Tag Archives: Iraq

Why Do We Do It?

Via Allen Marshall

So as the end of my second deployment draws closer and closer, I’ve been pondering a thought, related to the question a lot of Marines are asked, and that question is “Why do we do it?”. I’ve come to the realization that the reason we do what we do changes. For example, ask a young man fresh out of boot camp, or even fresh out of high school about to leave for boot camp, and the typical answers you will get will be along the lines of :”I want to fight for/serve my country.” “My family is part of a military tradition” or “I’m doing it for school benefits.”. These are all excellent and admirable reasons for deciding to pick up a rifle and put your life on the line. Now jump ahead a few years, and this same Marine is now a combat veteran, with 1, 2, even 4 or more tours in Iraq or Afghanistan under his belt. You ask this veteran the same question again, and I will bet anything that I hold dear that his answer will be: “I do it for the men to my left and my right, my brothers.”. All those previous reasons, they simply become a byproduct to being out there with your brothers watching each others back. That’s what we are, brothers who have left blood, sweat, and tears on the battlefield. Your best friend back home for 15 years or more will always be just that, a friend, now that is not a bad thing, everyone needs friends in their lives. However, that man you spent just 7 months with in Afghanistan or Iraq, he is now your brother for life. No one will understand what we do or what we go through except for the people who go through it with us.”


Biography of U.S. Marine Sgt Smith

By U.S. Marine Sgt Smith

(Picture of Sgt Smith on a mission)

Some information for everybody about myself. I write here (on Pat Dollards website) as SGT SMITH, talk in the chat room during the BTR Jihadikiller hour shows as Smitty. I’ve made a couple appearances on the show calling in. This is to let you know who I am, a little bit of what I’ve done; and why I choose to do what I do.

When I was a Junior in high school, I watched as our country came under attack from cowards. I remember that day as everybody does. My deciding point for joining the military came later that day. My father is a firefighter and that evening, there was a memorial service for all of those emergency responders who had lost their lives earlier that day. I sat in a pew next to my mother as I watched the line of firefighters; who I had grown up with being my big brothers, walk down the aisle with their black mourning bands on their badges. I watched as every one of them lost their composure and started to cry. It was at that exact moment that I was young enough to do something, and that I needed to. October of 2002 I found myself at MEPS in Kansas City volunteering for the Marine Corps.

(My family and I)

Continue reading

President Bush Visits Troops In Iraq

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 14, 2008

President Bush Visits Troops in Iraq
Al Faw Palace – Camp Victory
Baghdad, Iraq

Fact sheet In Focus: Defense
Fact sheet In Focus: Iraq

8:05 P.M. (Local)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for coming out to say hello. General, thank you for the introduction, I am honored to be at Camp Victory.


THE PRESIDENT: Laura and I have been having a lot of Christmas parties at the White House, so I thought it would be kind of neat to change the scenery.

President George W. Bush addresses U.S.military and diplomatic personnel Sunday, Dec, 14, 2008, at the Al Faw Palace-Camp Victory in Baghdad, following his meetings with Iraqi leaders and the signing of strategic and security agreements.  White House photo by Eric Draper AUDIENCE: Hoo-ah!

THE PRESIDENT: And I would rather be with the men and women of the United States military than with anybody else. (Applause.)

So as you can see I decided to fly over, and in the spirit of the season we renamed Air Force One to Rudolph One.


THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. I bring greetings from a proud and grateful nation — Merry Christmas to you, happy holidays. Congratulations on your inspiring accomplishments here in Iraq. And above all, thank you for volunteering to defend our country in a time of danger.


THE PRESIDENT: This is a time of year to give thanks for our many blessings B- and the greatest blessing we have is freedom and the fact that we’ve got a United States military to defend that freedom.

So General, thank you very much for your leadership. I’m proud to be with you again. I appreciate the leadership of General Austin, as well. Ambassador Crocker and Christine are with us today. I had the pleasure of meeting Sergeant — Command Sergeant Major Lawrence Wilson; Command Sergeant Major Joe Allen; Major General Hammond — (applause) — put it together for Hammond. (Laughter.)


