, we wouldn’t want those silly little things called “facts” to get in the way and undoing our uncorroborated conclusions…
The Constitution? Merely suggestions.
And oh, how the media plays right along.
An interesting timeline here.
Oh, and let’s not forget Rockefeller’s pre-war diplomacy act:
November 14, 2005, 3:41 p.m.
What was the West Virginia Democrat doing as a freelancing prewar diplomat?
“Yesterday, on Fox News Sunday, the following exchange took place between Chris Wallace and U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:
WALLACE: Now, the President never said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat. As you saw, you did say that. If anyone hyped the intelligence, isn’t it Jay Rockefeller?SEN. ROCKEFELLER: No. The — I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I’ll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq — that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.
While Democrats in Washington are berating the White House for having prewar intelligence wrong, a high-profile U.S. senator, member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, who has a name more internationally recognizable than Richard Cheney’s, tells two putative allies (Saudi Arabia and Jordan) and an enemy who is allied with Saddam Hussein (Syria) that the United States was going to war with Iraq. This is not a prewar intelligence mistake, it is a prewar intelligence giveaway.
Syria is not only on the list of state sponsors of terrorism and the country many speculate is where Hussein has secreted weapons, it is also the country from which terrorists are flowing into Iraq to fight our troops and allies. Jordan and Saudi Arabia have had, over the years, conflicted loyalties. What was Senator Rockefeller doing? What was he thinking? And all this before President Bush even made a public speech about Iraq — to the U.N. or anyone else….”
Click on title above to read the rest.
This is just sickening.
If I die before you wake…
Back home now I know you’re probably sleepin’
Over here it’s the middle of the day
I finally found the time to write a letter
Sittin’ here a half a world away
I heard about all them folks protestin’
As if I really want this war
But that don’t stop me from believin’
There’s just some things worth fightin’ for
And if I die before you wake,
I pray the world will take
A good look at what God’s given us
That we could only understand,
everything is in his hands
All we need is a little faith and trust
I want you to know it ain’t too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake
Tell everybody that I miss them
And I can’t wait to get back home
But until then I’ll serve my country
And be proud to wear this uniform
No it ain’t too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake
Written by Dustin Evans, Rick Tiger and Dave Brainard
Performed by Dustin Evans and The Goodtimes Band
I received this in an email from Brat at Tanker Brothers.
Now watch this:
This phrase came to my mind as I was commenting in the post I did honoring SFC Matthew Blaskowski.
I couldn’t remember which war it had come from, so I googled it and found this article that Joe Galloway had written in 2004. I do believe I posted it on my other blog but sadly, the editor I was using fried my data base and I lost 2 years of posts. (side note: Can anyone tell me how to back up blogs??!!)
But with all the disrespectful treatment of our troops going on in this country and in Congress, I felt I needed to post it again. You see, the troops on watch tonight, all over the world, not just in Iraq, are not just “numbers” or “body counts” or fake crosses in a field or on a beach in CA. They are our flesh and blood, doing a job not many can or will do.
Disrespect is not an option here.
June 23, 2004
WASHINGTON – The Internet, which fills our inboxes with spam and scams every day and keeps our delete keys shiny, occasionally delivers a real keeper, such as the words below, which were written by a graduate of West Point, Class of 2003, who’s now at war in Iraq.
We tracked down the author, who gave us permission to quote from his letter so long as we didn’t reveal his name.
Old soldiers in the Civil War coined a phrase for green troops who survived their first taste of battle: “He has seen the elephant.” This Army lieutenant sums up the combat experience better than many a grizzled veteran:
“Well, I’m here in Iraq, and I’ve seen it, and done it. I’ve seen everything you’ve ever seen in a war movie. I’ve seen cowardice; I’ve seen heroism; I’ve seen fear; and I’ve seen relief. I’ve seen blood and brains all over the back of a vehicle, and I’ve seen men bleed to death surrounded by their comrades. I’ve seen people throw up when it’s all over, and I’ve seen the same shell-shocked look in 35-year-old experienced sergeants as in 19-year-old privates.
“I’ve heard the screams – ‘Medic! Medic!’ I’ve hauled dead civilians out of cars, and I’ve looked down at my hands and seen them covered in blood after putting some poor Iraqi civilian in the wrong place at the wrong time into a helicopter. I’ve seen kids with gunshot wounds, and I’ve seen kids who’ve tried to kill me.
