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Friday Dec 05, 2008

AVery Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and A Healthy, Peaceful 2009 to our USAb2c Family!

Christmas_soldiers

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I  gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. 
My wife was  asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in  rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming  the yard to a winter delight.
 
The sparkling lights in the tree I  believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. 
My  eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by  love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would  seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
 
The  sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it  tickled my ear. 
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then  the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave  a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who  was near.
 
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the  night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. 
A  soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled  here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and  smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my  child.
 
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come  in this moment, it's freezing out here! 
Put down your pack, brush  the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas  Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the  cold and the snow blown in drifts..
 
To the window that danced with  a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all  right, 
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That  separates you from the darkest of times.
 
No one had to ask or beg  or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before  me. 
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then  he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood  his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I  am.
 
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my  wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile. 
Then he bent and  he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an  American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being  alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
 
I can  stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a  foxhole with little to eat. 
I can carry the weight of killing  another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who  stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that  this flag will not fall."
 
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But  isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I  asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that  you've done, 
For being away from your wife and your  son."
 
Then his eye welled a tear that held no  regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget. 
To  fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own  watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or  dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment  enough, and with that we will trust, 
That we mattered to you as  you mattered to us."

Thursday Nov 06, 2008

This Veteran's Day, Remember our Ex-POWs

 

Hello Americans.  I want to share with you a wonderful site dedicated to our American Ex Prisoners of War. It's www.axpow.org.  Take the time, if you can, to read some of their biographies.  I'd like to share one with you now which I found particularly inspiring.  God bless all our veterans!


National Headquarters

3201 East Pioneer Parkway #40

Arlington, Texas 76010-5396

817-649-2979

817-649-0109 - FAX

 

Biography
 
John Clark - 1945 John Clark - 1999
John Clark, T/Sgt. In 1945 John R. Clark 1999
 
Last Name: 
CLARK
First Name Middle Initial:
JOHN R
Nick Name:
Street:  1826 SOUTHSIDE RD City & State: ELIZABETHTON, TN E-Mail: 
Zip: 37643 Phone:  Spouse:
Conflict: WW II Service Branch: ARMY Unit: 106 INF. DIV. 422 REG.
Theater: ETO Where Captured: BATTLE OF THE BULGE Date Captured: 12/21/44
Camps Held In: STALAG 8A AND 4B How Long Interned: 113 days
Liberated / repatriated: liberated Date Liberated: 04/13/45 Age at Capture: 19
Medals Received: BRONZE STAR MEDAL, EUROPE CAMPAIGN MEDAL, PRISONER OF WAR MEDAL, GOOD CONDUCT AWARD
Military Job: COMBAT INFANTRYMAN, SQUAD LEADER Company: HOME BENEFICIAL
Occupation after War:  LIFE INSURANCE SALESMAN

 

Bio:

Friday the 13th was the luckiest day in the life of John Clark. On that day in April 50 years ago American soldiers liberated the young Carter Countian and a group of other prisoners of war from the small town of Horsinger, Germany. He remembers the scene vividly. Armored vehicles approaching, the roaring noise of the motors, the American flag flying in the wind. “That American flag was the most beautiful thing I ever saw,” Clark recalls a half century later. That flag was a sight Clark had longed to see. He had heard allied machine guns the day before but he was not sure he would live long enough to see the men who were firing the guns. When he went to bed on April 12, 1945 he did not know if he had the strength to live through the next day.

Clark and his fellow prisoners had been forced marched 600 miles since February, staying one step ahead of the advancing Russian Army. The prisoners marched as much as 32 kilometers a day with little or no food. Hungry prisoners who stole an egg or a potato from a German farm risked being shot. Clark saw prisoners executed this way. Others who had lost the strength to go on were also shot when they staggered out of the formation.