THE PRESIDENT: Command Sergeant Major Gioia.


THE PRESIDENT: Major General Oates. (Applause.) How about, have you ever heard of a guy named Redmore? (Applause.)

Thanks for coming out. I am thrilled to be here with the diplomats, embassy personnel who are so critical to our success.

I want to thank the Iraqi citizens who are here with us today. I appreciate your courage. I know there are members of the coalition who are here with us. There have been a lot of troops from around the world who have come to help this young democracy survive and thrive. And so I want to thank the citizens of those country [sic] and the troops who have served here before us.

This is my fourth trip to Iraq — and you’ve probably heard I’m heading into retirement — (laughter) — so it’s going to be my last trip as the President. But thanks to you, the Iraq we stand in tonight is dramatically freer, dramatically safer, and dramatically better than the Iraq we found eight years ago.


THE PRESIDENT: And as a result of the sacrifices of our troops, America is safer, and America is more secure.


THE PRESIDENT: I want to take you back to what life was like eight years ago here in Iraq. Iraq had a record of supporting terror, a record of developing and using weapons of mass destruction, was routinely firing at American military personnel, systematically violating United Nations resolution. Life for the Iraqi people was a nightmare, with Saddam Hussein torturing and murdering anyone who did not support his repressive rule. Iraq was a sworn enemy of the United States at the heart of the Middle East; the region was a serious threat to the us.

President George W. Bush reaches to shake as many hands as possible as he meets with U.S. military and diplomatic personnel Sunday, Dec, 14, 2008, at the Al Faw Palace-Camp Victory in Baghdad.  White House photo by Eric Draper After the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, America concluded we could not tolerate a regime like this in a pivotal region of the world. I gave Saddam Hussein a chance to peacefully resolve the question as to whether or not he had weapons of mass destruction. You might remember, I went to the United Nations, where a body said: disarm, disclose, or face serious consequence. It was his choice to make. And he made the wrong choice. And so the United States military, with a vast coalition removed this man from power and the world is better off for it. (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT: I doubt in his worst nightmares he ever would have dreamt that we’d be standing in one of his palaces.


THE PRESIDENT: Thanks to you, 25 million Iraqis are free.

Thanks to you, Iraq is no longer sponsoring terror — it is fighting terror. It’s making American people safer as a result.

The enemies of freedom in Iraq are determined, and this fight has been tough. Two years ago, the situation had grown dire — the political process was frozen and sectarian violence was spiraling out of control. Some of you were here then/

Many said the mission was hopeless; many called for retreat. Retreat would have meant failure — and failure is never an option.


THE PRESIDENT: So instead of pulling troops out, we sent more troops in — called the surge. And because of you and because of your courage, the surge is one of the greatest successes in the history of the United States military.


THE PRESIDENT: Terrorists who once held safe havens across the country are being driven out of their strongholds. The political process that was once stalled is moving forward. Iraqi citizens once afraid to leave their homes are going back to school, and shopping in markets, and leading a more normal life. And American troops are returning home because of success.


THE PRESIDENT: The dramatic turnaround you led in Iraq culminated in the two agreements completed last month, which the Prime Minister and I affirmed in a ceremony earlier today.

President George W. Bush stands on stage with U.S. Commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, following his address to U.S. military and diplomatic personnel at the Al Faw Palace-Camp Victory in Baghdad.  White House photo by Eric Draper These agreements formalize the ties between our two democracies in areas ranging from security and diplomacy to culture and trade. These agreements show the way forward toward a historic day — when American forces withdraw from a democratic and successful Iraq, and the war in this land is won.

There’s more hard work to do before we reach that day. But if there is any — but if there is no doubt — but there is no doubt in my mind, there’s just no doubt that we’re going to reach that day. I am confident because our cause is just. And freedom is universal. I’m confident because the Iraqi people are showing unshakable determination and courage.

And above all, I am confident because I know the character and the strength of those who wear the uniform of the United States military.


THE PRESIDENT: Over the past five years, you have shown the world some unmistakable truths:

You have shown that when America is tested, we rise to meet the test.

You have shown that the desire for freedom is more powerful than the intimidation of terrorists.