“I’ve seen men tell lies to save lives: ‘What happened to Sergeant A.?’ The reply: ‘C’mon man, he’s all right – he’s wondering if you’ll be OK – he said y’all will have a beer together when you get to Germany.’ SFC A. was lying 15 feet away on the other side of the bunker with two medics over him desperately trying to get either a pulse or a breath. The man who asked after SFC A. was himself bleeding from two gut wounds and rasping as he tried to talk with a collapsed lung. One of them made it; one did not.
“I’ve run for cover as fast as I’ve ever run – I’ll hear the bass percussion thump of mortar rounds and rockets exploding as long as I live. I’ve heard the shrapnel as it shredded through the trailers my men live in and over my head. I’ve stood, gasping for breath, as I helped drag into a bunker a man so pale and badly bloodied I didn’t even recognize him as a soldier I’ve known for months. I’ve run across open ground to find my soldiers and make sure I had everyone.
“I’ve raided houses, and shot off locks, and broken in windows. I’ve grabbed prisoners, and guarded them. I’ve looked into the faces of men who would have killed me if I’d driven past their IED (improvised explosive device) an hour later. I’ve looked at men who’ve killed two people I knew, and saw fear.
“I’ve seen that, sadly, that men who try to kill other men aren’t monsters, and most of them aren’t even brave – they aren’t defiant to the last – they’re ordinary people. Men are men, and that’s it. I’ve prayed for a man to make a move toward the wire, so I could flip my weapon off safe and put two rounds in his chest – if I could beat my platoon sergeant’s shotgun to the punch. I’ve been wanted dead, and I’ve wanted to kill.
“I’ve sworn at the radio when I heard one of my classmate’s platoon sergeants call over the radio: ‘Contact! Contact! IED, small arms, mortars! One KIA, three WIA!’ Then a burst of staccato gunfire and a frantic cry: ‘Red 1, where are you? Where are you?’ as we raced to the scene…knowing full well we were too late for at least one of our comrades.
“I’ve seen a man without the back of his head and still done what I’ve been trained to do – ‘medic!’ I’ve cleaned up blood and brains so my soldiers wouldn’t see it – taken pictures to document the scene, like I’m in some sort of bizarre cop show on TV.
“I’ve heard gunfire and hit the ground, heard it and closed my Humvee door, and heard it and just looked and figured it was too far off to worry about. I’ve seen men stacked up outside a house, ready to enter – some as scared as they could be, and some as calm as if they were picking up lunch from McDonald’s. I’ve laughed at dead men, and watched a sergeant on the ground, laughing so hard he was crying, because my boots were stuck in a muddy field, all the while an Iraqi corpse was not five feet from him.
“I’ve heard men worry about civilians, and I’ve heard men shrug and sum up their viewpoint in two words – ‘F— ’em.’ I’ve seen people shoot when they shouldn’t have, and I’ve seen my soldiers take an extra second or two, think about it, and spare somebody’s life.
“I’ve bought drinks from Iraqis while new units watched in wonder from their trucks, pointing weapons in every direction, including the Iraqis my men were buying a Pepsi from. I’ve patrolled roads for eight hours at a time that combat support units spend days preparing to travel 10 miles on. I’ve laughed as other units sit terrified in traffic, fingers nervously on triggers, while my soldiers and I deftly whip around, drive on the wrong side of the road, and wave to Iraqis as we pass. I can recognize a Sadiqqi (Arabic for friend) from a Haji (Arabic word for someone who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca, but our word for a bad guy); I know who to point my weapons at, and who to let pass.
“I’ve come in from my third 18-hour patrol in as many days with a full beard and stared at a major in a pressed uniform who hasn’t left the wire since we’ve been here, daring him to tell me to shave. He looked at me, looked at the dust and sweat and dirt on my uniform, and went back to typing at his computer.
“I’ve stood with my men in the mess hall, surrounded by people whose idea of a bad day in Iraq is a six-hour shift manning a radio, and watched them give us a wide berth as we swagger in, dirty, smelly, tired, but sure in our knowledge that we pull the triggers, and we do what the Army does, and they, with their clean uniforms and weapons that have never fired, support us.