Clark had been in perfect health and weighted 198 pounds when he was captured. By the time he reached an American hospital three days after his rescue, Clark, who is 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighted only 127 pounds. In addition to his malnutrition, Clark was also facing another threat to his life. The month before, Russian POWs had stolen one of his boots. His best friend, Bill Furay, had the opposite boot stolen. Since Clark wore size 9-1/2 and Furay wore size 9, Clark gave Furay his other boot. Clark marched for days without shoes. He finally got a pair of old galoshes and stuffed them with rags. Worse was to come. After marching for several days in the galoshes, the Germans gave him a pair of new shoes. He had to break them in by marching 25 kilometers that day and 27 kilometers each of the next two days. “My feet were solid blisters,” Clark remembers.

Each day the agony of his starvation diet and his mangled feet only seemed to get worse. He shared his agony with Furay, not only his best friend but also a buddy he had been with since basic training. They had remained in the same unit for their entire service, and had even been captured together. The two had marched side by side from France to the prison camps and now were together on this forced march. “The day before I was liberated I told Bill that I just did not think I could make it another day.” He knew the Germans would shoot him if he did not keep up. That is why that American flag looked so wonderful to the haggard prisoner and why Friday the 13th will always be special to him. He remembers that shortly after the rescue, he stooped over and blacked out from his hunger and pain. If he had done that while still with the German guards it would have meant certain death.

Clark’s hardship had begun when he was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a squad leader in the 106th Infantry Division. It was a new division, thrown together from replacement and green troops during the past few months. The unit had only been able to train together for a month in England before being committed to the front lines. The Germans knew the 106th was green, and, naturally, it was a prime target in Hitler’s desperate last gamble to reverse the tide of war. The Germans attacked at 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 16. Clark’s unit got the word to fall back. His platoon was the lead element. As they were retreating, German artillery caught them in the open. His platoon was able to keep going while the rest were pinned down. They were soon captured. It was part of the greatest mass surrender in American history.

Clark was not yet one of them. He struggled on with fragments of the shattered division until they reached the middle of the storm; Hill 576. A perimeter was established. More men kept coming until they were 500 strong. They would come to be known as “The Lost 500.” But 500 men could not hold out for long against the massive German offensive. Clark and the other men were told to destroy their weapons and surrender on December 21. As their German captors marched them away, Clark said he saw more Tiger tanks lined up against them then he had ever seen. There was no way the 500 could have survived against such firepower. At the time, Clark said the men felt they had made the right decision to surrender. “If we had known what was in the future, we would have stayed and fought to the death.”

Clark’s ordeal began with a three-day march from St. Vith, Belgium to Prum, Germany. They were given no food during the march. Finally, they reached a railhead, where they were loaded onto box cars, headed for POW camps. They had only been on the train for a part of the day before it had to stop because the American Air Force had bombed the trestles. The boxcars were moved to a siding. Later, an American P-51 shot up the train killing six and wounding 47. The soldier sitting on Clark’s left and the one sitting on his right were both killed. Clark said the prisoners then broke the doors down and laid in the snow linking their bodies together to form the words “USPW.” The plane came back and rolled its wing (in salute). This was the day before Christmas. We spent the night back in the rail cars. On Christmas, we got a half-loaf of bread and a spoon of jam. This was for two days.”

After marching for three days they were put on another train. Again, they were bombed by their own planes but finally reached the prison camps. During in processing, a German officer took all of Clark’s possessions, handing him a receipt for the few dollars and francs he carried. Clark managed to hide two things from the officer, which would become crucial to him as times got tougher. Inside the pocket of his field jacket, Clark hid a tiny note paid he had picked up at an USO canteen. He used this note pad to keep a diary of his captivity and record his thoughts during his ordeal. He also managed to hide a small New Testament.

With the Russians advancing from the east, the Germans began to move their POWs westward. Clark’s camp was evacuated on Feb. 14. At the end of each day’s march, Clark and his fellow prisoners might expect a cup of “grass” soup and some bread. Clark and the other prisoners sometimes managed to steal an egg or some potatoes from a German farm. If they were caught they would be shot, and some were. Each night, Clark recorded how far they marched that day and the name of the town where they stopped. Clark was able to record the distances by remembering the mileage on the road signs. Clark also recorded occasional comments. On March 3, he wrote, “Lined up to be shot because one of our group stole a chicken. They shot 3 prisoners the night before for stealing from a garden.”