You have shown that there is no task too difficult for the United States military.


THE PRESIDENT: And so I have a message for you and all who serve our country: I want to thank you for making the noble choice to serve and to protect your fellow Americans. Sometimes it can be hard to tell when history is being made, particularly if you’re in the middle of the action. What you’re doing in Iraq is as important, and courageous, and selfless as what American troops did in places like Normandy and Iwo Jima and Korea. Your generation is every bit as great as any that came before it. And the work you do every day will shape history for generations to come.

I guess what I’m telling you is your grandchildren some day are going to say, “Thank God you showed up and served.”

America now has a strong friend and a partner in the fight against extremism in the heart of the Middle East, and that is historic.

People across this troubled region of the world now have an example for a more hopeful path — a model of liberty that can prevail over tyranny and terror. Killers who wanted to take the lives of Americans back home have been brought to justice before they reached our shores.

Because of you all who work to protect this nation — and all who work to protect the nation, America has done something many said was impossible: We have gone seven years without a terrorist attack.
President George W. Bush gestures the "hook'em horns" sign of the University of Texas to U.S. military personnel in the balcony, as he meets with U.S. military and diplomatic personnel Sunday, Dec, 14, 2008, at the Al Faw Palace-Camp Victory in Baghdad.  White House photo by Eric Draper AUDIENCE: Hoo-ah!

THE PRESIDENT: We think of those who have laid down their lives for freedom here in Iraq. Their children are growing up without a mom or a dad. But all of our children are growing up with something else — the promise of a safer America and a better world. And that is the lasting memorial of all who have sacrificed here in Iraq. And thanks to you, that memorial will be achieved — and their sacrifice will not be in vain.


THE PRESIDENT: We think of your comrades who have been wounded. And this nation pledges that we will give them all the care and all the support they need to recover.


THE PRESIDENT: We think of all your families back home. I know many of you have a sweetheart who misses you, or a daughter who longs for her dad, or a mom who worries about you day and night. For many of you, it won’t be your first holiday away — and that certainly doesn’t make it easier. So I’m going to give you an order: When you get out of here, call home or email home; you tell your families you love them; and you tell the Commander-in-Chief came by to thank them for their sacrifice along with yours. (Applause.)

Thanks — thanks for coming by to let me say hello. Thanks for serving the United States of America. They ask me what I’m going to miss as the President. I’ll tell you what I’m going to miss: being the Commander-in-Chief of such a fabulous group of folks. May God bless you, and God bless America. (Applause.)

END 8:13 P.M. EST

You can read the Fact Sheet: The Strategic Framework Agreement and the Security Agreement with Iraq here.

RCT-1, Team 2 takes Turkey Bowl at Camp Ramadi

About that 500 tons of yellow cake uranium in Iraq

I tried to post this on Apaceclips.com Forum and it would not post there. So I’m posting it here and will link it to Apache.

This is kind of an older report about some of the WMD’s found in Iraq. Bush keep it quiet for about a year-ish so they could get it out of Iraq without the insurgents getting their hands on it. But since I’ve not seen this report here or hardly any other places, I’m posting it here. Once again this was a report that most MSM buried. This was back in July when the yellowcake was removed from Iraq and sent to Canada who bought it from Iraq.

Did you hear about this?


Yellow Cake Uranium


By Rick Moran on American Thinker

We interrupt this scandal to ask a question that, due to it’s ‘explosive’ nature was never asked when the story broke almost exactly a year ago…

What were 500 tons of yellow cake uranium still doing at the nuclear research center of Al—Tuwaitha in Iraq when American tanks rolled into Bagdhad.


The fact that the material was under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for more than a decade opens an entirely different line of questioning: Is the entire group of United Nations bureaucrats running the IAEA legally insane?

These issues are somewhat separate from the Plame—Wilson—Rove dust up that’s been roiling Washington recently, but nevertheless shed light on why Joe Wilson went to Niger in February of 2002 and why the bureaucratic tussle over those 16 words about the Iraqi—Niger yellow cake connection was so fierce.