“I’ve given a kid water and Gatorade and made a friend for life. I’ve let them look through my sunglasses – no one wears them in this country but us – and watched them pretend to be an American soldier – a swaggering invincible machine, secure behind his sunglasses, only because the Iraqis can’t see the fear in his eyes.
“I’ve said it a thousand times – ‘God, I hate this country.’ I’ve heard it a million times more – ‘This place sucks.’ In quieter moments, I’ve heard more profound things: ‘Sir, this is a thousand times worse than I ever thought it would be.’ Or, ‘My wife and Sgt. B’s wife were good friends – I hope she’s taking it well.’
“They say they’re scared, and say they won’t do this or that, but when it comes time to do it they can’t let their buddies down, can’t let their friends go outside the wire without them, because they know it isn’t right for the team to go into the ballgame at any less than 100 percent.
“That’s combat, I guess, and there’s no way you can be ready for it. It just is what it is, and everybody’s experience is different. Just thought you might want to know what it’s really like.”
Only one who has seen the elephant can speak of it in all sincerity, but rarely does to those who have not.
I know, lately I’ve been just posting about other people’s posts. The roofers are here and the pounding (3 days now) is making it hard to put one thought next to another.
I’ll tell you though ~ I am thoroughly disgusted with our Congress’s shameful political shenanigans, still. Every time I think they’ve hit the lowest low, up they pop with a new low. And I just can’t listen to Harry Reid say how patriotic the Democrats are and how they support the troops ONE MORE TIME!!! Goes for Pelosi, Murtha, Durbin, Obey, Reed, Levin and the rest of them too. And all those cowering RINOs who are a slap in the face to the men and women who took an oath to defend the Constitution these “elected officials” took an oath to uphold.
Nevermind the antics of the anti-war crowd who also say they support the troops all the while doing everything possible to undermine them and stab them in the back.
Devildog has something to say about this in a poem she wrote:
Tell me again Momma
What am I fighting for;
if not for our freedom
from shore to shore!
Is it wrong to help others
fight to be free?
Is “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
only for you and me?
Tell me again, Momma,
I really want to know;
Tell me why we’re dying,
and I’ll be set to go!
You see, I always believed in the “Pledge”
we said in school everyday!
I felt proud to tell everyone,
that’s the “American Way!”
But, I’m not sure anymore
why we should all keep trying;
To serve and protect
as I watch my brothers and sisters dying!
Tell me again, Momma,
why we’re all in this place;
When our Congress seems more concerned
with its political race!
Doesn’t “Duty, Honor, and Service”
mean anything anymore?
Aren’t we all fighting for freedom
like thousands of soldiers before?
I know why I fight,
Why I risk my life everyday!
I fight for our freedom
and the American way!
I fight for my country,
the land that I lone;
I fight for the right to pray
to God up above!
Yet, everyday news comes from home’
Protesters line the streets everywhere!
Congress refuses to support us,
The rest of the nation seems not to care!
So, tell me again Momma’
What am I fighting for?
When those we are dying for
spread anti-war sentiments from shore to shore!
Don’t they know they embolden the enemy
and feed into their lies?
While today on the battlefield
another soldier died!
The enemy says it will destroy us
and tear down our mighty nation!
Yet protesters march against us’
and shout in jubilation!
So, tell me again Momma
I really want to know;
Tell me why we’re dying,
And I’ll be set to go!
These protesters say they support us,
but they refuse us what we need;
Where is their support for our war effort’
In all the papers that we read?
The enemy sees their actions
and taunts us every day;
with the news from home and propaganda,
hoping to scare us away!
Tell me again, Momma,
What am I fighting for;
If not for freedom
from shore to shore?
The protesters may support us,
at least that’s what they say;
But, their actions support our enemy,
every single day!
So, let me tell you Momma,
What I’m really fighting for;
I’m fighting so my son and daughter
never have to go to war!
All the protesters in the streets,
Those in Congress who turn a blind eye;
I fight for their children too,
So they won’t have to fight and die!
As long as Americans can stay safe and free,
and pray freely to God up above;
Maybe the children of those who abandon us
will come to share my American love!
So, let me tell you Momma,
What I fighting for!
I’m fighting so their children
won’t have to go to war!
I’m fighting in hope
I’ll live to see the day;
All the protesters and Congress
stop trying to throw our freedom away!