On March 21, he wrote “Got out of line for water – dog turned loose on us.” Other than these short notes, Clark’s focus on the world got narrower and narrower. Finally, all that was on his mind was survival and food. “I blocked stuff out of my mind. When I was liberated the only thing I thought of was food and I thought about Christ and dying,” Clark remembered. “I could not get the thought of food out of my mind.”

Indeed, his diary is filled with page after page devoted to fantasies about food. There are pages on exotic recipes, undoubtedly gathered from his fellow prisoners from all parts of the country. New England recipes, country recipes, seafood recipes. One page is devoted to a lavish meal he planned to eat when he was liberated. It was filled with meats, vegetables, fruits, desserts, breads and salads.

Finally, on April 12, he wrote, “Germans told us President Roosevelt died--first true thing they told us.” The next day he made another brief note: “Freedom at 10 a.m. Freedom meant many things to Clark, but one it certainly meant was food. He stuffed himself on five or six meals a day during his first weeks of freedom. Unfortunately he was not able to gain weight because of a severe case of dysentery. The medical stations served the former POWs Paregoric by the bottle. Clark took doses as often as he could. Finally, his feet and his body began to heal as he loaded onto a ship for a trip across the Atlantic and home.

Ironically, his mother did not learn he had been captured until after he was freed. The first notice she received was a telegram from the War Department on April 18th that Clark was a prisoner. She had received an earlier telegram on Jan. 12 informing her that he had been missing in action since Dec. 16. Finally, on May 10, Mrs. Clark got the good news that her son had been liberated. Four days later she received another telegram. It said, “Back in States feeling fine furlough soon-LOVE S/SGT John R. Clark.”

Clark does not remember sending the last telegram. He thinks it may have been sent by the Army in his name. What he does clearly remember is a telephone call he made to his mother once he got back to the states. When they answered the phone, they mistook him for his brother. He learned that his brother had been severely wounded in the Pacific and was now in a hospital near him. Clark had a reunion with his brother in the hospital. His brother never completely recovered from the wounds and lost an eye. He passed away a few years ago.

Sadly, Clark was never reunited with his old friend Bill Furay. He tried to look him up when he was in Colorado but learned he had died a few years before. For over 30 years Clark kept his memories to himself. He felt he had no one to talk to. Who in Carter County could understand what he had gone through? He simply blocked out his memories and tried to live like everyone else. Then in 1976, a group of local ex-POWs came together to share their memories. For the first time, Clark had a chance to talk to others who could understand what he was saying. It took a long time to open up.

“I could not sit here and talk about it before I joined that group. I didn’t need sympathy and I didn’t need pity, and chances are no one would believe half the stuff we went through.” Nowadays, Clark shares his memories and experiences with those who are interested. He frequently talks to schoolchildren about what it would be like to lose their freedom. He hopes they come away with a renewed appreciation of their freedom. He also remembers how important his old tattered New Testament was to him in his captivity. That memory has led him to an active career in the Gideons. He hopes that someone else in pain may have the same comfort he had.

Unlike most Americans, Clark’s memories mean that he has never taken for granted his freedom or his faith in God.

Friday Oct 24, 2008

Foreign Allies Hot for Lockheed's F-35

Associated Press, October 01, 2008

 

Israel has become the first foreign nation to place its stamp of approval on the fledgling F-35 Lightning II warplane being developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth.

The Pentagon has formally notified Congress that it plans to sell up to 75 F-35s to Israel, a deal potentially worth up to $15.2 billion to Lockheed and the legion of contractors working on the program.

Israel's endorsement of the F-35 long before most flight testing is potentially valuable.  Israel's air force is "the most closely watched and highly regarded outside the U.S.," said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace industry analyst for the Teal Group consulting firm in Fairfax, Va.

The company did release a statement that said:  "As the first potential Foreign Military Sale of the F-35, this would be an important first step in expanding interest in the Joint Strike Fighter beyond the U.S. [government] and eight international F-35 Partner Nations."