The story begins at the end of the first Gulf War when inspectors found a 500 ton cache of refined yellow cake uranium at Iraq’s primary nuclear research facility in Al—Tuwaitha outside of Bagdhad. The cache was part of a huge inventory of nuclear materials discovered by UN inspectors that included low—level radioactive material of the type used for industrial and medical purposes as well as a quantity of highly enriched uranium suitable for bomb production.

This HE uranium was shipped to Russia where it was made relatively harmless by a process known as ‘isotopic dilution’ — but only after the Iraqis dragged their heels for more than 6 months following the cease fire by playing a cat and mouse game with the IAEA’s inspectors. The history of those early IAEA inspections can be found here and is an eye opening look at both the gullibility of the IAEA and the lengths to which Saddam sought to keep as much of his nuclear bomb making capability as he could.

The IAEA placed a seal on the nuclear materials in November of 1992. From then until the fall of Saddam, the agency attempted to make sure that Iraq did not use the yellow cake to reconstitute its nuclear program, something the IAEA acknowledged could be done if the Iraqis were able to rebuild its centrifuges and gain access to additional fissile material. Keeping track of the material was made extraordinarily difficult by the Iraqis who regularly impeded IAEA officials from carrying out even the most routine inspections.

Flash forward to 1999 when British intelligence found out through multiple sources that representatives of the Iraqi government had met with officials from the Niger government.

This fact is not in dispute. The mystery is in what they talked about. A memo obtained by the British — later proven to be a forgery — purported to show the Iraqis were interested in purchasing 500 tons of yellow cake uranium from Niger’s mines. Forgery or not, since Niger’s exports are extremely limited, consisting largely of uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, and onions, one doesn’t have to be an intelligence analyst to figure out in which one of those items the Iraqis might be interested.

Both the Butler Review and the Senate Select Committee on Pre War Iraq Intelligence (SSCI) point to other efforts by Saddam to purchase uranium, most notably from the Democratic Republic of the Congo . The Butler Review states in 2002 the CIA ‘agreed that there was evidence that [uranium from Africa] had been sought.’ In the run—up to war in Iraq, the British Intelligence Services apparently believed that Iraq had been trying to obtain uranium from Africa; however, no evidence has been passed on to the IAEA apart from the forged documents.

This then was the context in which Ambassador Joe Wilson went to Niger in February of 2002. Based on multiple sources and the best judgement of the CIA, Saddam Hussein was trying purchase uranium. Since there were no working commercial nuclear reactors in all of Iraq, his interest could only be based on his desire to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program.

There was no ‘fixing’ of intelligence or ‘shaping’ intelligence to fit some preconceived agenda. Despite UN resolutions and sanctions, Saddam was looking to build the bomb.

What about that 500 tons of yellow cake under seal at Al—Tuwaitha? As long as the sanctions were in place, the inspectors would be able to confirm, albeit with great difficulty, that Saddam would not be able to use the material for his bomb building program. But that fact doesn’t answer the question: why would any organization charged with keeping a lid on nuclear proliferation allow that much fissile material to be kept by a bloodthirsty tyrant who had already demonstrated a desire to construct a nuclear weapon?

In an article that appeared in The American Thinker on July 20, 2004, Douglas Hanson draws some rather unflattering conclusions about the IAEA and their mission:

The actions, or more appropriately, the inactions of the IAEA regarding Iraq since the end of Gulf War I, betray the agency’s true agenda. Rather than inspect, report, and implement restrictions in accordance with the provisions in the treaty, the agency has in effect become an enabler of rogue nations who are attempting, or who have already succeeded in developing or acquiring special nuclear material and equipment. In other words, the IAEA is simply a reflection of its parent organization, which routinely delays and obfuscates the efforts of the US and the UK in controlling banned substances and delivery systems.

Time after time, the agency has either intentionally or naively bought into the lies and deceptions contrived by nations of the Axis of Evil during IAEA visits and inspections. In most cases, the IAEA avoids confrontation like the plague in order to maintain access to the facilities. If they are booted out, as was the case with North Korea, their impotence is on display for all to see. In other cases, the agency joins in the deception, thereby allowing these rogue states to level the nuclear playing field with the West and Russia.