I’m fighting everyday
to serve, protect, and defend;
What the protesters and Congress
try so hard to end.
I’m fighting to save America,
and freedom everywhere;
even though I know it’s true,
there are those who do not care!!
So, let me tell you Momma,
What I’m fighting for;
It’s worth “all” cost, e-v-e-n- w-a-r!!!
written by: devildog6771
Sept. 29, 2007
Thank you, Devildog ~
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’ve been sending packages for most of this war to young men and women I don’t know who are far from home. Some I get to know through letters or emails, some I’ve had the honor of meeting personally. Some I’ve never heard from at all.
It doesn’t matter. Once I’ve sent a package to “that name”, I become attached and very concerned about the person who owns that name. I check in with the DOD and MNFI to see how things are in the area where they are based, if I know. I watch the list of the Fallen, checking for “that name”. Fortunately, I have only seen one of my guys on the list.
But it hit me like a ton of bricks. And as I packed up the boxes for my next mailing, I sat down and wept ~ his name wasn’t going to go on one of my packages again.
Well, one of my Tanker Brothers sisters, Leta, has just experienced this with one of her adopted soldiers. Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Blaskowski was a helluva soldier and someone you should know.
SFC Matthew Blaskowski
March 5, 1980 – September 23, 2007
KIA in Kunar Province, Afghanistan
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers from Task Force Rock gathered to remember the life and service of Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Blaskowski (Battle Company 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry (Airborne) at a memorial ceremony conducted Sept. 28 at Camp Blessing in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. SFC Blaskowski died 23 September 2007 from gunshot wounds when his platoon’s FOB was attacked by insurgents in the Korengal Valley near the Pakistan border.
Matt was known as Sergeant Ski by those who served with him. He was a true American Hero – a Soldier’s Soldier. More so he was a husband, son, brother, uncle and friend to many. Matt gave his life doing what he loved and what he believed in. He had a reputation as a born leader.
In 2003 SFC Blaskowski, according to an article in the Stars and Stripes, was the rear detachment Non Commissioned Officer in Charge after the 173rd parachuted in to northern Iraq in 2003. The article continues by stating that Matt was known as the “get it done” guy while in that position.
Stars and Stripes Article Here
This was not Matt’s first deployment to Afghanistan. He was deployed there in 2005 – 2006 with Chosen Company 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry (Airborne). During that deployment Matt was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.
U.S. Army Gen. John Abizaid, U.S. Central Command commander, congratulates Staff Sgt. Matthew Blaskowski, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne) on receiving the Silver Star for gallantry in combat during a fire fight May 3, 2005, in Zabul Province, Afghanistan. The ceremony was held Nov. 30, 2005, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
He was shot in the leg while pulling another wounded Soldier to safety in a six hour long firefight. On 3 May 2005 the battalion’s scout element came into contact with enemy forces in the Arghandab River Valley. An air assault was then launched by other elements of the battalion, and at least 37 enemy combatants were reported killed in the engagement. Blaskowski directed two machine-gun teams into position under heavy fire by enemy forces, where they maintained the tenuous position, effectively pinning down dozens of enemy combatants, while under heavy fire, according to his award citation. Blaskowski suffered a leg wound while coming to the aid of one his soldiers. See entire stories here and here.
Matt was airlifted to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for treatment of his wounds. He then spent time recovering with his family in Michigan before he returned to Afghanistan within three months of his wound to continue the fight against the insurgents with the men of Chosen Company. In this article his grandmother Shirley Blaskowski is quoted “…but once his wounds were healed he packed his bags and headed back to serve his country. “He said nana, it’s my job, and I like doing it.”.
Matt was known for being a mentor, for his leadership, loyalty, commitment and humor by all those who served with him and knew him in civilian life. He was a 1998 graduate of Cheboygan, Michigan High School where he played football and basketball and was a member of the track team. Matt loved outdoor sports including hunting and fishing. His family as well as his military “family” all concur that Matt had the innate ability to make those around him laugh and feel comfortable. He was always available to give a helping hand and to listen.