Friday Sep 05, 2008

Next Generation Pack Horse


Take a look at American ingenuity at its best.  Below is a link to a quadruped robot developed by a Boston based company which is at the forefront of developing robotic systems including some used to train US Army officers.  They also develop human simulations which are used by the US Marine Corps.  This "big dog" would certainly be helpful on a hiking trip:

http://www.sciencebuzz.org/buzz_tags/boston_dynamics

 


Wednesday Jul 09, 2008

1,215 Troops Re-Enlist on Independence Day

How symbolic that this took place inside one of Sadam Hussein's palaces.  Nice to see the huge American flag hanging there...

Troops Re-enlist on Independence Day

1,215 Servicemembers from all over Iraq gather in the Al Faw Palace rotunda on Camp Victory, to re-enlist and celebrate America’s Independence Day, July 4, 2008.  Photo by MNF-I Public Affairs.

 
1,215 Servicemembers from all over Iraq gather in the Al Faw Palace rotunda on Camp Victory, to re-enlist and celebrate America’s Independence Day, July 4, 2008. Photo by MNF-I Public Affairs.

 Friday, 04 July 2008

BAGHDAD — Servicemembers from all over Iraq gathered here today in the Al Faw Palace rotunda on Camp Victory, to re-enlist and celebrate America’s Independence Day.

All 1,215 servicemembers celebrated by raising their right hand and pledging to continue defending the ‘land of the free’ in what is the largest re-enlistment ceremony since the all-volunteer force began in 1973, according to the Multi-National Force – Iraq Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt, Maj. Marvin L. Hill.

“Volunteering to continue to serve our nation, while deployed – is both noble and inspiring,” said Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Force – Iraq. “It is, as award citations often state, in keeping with the finest traditions of our military services.”

Petraeus presided over the ceremony and led the airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers in their oath to defend their country against all enemies both foreign and domestic on this day of celebration of America winning its independence.

"We recognize the sacrifices they make and the sacrifices their families and communities make as they serve in Iraq," Hill said. “These servicemembers know the cost of war and they are still re-enlisting.”

All together, the servicemembers pledged more than 5,500 years of additional service to their country.

“It makes me feel proud to serve this great nation,” said Spc. Zackary Cunningham, mechanic, 602nd Maintenance Battalion, Tactical Base Balad, who plans on making the Army a career.

The re-enlistees have every right to feel proud, according to Petraeus.

“You and your comrades here have been described as America’s new greatest generation, and, in my view, you have more than earned that description,” Petraeus said. “It is the greatest of honors to soldier here with you.”

 

(MNF-I Press Release)

 

Thursday Apr 24, 2008

Did You Know?

 
U.S. Air Force airmen unload pallets of supplies from a C-17 Globemaster III.
 
STAFF SGT. AARON BUNTING PROVIDES DENTAL CARE TO AN IRAQI GIRL. - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Bunting, a medic from 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, provides dental care to an Iraqi girl as her mother looks on at a combined medical engagement in Ney, Diyala Province, Iraq, on April 7, 2008. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Mulligan, U.S. Navy. (Released)

Did you know?

I didn't know!

Did you know that 47 countries' have reestablished their embassies in Iraq ?

Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people? 

 Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation,

263 new schools are now under construction; and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq ?

Did you know that Iraq 's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities,  

46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?

Did you know  that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in

January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program? 

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational?

They have 5 - 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq ' s Air Force consists of three operational squadrons,

Which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft

(under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night,

and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?

Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000

fully trained and equipped police officers?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq

that produce over 3500 new officers every 8 weeks?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq ?

They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations,  

22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5

have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq

and phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of

75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a

televised debate recently?

----

Above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site.

Wednesday Dec 26, 2007

Living Liberty in the New Year

  As the new year approaches, I thought it appropriate to post this picture of our WWI soldiers forming a living Statue of Liberty.  What does this 90 year old picture have to do with the new year?  Just this: let's dedicate one of our prayers for 2008 to the well-being and safety of our soldiers who sacrifice so much to keep us safe and promote liberty and democracy throughout the world.