Clearly then, the IAEA was totally dependent on the sanctions to even carry out the limited inspections it was performing in the 1990’s. But how long would the sanctions be in place?

It is an article of faith with critics of the war that ‘Saddam was in a box’ and there was no need for an invasion to remove him. It’s a pity that many of those critics have such a short memory because a review of what many of them were saying about the sanctions prior to September 11, 2001 would show that they were eager to lift the very same sanctions that they now claim was keeping Saddam in check.

Thanks to a remarkable propoganda program that included funeral processions of Iraqi babies whose dead bodies were used over and over again in macabre effort to make it appear that the death toll of infants was higher than it was, the world community was, by 2001, agitating for the lifting of sanctions on the Iraq economy. And while the lifting of economic sanctions would not have meant a lifting of the arms embargo, given the limited resources available to both The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the IAEA as well as Iraq’s demonstrated ability to impede, obstruct, and deceive inspectors, it stands to reason that the continuation of the arms embargo would have been a sham. Even with the embargo, the Dulfer Report showed that Saddam’s ability to evade the sanctions and purchase illicit weapons was extremely troubling.

All of this is important to remember when thinking about that 500 tons of yellow cake uranium sitting under seal at Al—Tuwaitha. How worried was the CIA that Saddam would someday be able to use that material to construct a bomb?
That question goes to the heart of the current controversy over not just who may have ‘outed’ a covert CIA operative, but whether the Administration was trying to discredit Mr. Wilson so that his charge that the White House manipulated intelligence to fool the American people into support for war would also be disbelieved.

Why would the White House want to discredit Mr. Wilson? Given that the Mr. Bush was in the midst of tight Presidential campaign, it’s obvious that politics had something to do with it. But the effort by the White House to push back against who Mr. Wilson was running interference for — the CIA — was at bottom what this conflict has been about from the start.

From the time of the President’s State of the Union in January of 2003 until Mr. Wilson’s celebrated July Op—Ed in the New York Times in which he basically called the President of the United States a liar, the former Ambassador had been peddling his story of the Administration ‘twisting’ pre war intelligence regarding efforts by Saddam to purchase uranium from Niger to reporters all over Washington, D.C. Wilson said as much in an interview with LA Weekly:

I spoke to a number of reporters over the ensuing months. Each time they asked the White House or the State Department about it, they would feign ignorance. I became even more convinced that I was going to have to tell the story myself.

This is where the yellow cake story became a club that the CIA could bash the Administration over the head with. Never mind that Saddam already had 500 tons of the stuff on hand just waiting for the world to turn its back so that it could be used to jump start his nuclear program. And since the intelligence regarding Saddam’s further efforts to purchase uranium was partially discredited, the President’s opponents at the agency thought they saw an opening. Already under fire for missing the 9/11 plot thus making that tragedy the biggest intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor, the hyper sensitivity of the CIA to criticism would now manifest itself into an attack on its more vocal critics in the Administration.

One of the most underreported aspects of this scandal has been the hostility by a faction in the CIA toward the White House during the period following the discovery that weapons of mass destruction were not to be found in Iraq. This kind of bureaucratic infighting is usually too arcane a subject for most people to pay much attention to. However, in this case, there appears to be a measure of partisan politics on the part of CIA personnel thrown into the mix in addition to the very human impulse to shift blame for failure.

The Wall Street Journal commented on this conflict in an editorial on September 29 following a selective leak of a CIA report predicting post—war instability in Iraq. Not only was the leak a brazen attempt by the CIA to embarass the administration, but the fact that it came two days before the first debate between the President and Senator Kerry was evidence that this faction in the CIA was determined to affect the election.

In it’s editorial, the Journal noted the following about the CIA’s war with the White House:

Keep in mind that none of these CIA officials were ever elected to anything, and that they are employed to provide accurate information to officials who present their policy choices for voter judgment. Yet what the CIA insurgents are essentially doing here, with their leaks and insubordination, is engaging in a policy debate. Given the timing of the latest leaks so close to an election, they are now clearly trying to defeat President Bush and elect John Kerry. Yet somehow the White House stands accused of ‘politicizing’ intelligence?