Matt enlisted in the Army as an infantryman on 17 November, 1998. His military career initially took him to Ft. Drum, NY where he was assigned to the 10th Mtn Division as a rifleman and a scout with the 2nd Battalion 87th Infantry then later with the 4th Battalion 31st Infantry. In 2002 Matt completed Airborne School and was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion 503rd Infantry (Airborne) where he held a myriad of leadership positions. He had earned a college degree in Wildlife Forestry Management and aspired to teach at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Late Sunday night 23 September 2007 Matt’s parents, Terry and Cheryl Blaskowski, received the visit that every military parent dreads. Officials came to tell them that their oldest son had fallen victim to an insurgent sniper and had given the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this nation. In an email to the Stars and Stripes last week Matt’s mother Cheryl said, “All his family called him their hero. He told his Dad: ‘Dad, I am not a hero. Those who have died are heroes.’”
His grandmother was quoted in The Traverse City Record Eagle as saying, “We’re mad and we’re sad and we’re tired.” She continued, “He was very proud of what he was doing, but we didn’t want to lose him. He was very brave and very strong — maybe too brave.” Sadly SFC Matthew Blaskowski is now among the greatest of all American heroes.
Matt will be laid to rest today, 4 October 2007 in his home state of Michigan where Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has ordered all flags throughout the state of Michigan and on Michigan waters be lowered to half staff in remembrance and honor of Matt.
I have never met SFC Matthew Blaskowski but I had the true honor and privilege of supporting Matt and his platoon this year. In an email he wrote to me on 8 August 2007 Matt said, “Sorry I have not been able to send you a thank you. I came to a base with internet for a few days and then back out to the firebase I will go. Thank you so much for all of the packages. The soldiers and I appreciate everything greatly. Everything you send is perfect nothing goes to waste. I will try and write once a month and give you an update on our conditions here. We recently got a generator out there so we have power for a few hours everyday. We get mail about twice a month by air. It’s like Christmas every time and most of the packages by far are from you. The name of my platoon’s base is called Firebase XXXXX. We are slowly but surely making it better. I have a lot of pictures of the Soldiers that I will try and send to you next time I get to the internet. Thank you again for all of your packages. Also thank the people that are in contact with you who also send us things. The Soldiers and I appreciate everything you do for us and we try to write a letter at least every time we get mail, but we only get to send out mail when someone carries all the letters out to mail them and that does not happen very often. Thanks again for all of your support.”
I emailed a response to Matt that it was our honor to provide support to him and his men. I told him that we believe it is our job (an easy one) to provide support because they are doing the difficult job by fighting those who would rather see this nation in chaos and ruin. I told him we knew they were making great progress and to keep up the good fight but to stay safe. Then I told him more boxes were on the way and reminded him of how grateful we were for him and his men. That was my last correspondence with Matt. It has been a long time since I have been as sad as I was when I received the email from the HHC at Camp Blessing telling me of Matt’s death. Even though I had never met him I knew from the correspondence I had with members of the 173rd as well as from reading accounts of his service on the internet that he was a special human being.
Our prayers along with our deepest and most sincere condolences go out to Matt’s wife, parents, brother, extended family and friends and to his comrades left behind. There is no way to adequately express our thoughts at this time. If one takes the time to read about SFC Blaskowski on the internet one finds story after story about the man he was. He lived his 27 years as a shining example of what humanity should be. It is apparent that Matt touched the lives of anyone who met and knew him in any capacity. He was the best of the best. He lived a selfless life in many ways – one of which was his choice to serve this nation as a member of the United States Army – to defend our freedom and continue to ensure our safety and security. Matt gave his all for us. This nation owes more to SFC Matthew Blaskowski than we could ever give. May his family know that we grieve with them in this time of sadness and loss and that we are thankful for the man he was. May they find comfort in remembering all that Matt was, all that he did and all that he gave throughout his life.
Rest in peace Matt. Our prayers are with you. I know the gates of heaven were standing wide open when you passed through and the angels were there to meet you.
Post written by Leta
Matthew’s family knows that Leta has put up a post in honor of him and will be reading it. So please go over to Tanker Brothers and leave a message for them in the comments, if you’d be so kind.
I just realized it’s Wednesday! Would have sworn yesterday was Monday. Thought it had been an unusually long day…
This is one of my favorite organizations, of which I’m a volunteer. Patti is an amazing woman who has inspired me, given me hope and kept my spirits up when I was ready to crash while living on the left pink coast. It was a true honor to meet her in person in May at the Milbloggers Conference in DC. I had been talking to her for 5 minutes (my husband and I were out having a cigarette and she was there with another woman) before I realized that she was THE Patti!! I burst into tears and she hugged me for a long time as I told her how hard it was to be a military parent living in a code pink town. She has a precious heart and spirit.
