Agoramania Soap Box
AVery Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and A Healthy, Peaceful 2009 to our USAb2c Family!
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."
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!
3201 East Pioneer Parkway #40
Arlington, Texas 76010-5396
817-649-0109 - FAX
Foreign Allies Hot for Lockheed's F-35
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."
Next Generation Pack Horse
1,215 Troops Re-Enlist on Independence Day
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.
(MNF-I Press Release)
Did You Know?
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.
Living Liberty in the New Year
WWI Camp Dodge - Living Statue of Liberty
"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)
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.
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
Tribute to our Veterans; Past, Present and Future
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
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:
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:
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.
"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)
<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>
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
Blackanthem Military News
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