WWI Camp Dodge - Living Statue of Liberty

 http://www.iowanationalguard.com/Museum/CDStory/index.htm

"On a stifling July day in 1918, 18,000 officers and soldiers posed as Lady Liberty on the parade [drill] grounds at Camp Dodge." [This area was west of Baker St. and is currently the area around building S34 and to the west.] "According to a July 3, 1986, story in the Fort Dodge Messenger, many men fainted-they were dressed in woolen uniforms-as the temperature neared 105 degrees Farenheit. The photo, taken from the top of a specially constructed tower by a Chicago photography studio, Mole & Thomas, was intended to help promote the sale of war bonds but was never used." (Grover 1987)

Monday Nov 19, 2007

232 Reasons to Love the US Marine Corps

The following is a list of reasons to love the Marine Corps written by a Marine Captain in honor of the birthday of the Corps, founded on November 10, 1775.  Can't say I understood all of it but you can feel the pride as you read each one.  My favorite? Number 128.  Enjoy.

http://vipersden.blogspot.com/

Thursday Nov 15, 2007

Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday Donations for our Recovering Soldiers

Hello Americans.  What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas and Chanukah holidays than by sending a small gift to a recovering soldier?  The American Red Cross will accept gifts such as phone cards, CDs, individual, sealed small packets of candy, etc. and will distribute them to injured soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Hospital.  I'm sure an attached note of encouragement and gratitude would be much appreciated as well.

Send your gift to:

American Red Cross                                                                           

Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20307-5000

Tuesday Nov 13, 2007

Tribute to our Veterans; Past, Present and Future

Hello Americans,

Just came across this moving tribute to the men and women in our military.  Veteran's Day may be over for another year but we should think about their sacrifices to keep us free every day of the year.  Here's the link: http://www.usaforever.org/flash/WeSupportU.htm

Monday Nov 05, 2007

Reports of Improvements in Iraq Under General Petraus

Here's an interesting report on the progress in the war in Iraq since General Petraus have assumed command.  It seems to be an intelligent evaluation.  See for yourself:

The Patraeus Curve

Wednesday Oct 31, 2007

A site that provides soldier contacts for those who want to send care packages.

10/31/07 by Perry.

I wanted to organize a project for the children of my parish which would benefit our troops abroad.  My dilemma was what items to send and how to obtain an address of troops who would benefit from them?  A friend told me about a wonderful site www.ANYSOLDIER.com . It is pretty complete and easy to navigate; you can select the branch of military you want and then read up on the different soldiers/sailors who have signed up.  It gives complete instructions as to what to do and the soldiers usually specify what items are on their wish lists-- beef jerky seems to be a favorite!   This is from the site:

HERE. Download (MP3)(Right-click and pick "Save Target As"):HERE. and
Promotional sound clip. Listen HERE. Download (MP3)(Right-click and pick "Save Target As"):HERE.

Want to send your support to Any Soldier in harm's way,
but have no idea of what to send, who to send it to, or how to send it?

AnySoldier.com provides Soldier contacts who are in harm's way and they list what they need and want. We even have a search capability so you can easily identify what units need. You read through the names and the stories they write and select the ones you wish to support.

AnySoldier.com Soldiers are volunteers for this effort, they see the "ATTN: Any Soldier" line under their name on the mail you send to them and they put your letters and packages into the hands of Soldiers who don't get much or any mail.

AnySoldier.com also has "What to Send" and "How to Send" pages to help you properly send letters and packages, and a much more. This effort is 110% voluntary. You send your support, and maybe some stuff, directly to whatever unit or units you want, you don't send us anything.

 

Warning!

"Your organization's troop postings help our citizens show their steadfast support for our Armed Forces,
and I am grateful." Sincerely, George W. Bush (Letter to Any Soldier Inc., August 2005)

AnySoldier.com Thank You!
Listen

  Any Soldier Inc.
<a href="http://AnySoldier.com" target="_blank">
<img src="http://AnySoldier.com/pics/AnySoldierButton.jpg" width="200" height="60" alt="Go to AnySoldier.com" border="0"></a>

Tuesday Oct 30, 2007

Iraqi Army Donates to Help Victims of USA San Diego Fires

WHAT'S RIGHT WITH AMERICA...