The leaking of pre—war intelligence nuggets prior to the election in 2004 that showed the CIA in the best possible light by highlighting alternate analyses of Iraq WMD capabilities was a remarkable demonstration of partisanship by supposedly non—partisan bureaucrats. And while the partisanship was not necessarily due to any allegiance to the Democratic party on the part of the leakers, it did reveal a mind set that wished to establish a public record absolving the CIA of failure. The fact that the President would be hurt politically by the revelations was also a probable motive for the leaks.

Was Valerie Plame a part of this faction? In his column naming her as a CIA employee, Robert Novak describes her as an ‘operative on weapons of mass destruction.’ Since most of the leaks coming from the CIA faction at war with the White House involved the analysis of the WMD threat from Iraq, it’s tempting to connect the dots and say that Plame was part of a group that wished to, at the very least, prove that the CIA was not as wrong about WMD in Iraq as some in the Administration were saying. At worst, Mrs. Wilson may have been a party to an effort to influence an election by trying to embarass the President.

And by connecting the dots between Mrs. Wilson and other agency rebels who sought to take down the President, doesn’t this open up a whole slew of questions about Mr. Wilson? The former ambassador has been portraying himself as a whistleblower. What if he was an errand boy instead? Wilson, by virtue of his former employment at the State Department could be the perfect front man for a propoganda campaign by his wife’s employer to shift blame for the WMD fiasco from the agency’s incompetence to the neoconservative hawks and their rush to war.

Another question raised by this effort of the CIA to discredit the President is about the complaint filed with the Justice Department by the agency when Mrs. Wilson’s “cover” was blown.

Having worked at CIA headquarters at Langely for nearly 6 years, the idea that any foreign intelligence service who wanted to find out wouldn’t have known of Mrs Wilson’s employment at the agency strains credulity. The turnoff from the highway into CIA headquarters is clearly marked. Is it possible that foreign spies could have observed Mrs. Wilson entering the complex at Langely over a six year period? Or, more likely, could they have gotten a hold of a list of agency personnel who work at Langely? Given the number of truly damaging revelations regarding traitors over the years, it seems logical to conclude that a list of employees at Langely could be in the hands of one or more foreign intelligence services. The filing of the complaint over the leak could then be seen in the context of further efforts by the CIA to get back at the Administration.

The question of whether or not Saddam wanted to purchase yellow cake uranium to augment his existing supply sitting in the Al—Tuwaitha facility, when viewed in the context of this White House—CIA conflict, becomes not a question of the CIA analyzing Saddam’s intentions but rather a question of the CIA attacking the Administration’s intentions. The rationale for war given by the President goes far beyond any disputed effort by Saddam to buy uranium. But the only way to attack the President’s motives is by concentrating solely and exclusively on the lack of WMD. And since it’s been widely reported that most western governments believed Saddam had a large stockpile of chemical and biological weapons prior to the invasion, the only possible line of attack by the President’s opponents at CIA was the single reference to uranium found in the State of the Union address given by Bush in 2002.

Did the White House go overboard in its effort to push back against this effort by the CIA to discredit the President? At this point, it’s unclear if any laws even were broken by Karl Rove or anyone else in the White House. But however the scandal shakes out, it would be hard to argue that Plame, Wilson, or Rove acted honorably and in the best interests of the United States.


You can also read about the Yellow Cake Uranium at these sites:

NewsMax Magazine: “The Uranium Joe Wilson Didn’t Mention”

World Net Daily: “Nuke ‘yellowcake’ from Iraq found:”

The Minority Report: “Bush Lied? Yellowcake Uranium found in Iraq”

ABC News: AP Exclusive: “US Removes Uranium From Iraq”

Pat Dollard: US Removes 550 Tons of “Yellow Cake Uranium” From Iraq

Just google “Yellowcake Uranium in Iraq” and I’m sure you’ll find tons more posts about it.

The yellowcake was sold to canada.


One Tough Marine

Boots on the Ground

by Chuck Holton

November 17, 2008

They should have killed him while they had the chance.

Marine Corporal Garrett Jones is back in combat, and he’s mad as…well, you get the picture.