Thank you, Patti, for everything.
May Not Solder Go UnlovedBack in 2003, self-described “ordinary mother”, Patti Patton-Bader, started an organization called Solders’ Angels because her son, Sgt. Brandon Varn, wrote her a letter from Iraq in which he showed concern that some of the brave men and women there weren’t receiving any mail or support from back home. Well, she wasn’t going to allow this. She called a few friends and family asking them if they would write to some of the soldiers. They’d never met them. Didn’t know who they were, but they wrote. And in a few short months, Solders’ Angles went from an idea an “ordinary mother” had to having chapters all over the country and thousands of angels all over the world letting soldiers know that they were loved and respected by writing hundreds of thousands of letters, sending care packages, medical supplies, body armor and lending comfort and support to military families. Solder’s Angels and the people who run and support it are heroes in the truest sense.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died,
We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.
Ask Me if I Care About ‘Mishandling’ of Koran
By Doug Patton
June 6, 2005
First, Newsweek pulled a Dan Rather on us, running a fabricated story just because they wanted it to be true. They told the world that an American guard at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center had ripped pages from a prisoner’s Koran and flushed it down a toilet. As a result, innocent people died when practitioners of Islam rioted in protest in Afghanistan.
Oops, said Newsweek, it seems we can’t back up our story. Oh well, it’s probably true; we just can’t prove it. (Isn’t it convenient for Newsweek that the media now have “Deep Throat” to talk about so they can revel in their glory days and divert our attention from their criminal negligence.)
The lie heard round the world about the flushed Koran has caused convulsions in the Bush Administration and forced the Pentagon to launch an investigation of unfounded allegations contained in an unsubstantiated story. The results of said investigation are now in, and it seems there are at least five incidents of “mishandling” of the Koran at Gitmo.
Well, guess what? I don’t care!
Are we fighting a war on terror or aren’t we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation’s capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania? Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning death that day, or didn’t they?
And I’m supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was “desecrated” when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don’t. I don’t care at all.
I’ll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.
I’ll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.
I’ll care when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tells the world he is sorry for hacking off Nick Berg’s head while Berg screamed through his gurgling, slashed throat.
I’ll care when the cowardly so-called “insurgents” in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.
I’ll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.
I’ll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
I’ll care when Clinton-appointed judges stop ordering my government to release photos of the abuses at Abu Ghraib, which are sure to set off the Islamic extremists just as Newsweek’s lies did a few weeks ago.
In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don’t care.
When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college hazing incident, rest assured that I don’t care.
When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank that I don’t care.
When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being “mishandled,” you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts that I don’t care.
And oh, by the way, I’ve noticed that sometimes it’s spelled “Koran” and other times “Quran.” Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and — you guessed it — I don’t care!
I echo Mr. Patton’s sentiments whole heartily.
This has been around the email circuit the past couple of years and was mistakenly attributed to Pam Foster but is really the work of Doug Patton. You can read about all of this on Snopes here.
Well. Disrespect, rudeness, irreverence, ignorance, indecency, discourtesy, impertinence, impropriety and lying seem to be rearing their ugly heads in full-blown displays all over this country and in the “esteemed” halls of congress.
Breasts not Bombs (Ugly Alert!) ~ not being arrested because they are “exercising their right to protest”. Don’t think this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind about “Peaceful Assembly.
Burning the flag (again) ~ Freedom of speech, my a$$
Senators and Congressmen ~ if my daughter had ever talked to anyone as certain senators and congressmen do to the professionals who are the objects of their
witch hunts hearings, she would be grounded for a month!
The Media ~ Reporting what they think you should “know”, whether it’s the truth or not.
Moral Authority ~ Certain people wouldn’t know “moral” if it bit them in the place where their heads are.
( photo – http://www.crowsonstone.com)
Disgusting! Has that word gone out of fashion? It would appear so, since so many do not seem to see the above behaviors as a problem.
Well, I do. But I have hope because we have a large portion of this generation who understand the meanings of such concepts as ‘duty’, “loyalty’ and ‘honor’ and they are coming home from war. And they’ll be aiming for those who have not acted in their best interest.
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!!!