10/30/07 by Perry

We certainly have no shortage of negative, depressing stories when catching the latest news programs.  Here at USAb2c, we'd like to redirect the focus towards positive news which is sometimes overlooked.  These inspiring stories, whether by Americans or for their benefit, serve to remind us that we live in the greatest country on earth.  If reading this soapbox puts a little smile on your face and makes you stand a little straighter, we've done well.  If it doesn't, we hope we got you thinking.  Either way, write and tell us what you think.

Here's an article about the Iraqi Army and their efforts to help American victims of the devastating fires in California.  These soldiers know what devastation is all about. 

thanks to BLACKANTHEM

Iraqi Army at Besmaya Installation Support San Diego Fire Victims
By U.S. Army Sgt 1st Class Charlene Sipperly, Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq Public Affairs
Oct 27, 2007 - 5:43:06 PM

Email this article
Printer friendly page


Blackanthem Military News
U.S. Army Col. Darel Maxfield (center left), Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq, receives the check from Iraqi Army Col. Abbass (center right) at the Besmaya Range Complex Thursday for the San Diego, Calif., fire victims.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Members of the Iraqi Army in Besmaya collected a donation for the San Diego, Calif., fire victims Thursday night at the Besmaya Range Complex in a moving ceremony to support Besmaya's San Diego residents.

Iraqi Army Col. Abbass, the commander of the complex, presented a gift of $1,000 to U.S. Army Col. Darel Maxfield, Besmaya Range Complex officer in charge, Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq, to send to the fire victims in California. 

The money was collected from Iraqi officers and enlisted soldiers in Besmaya. In a speech given during the presentation, Col. Abbass stated that he and the Iraqi soldiers were connected with the American people in many ways, and they will not forget the help that the American government has given the Iraqi people.  Abbass was honored to participate by sending a simple fund of $1,000 to the American people in San Diego, to lower the suffering felt by the tragedy.

Last Week's Iraqi Army donation to Help Americans in Need Not the First

WHAT'S RIGHT ABOUT AMERICA... 

10/30/07 by Perry

The article posted earlier today re. the donation of $1,000 by a group of Iraqi Army soldiers towards victims of the San Diego fires isn't unique.  Back in 2005, they raised a similar donation to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.  Another bit of information that, for the most part, fell by the wayside.

Thanks to Defendamerica.mil for this one:

Iraqi Soldiers Donate to Katrina Victims

Iraqi soldiers collected 1,000,000 Iraqi dinars for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
By Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq
TAJI, Iraq, Sept. 9, 2005 — Iraqi soldiers serving at Taji military base collected 1,000,000 Iraqi dinars for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Iraqi Col. Abbas Fadhil, Iraqi base commander, presented the money to U.S. Col. Paul D. Linkenhoker, Taji Coalition base commander, at a Sept. 5 staff meeting.

"We are all brothers. When one suffers tragedy, we all suffer their pain."
Iraqi Col. Abbas Fadhil

“We are all brothers,” said Abbas. “When one suffers tragedy, we all suffer their pain.”

The amount of money is small in American dollars - roughly $680 - but it represents a huge act of compassion from Iraqi soldiers to their American counterparts, said U.S. Army Maj. Michael Goyne.

 

“I was overwhelmed by the amount of their generosity,” Goyne said. “I was proud and happy to know Col. Abbas, his officers, NCOs and fellow soldiers. That amount represents a month’s salary for most of those soldiers.”

Abbas read a letter he wrote after giving the envelope to Linkenhoker.

"I am Colonel Abbas Fadhil; Tadji Military Base Commander,” Abbas wrote. “On behalf of myself and all the People of Tadji Military Base; I would like to console the American People and Government for getting this horrible disaster. So we would like to donate 1.000.000 Iraqi Dinars to help the government and the People also I would like to console all the ASTs who helped us rebuilding our country and our Army. We appreciate the American's help and support. Thank you."

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