While on patrol with his unit, the 2/7 Marine Regiment in Iraq a little over a year ago, Cpl Jones remembers a flash and a cloud of smoke. He was thrown through the air into a sewage canal. After that, things got fuzzy. When he awoke, a chaplain informed him he’d lost his leg above the knee. Jones recalls saying, “I hear they make really good prosthetics.”

Seventeen surgeries and a whole lot of physical therapy now behind him, the tough young corporal is back in battle with his buddies – this time in Afghanistan. He’s one of a growing number of amputees who refuse to allow the loss of a limb to stop them from serving. And Jones recuperated in record time – a little under nine months after his injury, he was training to return to his unit. To do so, he had to prove himself all over again, going through all the same pre-deployment training as the others.

This is, after all, the Marine Corps. They don’t play wait-up.

“My leg popped off a couple of times in the humvee scenario and once when I was leaving a range,” Jones said. “I thought it was funny because ‘How many guys walk around with combat loads and have a leg fall off?’ I still did it to prove that I could deploy as an amputee.”

It’s that kind of spirit that enables him to endure the brutal operational tempo and primitive living conditions that his unit must endure in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. And being the first above-the-knee amputee to return to combat with his unit makes him a literal walking legend with his peers.

Jones recently submitted his paperwork to reenlist for another stint with the unit he loves. He also plans to represent the Marine corps this winter in another amazing display of toughness – a national snowboarding competition.

“I love being with the guys, the same people. I really do,” Jones said. “If it wasn’t for the guys in this unit, I wouldn’t be here. It’s an honor to serve with them and be in a place where many Marines don’t get a chance to go.”

Chuck Holton

Sgt Smith: “All Hope Is Not Lost”

by Sgt Smith
Nov. 23, 2008

I will start this out being very blunt. Fuck doubters, haters, naysayers, MSM, Liberal fucktards, Berkley faggots, and anybody else who talks shit on the efforts of what we were doing, what we are doing, or what we will do.

There is a small town that in within my AO that I get the pleasure to go to everyonce in a while. This town is very small, surrounded by palm groves. These people are far away from any major city. It is the most professional IP station I have ever visited. They have their IP station with all their trucks staged nice and neat and clean, clearly marked. They have their command building sectioned off into different responsiblities, IE: Admin, Intel, Ops, Supply. This city has been built up by the hard work of its’ people and it’s Police force. The IP Chief isn’t like any other Iraqi that I’ve ever encountered. We told him that he needs to try to roll up any bad guys who drive by his town and asked him what he needs in return for his good deeds. Other IP stations would have asked for anything and everything. He said he didn’t need anything, just knowing that he was taking bad people away from his city and out of his country was all he needed. The city has city-wide get togethers where they go and pick up all the trash from the city to make it look nice, not like other cities where as long as it isn’t in your house it’s not your problem. The IP’s have the highest level of motivation and professionalism I have ever witnessed. Their city is at such a high level of security that they are putting together a business proposal to set up a hotel and restaurant near a natural spring where Jesus is said to have once swam. As well as a different business proposal to set up a hunting lodge where people can go hunting for exotic birds, wild boar and go fishing in near by fresh water springs. But……. you’ll never probably read anything like this anywhere else, because, the death rates are up in Afghanistan, and the US is doing strikes in Pakistan, and Obama is the first elected black president in US history. I haven’t fired a round since september of last year on my last deployment, over 4 months!! We haven’t even done so much as an escalation of force in my platoon. But… that doesn’t give anybody the NVG firefight video’s or the contraversy of an innocent civilian being wounded or an insurgent that’s been wounded being shot again to finish him off. Is there still shit going on over here? Absolutely. When I can pick up a Marine Times from the PX and only read the names of 2 KIA for 2 weeks, that’s when I think the media should be at an all time high, out here interviewing the troops, interviewing the people to see how they feel. Not still doing reports from the “green zone”. They need to stop being pussies and see what’s going on now, granted, they won’t have to worry about taking cover or having snipers singling them out because of their press flaks and kevlars. But this is when we need to show the world what’s going on over here.

Victory In Iraq Day, Nov. 22, 2008

Sgt Smith: “I want to be able to help these guys just to see their country do well.”

This is a update from Sgt Smith who’s deployed to Iraq. He posted this in comments at Pat Dollards website.

Hey hey, it’s me, been gone for a bit, been busy, as usual, but loving every minute of it. A few things to talk about this evening (2330 Iraqistan time). Where to start… Development of the Iraqi Army. Every morning, after breakfast, as I’m drinking a cup of the slop they call coffee out here, I look over to the IA side of the base, and for the last month I see the IA out doing various things. They might be a little ragged around the edges but they are military in nature. I see them doing close order drill, or their own variation of it. Working on crossing danger area’s and other urban movements. Even PTing on their own, as a unit. It’s pretty amazing.

Next things next. Throughout our meetings with IP Chief’s, Sheikhs, and other city/GOI leaders, I have found myself becoming more animated and emotional about what is going on with them and their city. For a week or two it puzzled me as to why I was getting so attached to it, and then one night while I was “chillin” in my room listening to some Jack Johnson, and it hit me. I’m on my fourth deployment to this country, and it’s growing on me. I knew that it would and that it has, but it never made sense until the other night. Now, I’m not a father but I imagine this to be a somewhat similar situation. I’ve been working on this little project called OIF for over 2 years now and I’ve put alot of heart and emotion into what has happened here. I’ve been through ups and downs out here. My first two deployments were heavily ridden in combat, but even with that we still focused on the people. My last deployment I treated 14 Iraqi trauma’s from insurgent activity. Now I’m out here as a political advisor. I’ve just put so much into this country that I never want to see it fail, if it does then I fail. I fail those who have gone before me and beside me. That is not an option, but it’s so hard to see things happening, and only being able to “advise” it’s like when our ROE’s started getting tightened, but instead of killing bad guys it’s holding us back from helping the good. I want to be able to help these guys just to see their country do well. It’s with a bit of selfishness though I think. I can look at something I’ve made, and saying, wow that’s amazing, and it means more because I’ve made it. I know that these people need to look at their things and feel the same way. This country just cannot fail. There has been a trend, and to the other branches don’t take offense to this just take it for what it is, facts. Somalia, US Marines sent to quell the uprising, sent away, NATO brought in, fucked it up, Army sent in, and we all know how that went. Afghanistan, Marines sent in hooking and jabbing getting some, Marines sent away, NATO brought in, fucked it up, request that Marines come back to help them fight an even harder more intense fight than what they left. We can’t allow this to happen here, not with the countries around Iraq. All over the place tonite, sorry about that, I need to take a class on organizing your thoughts I think. Alright, Semper Fi, take care, laters!

Iraqi Little Girl Saves U.S. Troops

This is not the little girl who saved the Marines


From a Marine Gunnery Sergeant in Iraq.

On each patrol we take through the city, we take as many toys as will fit in our pockets and hand them out as we can. The kids take the toys and run to show them off as if they were worth a million bucks.

On one such patrol, our lead security vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. This is not normal and is very unsafe, so the following vehicles began to inquire over the radio. The lead vehicle reported a little girl sitting in the road and said she just would not budge. The command vehicle told the lead to simply
go around her.

As the vehicles went around her, I soon saw her sitting there and in her arms she was clutching a little bear that we had handed her a few patrols back. Feeling an immediate connection to the girl, I radioed that we were going to stop. The rest of the convoy paused and I got out to make sure she was OK. The little girl
looked scared and concerned, but there was a warmth in her eyes toward me. As I knelt down to talk to her, she moved over and pointed to a mine in the road.

Immediately a cordon was set as the Marine convoy assumed a defensive posture around the site. The mine was destroyed in place.

It was the heart of an American that sent that toy. It was the heart of an American that gave that toy to that little girl. It was the heart of a tiny Iraqi girl that protected that convoy from that mine. It was a heart of acceptance, of tolerance, of peace and grace, even through the inconveniences of conflict that saved that
convoy from hitting that mine.

She may have no affiliation at all with the United States, but she knows what it is to be brave. And if we can continue to support her and her new government, she will know what it is to be free.